SkyMall Monday: Travel Bidet

Everyone experiences lulls at their job. Work is not always as rewarding as we want it to be. But, from time to time, something happens that reinvigorates us. Something that energizes and excites us about what we do for a living and makes us proud again. I’m experiencing such a resurgence this week. Why? Well, this week’s SkyMall Monday may be the most important ever. Because this week we’re featuring a product that every single person needs to own. A product that may very well solve all of our problems. A product that will cleanse us from the inside out. Yes, my friends, SkyMall once again will purify us and allow us to tackle any obstacle that life puts in our way. I love my job again, people, because I get to share this fantastic information with you. Information that will hit us with a blast of cool, refreshing and disinfecting energy. So, take a seat. Or, even better, squat. Because this week we’re taking a long hard look at the Sanicare Travel Bidet.
We all know how to wipe our own asses (at least I hope so because I shake a lot of hands everyday). But are we really getting clean? I mean, the French clean up using bidets and who are more well known for their hygiene than the French? But a large porcelain plumbing fixture is too cumbersome to take with you. So, how can you inject some water into your filthy backdoor when you’re out and about? Well, just take a look at that picture up there and I think you’ll realize that all of our problems have been solved.

Once again I will rely solely on the product description. The clever plays on words, quotation mark usage and wealth of information will surely convince you that you need this product:

Enjoy the confidence of the fresh and clean feeling of a cleansing bidet wherever you “go”.

See what they did there? Yeah, I’m talking about putting the period outside of the quotation marks. Idiots.

Your Travel Bidet is ready to go, just open the box and install the included AA battery, then when you are ready to use it… “just add water”.

Do I really add water or are the quotation marks insinuating some sort of innuendo?

Traveling means a lot of compromising and unexpected changes from our daily routine. Changes in eating habits, fluid intake, schedules and personal hygiene all affect our comfort level, which can affect our performance and self-confidence in important business and social functions.

And perhaps no change is more unexpected than your new habit of keeping a travel bidet in your briefcase.

Finally, we can all have damp asses and awkward conversations with airport security. It’s about time we as a people cleaned up our acts. And now we can with dignity and pride.

So, if you want to love your job as much as I love mine, start taking a travel bidet with you to work everyday. It may just be the second best injection of liquid into your person you experience all day.

Check out all of the previous SkyMall Monday posts HERE.

Brits continue to self-congratulate on cleanliness

Brits are the best-behaved hotel guests, according to a survey by TripAdvisor. More than 3,000 participated in the study, and the results are certain to reinforce stereotypes. Forty-three percent of hotel guests from the UK make their own beds every morning … which is nothing compared to the 79 percent who put their clothes neatly in the closets.

But, tidiness comes with a price. Travelers from the land of the stiff upper lip are also the most accident-prone. They tend to break things and block up the toilet – the latter distinction shared with the Germans.

Shockingly, the French are the quietest (fewest noise complaints), and those from Spain are most likely to dip into the mini-bar without paying. Italians are both the worst tippers and most likely to leave underwear in the room.

Here’s the best part: 10 percent of all survey participants admitted to replacing minibar items with cheaper, store-bought stuff.

Fungus in plane ketchup and air conditioning. Tutut.

Two fungus-in-aircraft stories are worth note and worry: An Indian Airlines flight served a passenger snacks with ketchup that had fungus on it. The passenger noted the contaminated packet and made a complaint, the airline dutifully apologized.

Fungus can be hazardous to health and can cause allergies, asthma, and even cardiac arrest. There would probably have been a grand issue should the fungus-ketchup have been consumed by a child or an elderly person. The airline said that they will investigate the situation and the suppliers from which they receive products.

That’s all fine but I don’t understand how the cabin crew member who served the fungus laden ketchup, didn’t notice it. And, if the fungus is on the pouch of the ketchup, it’s probably because it’s old and/or expired, which has nothing to do with the supplier. This was an easily avoidable situation.

Another fungus situation was in Ryanair: A flight from Hungary to Ireland had to divert because fungus laden ice started to drip onto a passenger from an overhead locker, triggering an allergic reaction in the passenger who started coughing. It was discovered that the fungus had contaminated the aircraft’s air conditioning system.

Thanks to jackhynes for the flickr photo.

Germ-eliminating wand: an addition to your travel-kit

Remember the last time you woke up all scratchy from your hotel/bed? Or when the hotel’s carpet smelt like cat poo? Or when there was a layer of grime on the kitchen table-top of the apartment you rented out on your trip?

Well, now instead of taking a long shower with your eyes closed and trying to keep away nightmares of waking up with hives, you can be the wizard of cleanliness by owning a Hammacher Schlemmer germ-eliminating wand.

The device uses UV-C (a shortwave ultraviolet light that has disinfectant properties) to eliminate 99% of bacteria, viruses, mold, and dust mites in the bathroom, in the kitchen, or on your bedding.

All you have to do is move around the wand’s 6-inch long light bulb over all the surfaces you want ”purified” and it will rapidly disinfect everything. By holding the wand over the contaminated surface for 20 seconds, the UV light will kill all the E.coli, salmonella and staphylococcus that cause the common cold and the flu.

The wand can be programmed for up to an hour and has an automatic shut-off option. However, be careful as overexposure to UV-C can lead to skin-redness and eye irritation.

It costs about $100; perhaps not a bad investment eh?

How clean are those ice cubes again?

I’m used to refraining from ice cubes in my beverages while in third world countries. But after the Chicago Sun Times published an article on ice cube quality in the greater Chicago area, I might have to start declining in the great US of A as well. In a series of tests across 49 fast food and casual dining restaurants, The Sun found that over 43% of them had higher bacterial levels than the toilet water in the Sun Building. Twenty percent of the samples had bacterial levels that were considered “high.”

My favorite part of the article is where they actually list the restaurants where they found high percentages of bacteria in the ice cubes. It’s great to call out these businesses on their cleanliness and I’d like to continue that tradition here. Take heed, fair Chicagoans: Restaurants in Chicago with high levels of total coliform bacteria:

  • Applebee’s at 7519 S. Cicero
  • Chipotle Mexican Grill at 10 S. LaSalle
  • Starbucks at 444 N. Michigan
  • Asiago Express at 176 N. Wells
  • Outback Steakhouse at 216 E. Golf Rd. in Schaumburg
  • Burger King at 6950 S. Pulaski
  • Caribou Coffee at 3025 N. Clark
  • Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery at 1 W. Grand (I think I ate here last November!)
  • The Drake Hotel at 140 E. Walton
  • The Hyatt Regency Chicago at 151 E. Wacker
  • The Sheraton Chicago at 301 E. North Water

Before you go out and get your immunizations boosted, remember that fecal coliform aren’t necessarily bad for you. While they do hold the potential to cause illness, the body digests and even requires certain bacterium. But it is disturbing to find that almost half of the ice cubes out there at public restaurants are dirtier than toilet water. I’ll definitely think twice about getting ice next time I’m out to lunch with the guys.