Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A "Taxi Hands" Bagel? No thanks

A couple weeks ago, I went to the Kettleman's Bagel Shop on Bank Street. Wood-fired Montreal-style bagels are the best, and they're made right in front of your eyes--behind a Plexiglas shield, of course, for sanitary reasons.

Passing the "help wanted" sign on the door, walking toward the counter, I noticed a nice-looking bag of 15 assorted day-olds that I picked up for $3.50. You can't beat that deal.

In addition to the day-olds, I ordered a Breakfast bagel--a treat I first discovered at the Kettleman's on Carling Avenue when it first opened many years ago. Back at the Carling location, they'd ask you if you want ketchup on your breakfast bagel, so I was a bit surprised when I was brusquely told "ketchup packets are by the door," when I asked for it this time.

The strange things started when I was sitting down at the front window. After receiving my bagel and futzing with the little packets to smear it with ketchup, I watched the scenery.

A taxi came into the Kettleman's parking lot from the side street as though it was cutting through to avoid the red light. But the driver turned and parked in one of the parking spots. The non-sequitur that came next involved the driver getting of the taxi with his passenger still in the back seat. I could see the expression on the customer's face, and I could only imagine what the driver told her as he got out.

The taxi driver came in to the bagel shop, reached his hand over the glass, as did the man working the raw bagel dough. The two shook hands, and the man went straight back to preparing bagels.

Without washing his hands.


As I told this story to a friend, he recalled a study which found that a steering wheel is the dirtiest place your hands touch on a daily basis. Not a toilet seat, not a door handle--a steering wheel.

And a taxi's steering wheel? Double-eww.

I decided not to eat the day-olds.

- RG>

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