Freewheel Collective's Blog

"The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man." -Iris Murdoch

Stop staring at my dirty hands!!!

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greasynails

Every tuesday I help a large number of people fix their bikes.  Doing so, I am often handling dirty, greasy parts, tools and equipment.  By the end of the night, my hands are coated in a grey-black layer of dirty grease.

In the shop we have a huge dispenser of GoJo hand cleaner that does a generally good job of degreasing hands.  It works like this: I take a dollop of gojo in the shop, and rub it all over the greasy parts of my hands as I walk to the bathroom for a full wash.  I scrub and rinse but inevitably, There are spots I miss or spots that don’t get clean.  Most often affected are my fingernails, the backs of my knuckles and any cuts or cracked dry spots on my fingers.  A black residue remains.  I wash my hands with handsoap, but I am reluctant to use more gojo, as it is very harsh and I have already problems with cracking owing to dry skin (which then capture more uncleanable grease).

The end result is that my fingers look pretty bad for the next few days.

I teach.  I have students working with me in the lab and I teach a computer course.  I have to demonstrate techniques.  When I do so, I can feel their eyes on my hands.  I can almost read their thoughts:

“Eeeeewwww…Grosss…Look at J. Matt’s nasty hands! Does he never wash them?!?!”

When this happens, I want to explain, “No! my hands are grimy from bicycle repair. I am not dirty, I swear!”  But I never do, because maybe they didn’t notice.  I don’t want to draw attention.

So there it is.  I have bad hands.  I admit it.  But not as bad as they look.  Please don’t judge me by them.

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Author: jmatthoch

J. Matt is a beautiful animal. J. Matt is a destroyer of worlds. J. Matt is J. Matt freaking Hoch!

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