A Query about Cleanliness
Yesterday, my son, fearless of grime, scum, and germs, pulled out the plug to the bathtub and looked as though he was going to place it in his mouth.
“Whoa,” I said, OCD alarms sounding in my psyche. “Don’t put that in your mouth. It’s not the cleanest thing in the world.”
He raised his head and asked, “What is the cleanest thing in the world?”
For reasons I’ve yet to discern, I answered with the first thing that popped in my head.
The boy scrunched up his eyes and replied, dubiously, “Really?”
“Well, newly bathed newborn babies.”
He didn’t buy it. I’m not sure I do either, and yet I thought it and answered with it. Our exchange got me thinking about the meaning of cleanliness. Clearly I didn’t associated perfect cleanliness with sterility, but perhaps I should. And yet I still like my initial response and am inclined to stick with it.
How would you answer the question, “What’s the cleanest thing in the world?