Friday, November 21, 2008

It's Official: Cooties are real!

Scourge of the playground, terror of the sandbox. Cooties. (Aside: does everything in the world have a wikipedia page?) In some ways, cooties were the way most of us first understood the concept of communicable diseases - girls had cooties, and if you got too close, you would too. I don't remember if I ever knew what the symptoms of cooties were, or even the consequences of contracting the dread disease, but I did know they were real. Of course, like many other good childhood myths, the theory of cooties was debunked as adolescence dawned and mere proximity to girls was something for which we all strove, or agonized over even.

But now, modern science confirms what small children all over North America have known since the dawn of time: Cooties are real. Sort of. A recent study at the University of Colorado has proved that women have significantly higher numbers of microbes on their hands then men do. So the next time a child proposes some ridiculous idea that seems to stretch the boundaries of reality, don't be so quick to judge. And be careful whose hand you shake.

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