JournalismPakistan.com June 19, 2015
We invested in a water purifier. Believe in health.
And it said that 99.9% of bacteria would be instantly destroyed.
So when my wife said, why are you peering through the plastic with a magnifying glass I gave her a look of husbandly disdain.
I said, I’m looking for the one that got away.
There is always one that gets away. Do you realize that point percent of a trillion germs is 10 billion germs which got missed.
For me this is a mystery worthy of solution. Way up there in the realm of E=mc2 and Pythagoras and chappies like that. Why is it that there is always at least one germ left? What does he have that he survives while all the others keel over and quit? When you really get into it the possibilities are huge and fascinating. It is like he was the James Bond of the germ world, the microbe with muscle.
The promise is on my toothpaste, in the deodorant stick, on the anti-pest spray can, it is even in the antiseptic liquid, always 99.9 percent. Even my soap has it reflected in two upturned human palms, one from the competition with half a dozen creepy crawly things and the other with one microbe, lost and lonely going in circles.
You’d be lost and lonely if everyone around you had been wiped out and just you left suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.
Think of it. All these research scientists beavering away in some laboratory producing these items and never getting 100 percent. It must be so soul destroying. Chief scientist comes home his eyes red from weeping and his family gather round to console him.
Woe is me, he sobs, we got ‘new’ and we got ‘improved’ but we couldn’t pass 99.99%, we failed again, one in every thousand escaped again, I might lose my job, we will have to move, the bacillus is well and alive.
In fact, I have begun to admire these survivors. Not the scientists, the germs. They have moxy, gravel in the gut. There’s the human race flinging everything it can at them, arsenic, old lace, carbon monoxide, cyanide, anti-toxins and they overcome, with a lilt on their lips and a song in their hearts.
So, when I declared war on the mosquito squad in the house with this fortified can illustrated with several curled up mossies I saw them flop like shot down fighter jets. Phoosh, phooosh, got you, got you.
In seconds it was over. Ha, that’ll teach you.
Then I heard it. A buzzing that increased like a chopper hovering. There against the curtain was the one that got away.
Like I said, there is always one that gets away.
(The writer is a Senior Editorial Advisor of Khaleej Times and the paper’s former Editor. He has also been the Editor of Gulf News, Gulf Today, Emirates Today and Bahrain Tribune)
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