One of my greatest bacterial challenges is the fact that I travel a lot, which exposes one to all sorts of germs from all over the world. I mostly travel for work, not adventure, which means I'm usually in the comfort of the Pacific Palisades, not on a deserted island in the Pacific Ocean. But even when I'm on vacation, I'm not particularly adventurous. I have no interest in climbing Mount Everest or bungee jumping or sky diving or any activity where I can suffer bodily harm, like breaking my neck, or losing a limb, or tanning unevenly. I take enough risks onstage and onscreen that any further adrenaline rush is totally unnecessary. Do you know how high I feel every time I yell at Larry David? What more can I ask for? Why test the fates? Hiking through the woods exposes you to all kinds of bug bites and poison ivy. The beach is nice, but only under an umbrella, where you're protected from those evil UVA and UVB rays.

For me, a vacation involves great shopping and great restaurants and beauty and a bit of luxury. Not over-the-top luxury—I don't need a diminutive personal manservant to fetch me things and pumice my feet, but I don't think indoor plumbing, air-conditioning, and room service are unreasonable requests. And speaking of indoor plumbing, the thought of camping is horrific. No interest whatsoever. If God wanted us to be camping, she wouldn't have invented The Ritz-Carlton. And even though I'm enormously fascinated by other cultures, if it's a big schlep to get there or I have to be careful about drinking the water or eating the food, or if the visit requires shots beforehand, I'd rather watch the Travel Channel or Nat Geo or Robin Leach. My nephew and his wife and daughter live in Australia. I'd love to visit them, but the thought of sitting in a stuffy plane for twenty-two straight hours causes me such fits of anxiety that I don't know if it will ever happen. People tell me that they're dying to go to China, India, Vietnam, Africa. I say, "Enjoy yourself and send me a postcard. I'll be in Miami relaxing, shopping, and eating."

I'm not a big fan of flying. It's not that I'm afraid to fly, it's just that I hate it. I hate the packing and the airport and the germs and the confinement and the germs and the lack of control and, oh, by the way, have I mentioned the germs? Allow me once again to put on my "Susie, the Good" hat and give you some pointers on what to do when you do have to fly somewhere. First of all, always wear socks. Even in the summer. The grossest thing in the world (other than European men wearing brown socks with sandals) is to see someone going through security in flip-flops. They take their shoes off to go through and they're walking barefoot on that floor that thousands of people have walked on before them with all sorts of crap on their shoes. It's disgusting. No different than the horror I feel when I see someone walking barefoot through the streets of New York City. I fear for their life. And I read that the floor at the airport is loaded with staph infection. As is everywhere else. Being barefoot on the plane is even more disgusting, because now, in addition to the normal dirt, schmutz, and dog shit they have on their shoes, they've added to the mix whatever crap they picked up in the airport itself.
Excerpted from What Would Susie Say? by Susie Essman. Copyright ?? 2009 by Esswoman Productions, Inc. Reprinted by permission of Simon & Schuster, Inc, NY.


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