Next, sanitize! After I go through the security, I hand sanitize and moisturize like crazy. Always bring moisturizing lotion with you, because the sanitizer, thankfully, is pure alcohol and dries out your hands, so you need to moisturize afterwards. Remember, when you're in an airport, there are people who are passing through from every corner of the globe. They're coming from places with microorganisms and bacteria that you, or anyone in your entire gene pool, have never been exposed to. You have no immunities to this stuff! Try at all costs to avoid the airport bathrooms, unless of course you're a Republican senator from Idaho, in which case, by all means, set up shop. For the rest of you, only use them if you absolutely have to, and remember, don't assume other people are clean. They're not.

Once on the plane, get out your wipes and become your own cleaning lady. I use just plain antibacterial ones. My manager uses the alcohol wipes that are wrapped in foil that diabetics use before they inject themselves, which he proudly tells me are three dollars for a pack of five hundred. My friend Robyn Todd travels with a big tub of Clorox wipes. She also turned me on to the benefits of filling your nostrils with Polysporin ointment when you're on the plane. Yeah it's gross and looks like your nose is dripping goo, but at least when you breathe in all that bad air, it's being filtered through an antibiotic barrier. See, I'm not the only crazy one out there. Robyn and I are single-handedly putting the Walgreens' kids through college! Wipe down everything you can reach: seat, tray, table, headphones, the guy sitting next to you…Same thing in the bathroom. Wipe, wipe, wipe. Seats, counters, mirrors—if you can wipe down the actual paper towels, do that too. You think they clean those planes between flights? They don't. You have no idea who was lying on that pillow with God knows what kind of head lice or scabies before you.

So, you've arrived at your destination with no new diseases or infections that you know of, and are ready to check into your hotel. Before you even say hello to the concierge, once again, wipe, wipe, wipe. Hotels, even the five-star variety, are a hotbed of germs and bacteria. In five-star hotels you'll get five-star bacteria. Every doorknob, every light switch, the phone, the toilet handle, needs your sanitizing attention. You think the maid is cleaning the toilet handle? NO! And most important of all, clean the remote control. Who knows what movies some businessman from Cincinnati was watching before you got there...which leads me to the bedspread, which may reflect the aftermath of the movie he was watching. Eeeeeewwwwww. Hotels wash the sheets and pillowcases, but they don't wash bedspreads or pillow shams between guests, and you have no idea who the prior guests were—not that it matters; just assume they're all pigs. The bedspread is the most disgusting thing in the room, so take it off immediately, throw it in the corner, and go boil your hands. Or better yet, use a hand towel to lift it off the bed so you don't even have to touch the damn thing and ask housekeeping to get rid of it and never bring it back. This goes for duvet covers, blankets, comforters, or anything else that sits on top of the top sheet. Ahh, the top sheet, one of nature's little miracles. Make sure you fold it all the way over the duvet, like a sausage casing, so that no potentially unclean thing is touching any part of your body! Also, bring slippers or flip-flops (the ones you shouldn't wear in the airport) so you don't have to walk on the carpet. Athlete's foot or fungus or crap that dropped off of another person's body could be lurking in those fibers. Similarly, this is why you shouldn't sit naked on the big fluffy overstuffed chair. And speaking of the overstuffed chair, there's a worldwide epidemic of bedbugs in even the swankiest of hotels. Check for brown dried blood spots on the sheets. And don't ever put your suitcase or clothing on the bed or any other piece of upholstered furniture.
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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