Here’s what my current life situation has succumb to: I’m wasting time being abnormally curious about why all the fire hydrants in my neighborhood have been painted gray.
Is it primer? Is there some kind of new fire hydrant design initiative where everything in the burbs must adhere to a gray, beige or greige motif? Is it an artistic statement that reflects our current pandemic mood – dreary with a side of blah?
I even called the my city public works department and they didn’t know. So, then I called Water One and I’m still waiting to hear back from a real live human being. I also did a Google search of “Why is my fire hydrant now gray?”
Apparently back in 2017 that was a hot topic in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. I know this because my googling took to the front lines of that riveting discussion. Based on my deep dive I now feel confident saying that the gray on the fire hydrants is most likely primer.
Bonus – I learned that most cities repaint their fire hydrants every 10 years, so you’re welcome for that bit of knowledge you never really needed to know. Although, I can see it coming up as a Jeopardy question.
I fear a side effect of this current life situation we’re all in is that I have become hyper curious about stupid stuff. Four months ago, I can assure you I probably wouldn’t have noticed the gray fire hydrants.
In fact, four months ago, I was in D.C. not only using the Metro but gripping a plethora of mass transit handrails. I guess I’m lucky to be alive because I’m certain that metro handrails are bacteria and viruses happy place.
I imagine the handrail as a kind of germ rager with lots of co-mingling and hook ups. In my mind it looks like a single bars with 2 for 1 drinks and free appetizers. So, basically just a cauldron of infectious disease mayhem.
If only I knew that it would be my last time to ever touch a handrail with my bare hands and not have a panic attack while using approximately a cup of hand sanitizer to wash away my fears.
I kind of feel like I should be cherishing the memory.
Of course, my rampant inquisitiveness has extended to coronavirus issues as well. I’ve even come up some brain teasers.
For example, if someone is wiping down a shopping cart with a dirty rag that has been used on other shopping carts is that shopping cart really clean or have the germs just enjoyed what amounts to a ride on a Tilt-a-Whirl?
For those of you who don’t remember the Tilt-a-Whirl is an amusement park attraction where you spin around in a bunch of different directions while experiencing the majesty of centrifugal force and gravitational pull.
Just in case you’re stumped the answer to that brain teaser is no the shopping cart isn’t clean and yes the germs have enjoyed being spun around and being tossed from cart to cart.
Brain teaser number two is did I walk up to the person using the dirty rag and say something?
No, I did not because while I’ll admit to being the Covid-19 police at the start of this journey I’m now experiencing enforcement fatigue and control what I can which is the health practices of my family.
This is why I think I’ve gotten curious about the mundane like the color of fire hydrants. It’s a safe, non-scary topic to explore which is comforting because it means for a brief moment in time I wasn’t thinking about washing my hands.