I have always suspected it but, being the gentleman that I am, I have never made an issue of it. Now, I have scientific evidence to support my long-held suspicions.
I'm not one to gloat but this does call for some kind of celebration. After all, it is not every day things go my way. And, it's not every day that I can pull one over on the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage, and have scientific evidence to back me up.
I cannot tell how many years she has harassed me about washing my hands, especially before dinner. ''Have you washed your hands yet?'' ''Go wash your hands before dinner.'' ''I hope you washed your hands.''
Moreover, I cannot tell you how much this has irritated me through the years. Anyone with such a phobia about washing their hands should keep it to themselves and not inflict this phobia on other people, especially me. After all, I'm people.
One time while I was complaining about this she said to me, ''Don't you know that cleanliness is next to godliness?''
Up to this point, I have never challenged this wee bit of folk wisdom. Personally, I have never believed it but I am not the kind of person that pushes his beliefs on other people, especially if they live under the same roof that I do.
I have always lived by this little bit of folk wisdom, ''He who makes his wife happy lives to see another day.'' As I am addicted to living, I have never challenged this nonsense of washing your hands every time you turn around. It got so bad I was seriously considering giving up turning around.
Then by chance, I read a newspaper article that changed my whole outlook on this matter. The headline was, ''No such thing as a clean handshake.'' Boy, did this title capture my attention.
According to this article, which quoted some scientists that delved into this matter quite extensively, ''... everybody has more types of bacteria than the researchers expected to find.''
They never said what they expected to find but they found more than they expected. I remember one time I looked into my wallet and found two dollars more than I expected. Boy was I excited. I am sure the scientists were excited to find more than what they expected to find.
As I read the article further, I found a nugget of truth that simply exhilarated me to no end. Every once in a while, you find something you always knew to be true but now you have scientific evidence to back up your claim.
Such treasure should be guarded by a highly secret handshake.
To put it very simply, in their highly sophisticated research they found women have more bacteria on their hands than men do. The article explained, ''A new study found that women have a greater variety of bacteria on their hands than men do.''
Amen! Raise your hands and praise the Lord.
The quandary I found myself in was this. Should I tell my wife about this recent discovery? And, should I gloat about it?
Life is full of decisions such as this.
According to the article, they tried to figure out why it was that women had more bacteria in their hands than men did. And I should like to offer a few suggestions that might light up this investigation.
For one, women have their hands in just about everything that comes along. For example, have you ever been in a store and watched women do some shopping? They have to touch and look at everything in that store, which is why they take all day to go shopping.
Then, around the house, women are always sorting through things and organizing them. Men, on the other hand, who according to scientific research are cleaner, are content in allowing things to pile up. Men only clean out the garage once a year but women are cleaning the house every week if not every other day.
I was sharing this, along with other choice observations of mine and noticed that my wife gave me a very dirty look. Another area of research for these scientists with time on their hands is to study how dirty women's eyes are in comparison with men's.
Then she said to me, ''Let me tell you why women have dirtier hands than men... if that is true at all. First of all, women's work is never done. No matter how much we do today we know that we're going to have to do it again tomorrow.''
It was here I was tempted to interject an opinion of mine that ran along these lines; if you did the work right the first time you would not have to do it again. Since I love living, I did not mention it.
''And furthermore,'' she said, ''we get no help whatsoever from the man in the house.''
As hard as it was for me, I refrained from the comments about the king in his castle.
''But basically, the reason women's hands are dirtier then men's is that we always have to clean up their mess after them.''
I ran out of arguments, turned to my Bible and found this verse. ''The righteous also shall hold on his way, and he that hath clean hands shall be stronger and stronger.'' (Job 17:9 KJV).
Only clean hands can accomplish the real work of God.