This thought has bugged me for quite some time. Everyone I tell seems to shoot me down, but maybe you'll respond differently:
I often go to hotels...not for fun, of course, but for vacation and various travels. During most of my stays I end up eating from the hotel buffet and hearing the same command:
"Use the tongs to pick up the pineapples."
"Use the tongs to pick up that bagel."
"Use the tongs. That way, you won't spread bacteria and give everyone else your germs."
We listen, and we feel safe. However, when we analyze the effects of buffet tongs, we ask the question: are they really helping us?
The reason for using tongs is the fear of spreading germs. The great fear is a person's hands touching (directly or indirectly) the food that another person will eat. The modern day buffet tongs were invented to prevent cross contamination through hands. Ladies and gentlemen, I stand before you today proposing that these tongs fail to do their job.
The problem lies in the fact that buffet tongs do not work automatically. They are, in fact, hand-operated. As I see it, this means that if you use buffet tongs, some of your germs and bacteria will find a home on the plastic utensil (or whatever material it is).
Here is the counter-argument:
"In order for the tongs to backfire in a bacterial sense, the victim would have to eat with his/her hands. And it is rare that a person will eat with his/her hands (excluding an eating utensil)."
That argument can be quickly refuted by means of expert testimony. As I previously stated, I have eaten in loads of hotel buffets. I have almost never failed to eat some type of finger food for breakfast. For a person like me, the touching of hands to the food is quite inevitable. The germs will come to me either way, but at least grabbing my buffet food with my hands can be healthier, so long as I use precision.
That is my case. Remember, free speech is allowed on this blog. You are allowed to disagree with me and express your opinions. You just aren't allowed to be right.