Maybe the title should be Filthy Shades of Grey. Two professors who wanted to make a splash in their fields of bacteriology and toxicology came up with a novel idea: Analyze the gunk on the covers of the ten most borrowed library books in Antwerp, where they are based.
While all ten of the books came up positive for cocaine, the yuckiest discovery was the mommy-porn hit Fifty Shades of Grey (which I haven’t read, because really who need to put up with a widdle virgin being whipped into a love-filled frenzy while being ass-sarded and spanked by a guy with serious psychological damage who bases his neckwear collection on his last name?). The book has herpes. So not only should you wear condom while trying out the stunts in the book, you need latex protection just to read it.
Supposedly, according to the professors, the virus trace was so low as to not produce a public health risk. And frankly, by adulthood in the United States, 70% to 90% of people are seropositive, that is have antibodies, for herpes simplex virus 1 which causes mouth sores, meaning they have been exposed. The study did not indicate whether the virus was HSV 1 or the genital version HSV2, for which 30% of the US population tests seropositive. The numbers for HSV1 are similar in Belgium, and lower for HSV2. But still, eeeuuuw.
All ten of the books tested positive for cocaine, though not enough to get you high, so forget about licking the covers for a rush (especially do not lick the cover of Fifty Shades of Grey!). Keep in mind that 90% of US currency has traces of cocaine.
Regarding the gack found on the books, toxicologist Professor Jan Tytgat of the Catholic University of Leuven said
The levels found won’t have a pharmacological effect. Your consciousness or behaviour won’t change as a result of reading the tomes. Today’s testing methods are so sensitive that traces of the drug originating from a contaminated book will be found in your hair, blood and urine.
So checking out a popular book from a library in Antwerp could screw up your next drug test. And while the tin foilers may say
Oh this is a plot to keep us out of the libraries/make more money for books on tablet/keep us from reading
in reality it’s more of a cautionary tale suggesting we improve our minds with philosophy, social history and the classics which might be less germy.
And this also reminds us to wash our hands with good old fashioned soap and hot water! A study by Michigan State University found that 95% of Americans don’t wash their hands correctly after going to the bathroom, meaning long enough to kill bacteria, and one in ten don’t wash their hands at all, with men being the worst offenders. And for bonus health, men should wash before and after urinating so they don’t hand off germs to their Johnson. Two rounds of “Happy Birthday” or one version of the alphabet rhyme using soap and water after using the toilet is recommended for food service workers – and the rest of us, too.
Fifty Shades of Grey is slated to be made into a movie, for release in 2015. Bring a disposable plastic seat cover for the theater.