Hand Sanitizer and Pretzels, Or Combinations and Sequences

On Saturday I was in NYC with my family. They ran into a store to support the economy, while I sat in the car pretending to look like a “commercial vehicle.”

While I waited, I reached for the snack bag we bring with us and grabbed a clipped-closed pretzel bag. I reached in, grabbed a few, popped one in my mouth, and… ick.

It tasted like a mouthful of salty hand sanitizer.

But it was probably just the first one, right? So I took another.


Either these had gone bad (do pretzels go bad?), or somebody previously got hand sanitizer into the entire bag, and now it was in my mouth.

I didn’t want that.

We just want what we want; to get what we expect. But the world doesn’t work that way.

I did the only thing left that there was to do – I took a sip of water and reached for the cheese puffs.

Some things need to work in combination, while other things need to work in sequence.

Keep the salt on the pretzels (no need to put salt in your mouth, then add a pretzel, and then chew), and please do hand sanitize before reaching for a snack in the city. These are subtle details, but start to look for it and you can find it in lots of places.

We answer the phone with “hello” before we start ranting. We mix personal with pleasure at a business lunch.  Combinations and sequences are a deeply embedded part of our life that we often overlook until something goes wrong.

Being aware can help to keep hands clean, while also keeping the hand sanitizer out of the pretzels.