How to build your immune system...one sandwich at a time

Title Addendum: Or, you could contract a mystery illness and die. Tales of a 50/50 chance.

When we were in England, Jillian's class took a field trip to the amazing Science Museum and Natural History Museum in London. I was lucky enough to get to chaperone this trip with one of my closest friends, whose daughter happens to be Jillian's BFF.


When lunch time rolled around, we decided to eat outside because the weather was unusually nice that day. The only available bench we could find was just outside of the building, along a busy street. If you have been to London, you know it's always busy and there are always a million people bustling around. No worries, we were content to enjoy the weather and our friends, no matter the place.

Not long after we unloaded our lunch sacks and settled in, the wind picked up a bit.  Jillian, in a swift move to catch a napkin before it blew away, dropped half of her peanut butter sandwich on the sidewalk. I gestured and told her to just go ahead and pick it up, no big deal, it's just a sandwich.

We continued our lunch, chatting and having a great time with our friends. Once I was done, I gathered all of my trash in my lunch bag and handed it to Jillian.

"If you'll put that sandwich you dropped in there, I'll toss it for you," I told her.

Stunned, she stared at me with eyes as wide as saucers. "But, I ate it. You said pick it up...I thought that meant it was ok to eat it!"

I nearly threw up, right on the spot. I looked around at the pigeons, people, trash and grime that was covering that sidewalk and had no idea what to do next. Having her gargle with anti-bacterial seemed logical yet risky so I did what any responsible mother would have done.

I laughed and vowed that if she didn't get violently ill within the next 5 days, I planned to tell this story to her first prom date.