"You might as well slurp the handrail of an airport escalator, lick a bathroom door or eat soup out of a rented bowling shoe," CBS Chicago columnist Dan Bernstein wrote Monday about kissing the Stanley Cup.
In reality though, Chicagoans -- whose beloved Blackhawks just won the NHL title for the third time in six years -- will be relieved to hear that the massive trophy is surprisingly clean.
Some 5,000-plus kisses are bestowed on the trophy when it goes on its annual victory tour. Then there's the salacious escapades the cup has enjoyed over its 123-year history (taking a dip in Montreal Canadiens' goaltender Patrick Roy's pool in 1993 comes to mind). But a Chicago Tribune report revealed that kissing the Stanley Cup may be safer than going to the office.
the early bird gets to kiss the Stanley Cup pic.twitter.com/3dKumv1uzl
— mackenzie (@mackenziefine) January 22, 2015
In 2010, the Tribune swabbed the cup and sent the sample out for microbial testing. The results: Just 400 counts of general bacteria were found, with no signs of staph, salmonella, or E. coli. In comparison, your average office desk has about 10,000 counts of bacteria, and your coffee maker could have E. coli.
If you're wondering how the cup stays cleaner than your desk, the answer is that people clean it. According to the curator of the cup, it gets a soft detergent wash once a day and is taken apart and professionally cleaned with silver polish twice a year.
So pucker up without fear, Chicago. Anyone who says otherwise may just be confusing germs with sour grapes.