Hannah memorized “Strictly Germ-Proof” years ago as a little girl, just old enough to pronounce the words. A satirical poem by American writer Arthur Guiterman, it first appeared in The Woman’s Home Companion in 1906. As Guiterman explained, the verses poked fun at the era’s fervor for sanitation, when people “boiled everything but the baby”.
Though Ajax is no germophobe, we still get a rabbit’s kick out of this poem every time.
The Antiseptic Baby and the Prophylactic Pup
Were playing in the garden when the Bunny gamboled up;
They looked upon the Creature with a loathing undisguised; —
It wasn’t Disinfected and it wasn’t Sterilized.
They said it was a Microbe and a Hotbed of Disease;
They steamed it in a vapor of a thousand-odd degrees;
They froze it in a freezer that was cold as Banished Hope
And washed it in permanganate with carbolated soap.
In sulphurated hydrogen they steeped its wiggly ears;
They trimmed its frisky whiskers with a pair of hard-boiled shears;
They donned their rubber mittens and they took it by the hand
And ‘lected it a member of the Fumigated Band.
There’s not a Micrococcus in the garden where they play;
They bathe in pure iodoform a dozen times a day;
And each imbibes his rations from a Hygienic Cup —
The Bunny and the Baby and the Prophylactic Pup.
~Arthur Guiterman (1871-1943)