OK, OK, I have provided an update/answer to the riddle in the last post. Such an addendum is unnecessary for my first two commenters, who found the riddle beneath them. I hope they find this one slightly more challenging. At any rate, it’s more difficult than 2 + 0 = 2, which was the solution to the verdict riddle.

Let’s begin. It’s not uncommon when you excuse yourself to the bathroom in a restaurant to find a sign posted somewhere near the sink and soap dispenser that reads:

Employees Must Wash Hands Before Returning To Work

If I ever open a greasy spoon there’s no way that sign will be in the restroom. Why? Because that sign does two things, at least to me.

  1. It does not convince me that someone who doesn’t automatically, subconsciously, always wash their hands will do so when reminded. If you’re not a hand washer for your own sake, you don’t change a lifetime of behavior because the boss hung a sign in the loo.
  2. It does remind me, as I walk back to my table, that there are people who don’t wash their hands after they use the john. And statistically speaking, it’s possible that one of them prepared my food. (Ewwwwww. Not the thought you should be putting in your diner’s heads.)

For puzzle purposes, it’s not important whether that sign has the same effect on you, only that it does on me, and quite possibly, on many others. To solve the puzzle, correctly answer this question:

What important lesson about jury selection does the “must wash hands” effect illustrate? (For full credit, please be very specific. Fully fleshed out examples will be awarded extra credit.)

Hint: “correct” answers are likely more than one sentence. Maybe more than one paragraph. Also, there may be more than one “correct” answer; at the very least, there are variations on a theme. This might end up being a test of how long my blog allows comments to become…