Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Rule

Lately I've heard a lot of talk about "the second rule". You know what I'm talking about, it's the rule that is applied to how long an item can stay on the ground before it becomes inedible.


Two weeks ago I was riding in the elevator with a co-worker when my afternoon treat (a small brownie I ferreted from the meeting I had just attended) plummeted to the ground from where it was precariously perched (the space between the keyboard and the screen on a partially closed laptop). I looked down and saw the 1x1 chocolate square by my feet, outlined in confectioner's sugar, like the chalk drawing of a dead man. I tried to play off my disappointment as I picked it up. My colleague (a VP) shrugged her shoulders and said, "twenty second rule".

As I exited the elevator I actually contemplated how many of the 20 allotted seconds my precious afternoon treat had been on the floor, probably no more than 3, I decided. The next thought I had was how much foot traffic that elevator had seen since it's last vacuum. I chucked the brownie into the waste basket as I passed by the receptionist's desk.

Last week while I was at bible study I noticed that one of the wives was there without her husband. About 10 minutes later, the husband, a long-haired, tattooed fellow with dingy clothing strolled in and sat beside her. Upon seeing him she smiled and reached under her seat, grabbing one of those Tupperware containers that is actually made for sandwiches (what ever happened to baggies?), a granola bar, and a juice. Then disaster struck. As she lifted the lid of the Tupperware container, it's contents fell to the floor. She let out a quiet squeal and quickly picked the sandwich up. The pastor jovially offered, "hey, 10 second rule". Then another guy in the study offered, "You get at least 2 minutes in church". The husband sat down and grabbed his sandwich with noticeably dirty hands and shared, "I can guarantee you that whatever was on that floor is no dirtier than what I've been handling all day", then he bit into his sandwich (and I secretly hoped that he was a mechanic and not a sewer man, or a daycare worker, or a gastroenterologist).

Last night, Amelle dropped a chocolate chip on the floor. Avery excited proclaimed, "three second rule!", to which Amelle confidently responded, "this was only on the floor for like two seconds, so it's okay". Then she carelessly popped the chip into her mouth.

So my question to you, what "second rule" do you live by? That is, how many seconds would it take for you to not eat something that had fallen on the floor?

Oh, and sorry the pictures don't match the post. It be like that sometimes. I took these back in October, our last night "of the season" at Fort Foster.


~Seth and Nancy~ said...

depends on what it is and where it was dropped. if it's something sticky i chuck it.
there was something on the food network about that recently. food detectives i think it's called.
thanks for your comment! hopefully people will have mercy on me...i'm kind of dreading payback time!

Lo said...

uhm. totally depends on WHERE i dropped it. if i drop it at home? totally live by the 5 second rule.

if it drops in, oh, my office? screw that, yo. i value my life.

MaineMom said...

Yes, it totally depends on where you dropped it, who is looking and how much you really wanted it in the first place.

Great pictures by the way!

Aaron said...

I've never heard any of those other variations. It's always been 5 seconds in our part of the world.

I'm not a big fan of germs and dirt....having kids has changed that a bit. At home it could be more like a 2 day rule if it's a good treat.

The Gawel's said...

I used to have the 3 second rule until I took microbiology, now we have the no second rule and it must be thrown away!!

K-Sea said...

It's more a question of the surface than the time. For example if you dropped an M&M on a piece of poop you wouldn't eat it even if it were there for .0000009 seconds. If you dropped that same M&M on a a fine piece of freshly cleansed linoleum you may eat the M&M even after a few days.

T5M said...

Good point. Except for the part about "fine linoleum" - is there such a thing?

...your example of dropping an m&m on poop reminds me of a good story. ...stay tuned...

K-Sea said...

of course there is "Fine Linoleum"..didn't you grow up on Marsh Ave? That Linoleum was fine for almost 20 years

T5M said...

There was also some "fine shag carpet" on Marsh Ave and if you dropped an M&M in there, it would be lost forever.

Grandma said...

The Marsh Ave home served you very well for many years. In the early seventies, anyone would have given their eye tooth to have a home like that.

I wish I would be around to hear your kids talk about how they grew up in the 2000-2020 era. Amelle would say the same thing about your fine shag rug in the living room!

MaineMom said...

That ain't a shag rug, Grams, that's a noodle rug!!