July 8, 2007

"Sometimes when I'd be cleaning out a theater and I'd be really hungry. I'd eat a few Mike and Ikes off the floor."

What rule do you follow when food falls on the floor? The 5 Second Rule? Does it depend on where the floor is, whether it's indoors or out, whether it's your floor or someone else's, whether it's carpeted? Does it depend on how good or how expensive or gooey (or Mike-and-Ike-like) the food is? How hungry you are? Or does it depend on who's watching?

And what do you think when you watch other people following their food-on-the-floor rules? Do you like them best when their rule is closest to yours, and if you dislike them when they deviate from your rule, do you dislike them more if their rule is laxer than yours or if it's more stringent? Do you admire someone with a higher (or a lower) standard?

If someone else's food falls on the floor, do you encourage them to eat it, maybe by yelling "5 Second Rule!"? If you're one of those people who say "Don't eat that, it fell on the floor," are you afraid they'll think you're squeamish about everything and no fun at all or do you feel good about the noble public health service you're performing?

25 comments:

Ron said...

First off, I'm not eatin' anything I drop in a theater! or a bar! If what I've dropped is dry, (like a potato chip) I might snag 'n' scarf, but wet? (potato salad!) ummm...no! If I haven't wrestled the dust bunnies off the kitchen floor in a tad, nope, no snackage! Sometimes other peoples floors appear safe...and there it depends on how much you love and trust your fellow man... so, usually, no!

Ron said...

Let's opine on which SCOTUS judges would or wouldn't!

Chip Ahoy said...

I thought it was three seconds.

*adjusts paradigm*

Ann Althouse said...

Supreme Court justice most likely to eat food that fell on the floor: Breyer.

Supreme Court justice least likely to eat food that fell on the floor: Ginsburg.

Ann Althouse said...

Let's opine on presidential candidates too. Let's stick to major candidates, because it's too easy to say Gravel. (Gravel is mentioned in the article!)

Most likely: Giuliani.

Least likely: Hillary Clinton.

Susan said...

The article mentions dogs. It helps to have one who will swoop in to grab anything edible that drops on the floor, saving you from these complicated decisions.

Ron said...

Fred Thompson would probably have a PA scarf it for him!

ahh, while Hillary wouldn't touch an onion ring on the floor, we know Bill would!

Gore would want carbon credits for something he "recovered" from the floor...and McCain would insist we eat it before the terrorists do!

P. Rich said...

So, Althouse, I see by your choices that you believe radical activist females are less likely to eat from the floor. Is there an underlying rationale for this, or are you projecting?

Joan said...

Germs grow on wet things, so definitely no eating off movie theater floors (too much spilled soda).

I have 3 kids. [Dry] Stuff gets dropped, picked up, brushed off and consumed in my house on a fairly regular basis.

Tim said...

Yes, depending. My house, generally dry, right away or not at all. Wet, never. Someone else's house, never. Public space, never.

Thompson, Giuliani, McCain, Obama, Richardson, Dodd, yes. Especially Dodd. Romney, Clinton, Edwards, no.

Supreme Court? Scalia, Thomas, Alito, yes. Breyer? Maybe. Roberts, Ginsberg, Stevens, Kennedy, Souter, no.

aquariid said...

Unforgettable Simpson's vignette:
Barney Gumble in the men's room at Moe's Tavern telling his buddies to wait a moment because he just dropped his toothpick.

Jeff said...

There has been research on the 5 second rule and it is apparently closer to at least 30 second rule. They tested wet and dry foods.

amba said...

It's good for the immune system. Ya gotta tell it, "You better work, bitch."

William R. Hamblen said...

It belongs to the cat. If the cat doesn't go for it, it belongs to the trash can.

Finn Kristiansen said...

Clearly the FDA does not give us nearly enough guidance on this important issue.

I would generally agree with the wet/dry analysis of the other commenters, but add in a cost factor as well.

For example, if I have just had chinese food delivered (minimum order for delivery $20) and am starving and have made a plate, but drop the plate filled with relatively wet/sticky items, I will make an immediate salvage attempt, recovering what I can.

Wet recovery can only be attempted at home, and without guests. Dry recovery can only be done at home as well. There should never be public recovery, unless you have a kid and the ice cream ball on their cone falls off and you can put it back on without anyone noticing (toddlers and little people have remarkable recovery skills for eating floor dropped food).

At a friends house, they may recover dry things-fig newtons and such-though chip recovery (given the number of chips in a bag) seems a bit piggy. But close friends only.

If a chip fell on the floor, Bush would throw more chips down, Obama would pick up the chip and put it in the bag, Hillary would either bag the chip or put it a safe corner of the floor where nobody could eat it, Giuliani would leave the chip and drop a chip in the two neighboring rooms as well, Edwards would leave the chip on the floor, then change his mind when under pressure by guests to get the chip out of the kitchen. Romney would just stand there, unwilling to be pigenholed into admitting his faith would affect handling the chip.

Internet Ronin said...

Gore would want carbon credits for something he "recovered" from the floor

LOL! Cute. Which reminds me, is anyone else slightly perturbed at the sight of wealthy people assuaging their consciences by purchasing "carbon credits" to continue doing what they want to do while the rest of us who can't afford that luxury are supposed to suck it up and sacrifice for a supposed greater good?

(I don't mean to single out Gore by name. This whole idea irks me and seems unegalitarian at best.)

Internet Ronin said...

Romney would have about 6 different positions, but only if anyone else saw what happened: one while whatever was falling to the floor, one when it hit the floor, one if the dog got it, yet another if one of the kids ate it, and one after polling results had come in.

Internet Ronin said...

It's good for the immune system. Ya gotta tell it, "You better work, bitch."

Good one, amba!

Gahrie said...

My standards have evolved over the years. I now leave dropped items for the cats.

However as a teenager things were quite different. On several occasions one of my friends would pry a random piece of gum off the surrounding environment, and begin chewing it. Not to be out done, the rest of us would then demand that it be shared, so the gum would be passed around for us all to get a chew, and then rate it for flavor, elasticity, etc. (it should be noted that some of the participants were female )

mcg said...

To eat or not to eat: seniors prove "five-second rule" more like 30

mythusmage said...

You can tell a toddler's birth order by how the mother reacts to food falling to the floor.

First Child: "No dear, that's filthy. Let mommy throw it away for you."

Second Child: "Here, let me clean it off for you and you can have it back."

Third Child: "You wanted it, you eat it."

David53 said...

What Susan said.

At my house it's not an issue. Nothing edible stays on the floor longer than 1.3 seconds before one of my dogs get it.

John Stodder said...

Rudy Guiliani would know exactly what to do if something fell on the floor. In the past six years, nothing has fallen on the floor, and only Rudy knows why.

mcg said...

When Fred Thompson is in the room, anything that falls towards the floor seeks advance permission Fred to actually reach the floor. Without said permission it simply hovers an inch or so above.

Gahrie said...

Well when Chuck Noriss is in the room, nobody drops anything on the floor, or he kicks their ass.