The Feral Five Second Rule

photo (4)

Would you eat it?

If you spend anytime whatsoever with the under 4 foot crowd you will be familiar with the essential code of conduct known as “The Five Second Rule”. The Five Second Rule originated in ancient Egypt…nah, I’m making that shit up. Basically it is a mother’s conditional tolerance of allowing her children to eat garbage off the floor as long as it is accomplished in a timely manner. The guidelines are thus:

1) If a food item is dropped on the floor you have 5 seconds in  which it is acceptable to procure the said food item from the floor and still have it be deemed edible.

2) Upon dropping the food item, immediately begin counting (loudly, in case nearby witnesses were not aware you were about in eat something off the floor).

3) Pounce upon the food item with feline precision.

4) Proudly hold the item aloft in victory if it was rescued within the allotted 5 second time limit.

5) Blow on it for good measure. This will immediately nullify any harmful pathogens.

6) Ingest the sweet score of victory.

There are some instances wherein the 5 second rule does not apply. This is dicey territory so I have compiled a handy “go-to” list to help you in those situations:

Acceptable Scenario

Dispose of Biohazard

Dry cracker off of a clean dry floor Cheese string off floor of change room at the pool
Popcorn off hardwood floor Pepperoni stick in public washroom that rolled towards the drain
Oreo cookie off carpeted floor Oreo cookie off frat house or stable floor
Fruit with non-biological-origin debris Fruit with errant human toenail clipping
Any food item with minor lint Any food item with a short and curly

*Do not speculate on the origin or owner of the short and curly especially if you are in a public or strange location. Dispose of the item and move on. Also, seek therapy at your earliest convenience.

For situations that are not covered in this handy chart please refer to the following equation:

(Manure saturation of location) = Probability of Zoonotic Foodborne Illness
(Moisture level of food) x 0.89

This can be summed up with the simple adage: If there is shit on it, don’t put it in your mouth.

To ease your suspense I will indulge you: yes, I did eat that strawberry on the floor.


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