The Five-Second What???

I guess I must have led a very sheltered existence.  Why do I say that? Because I’d never heard the phrase “five-second rule” until my husband Mark used it as an excuse to eat some treat he’d just dropped on the floor.  (And yes, we’re still married.)

I naively assumed that Mark was the only person crazy enough to think germs politely wait five seconds before they attach themselves to goodies. But apparently lots of people (mostly men, I’m assuming) believe that if you drop food on the floor and pick it up really, really fast, it’s safe to eat. 

In fact, the belief’s so widespread that some scientists (who apparently didn’t have anything better to do with their time) actually studied the issue. And yes, they concluded that the rule isn’t valid. (Did you really need me — or the scientists — to tell you that?)

This leads to my latest limerick, in which I use the word date instead of husband to protect the guilty … and because husband has too many damned syllables:  

The Five-Second What???
By Madeleine Begun Kane

My date dropped dessert on the dirt.
“Please don’t eat it,” I managed to blurt,
As he started to chew
On his now blackened goo,
Saying “5-second rule — it won’t hurt.”


(You can find more of my marriage humor here and more of my food humor here.)

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One Response to “The Five-Second What???”

  1. What a funny post! As a microbiologist I won’t eat something if it fell on the table, let alone the floor! I saw a Myth Busters (on Discovery Channel or TLC) that proved the five second rule to have just as much bacteria prior to five seconds as food after 5 seconds…

    Then again as my grandfather would say, “There are children in this world starving…”