A few curious thoughts by Rich Paschall, Sunday Night Blog
Admit it! You have probably invoked the five second rule many times in your life. Maybe you tend to do it when no one else is around, but you do it nonetheless. No matter what some in society may say, you can not help yourself. You may think it just a little bit evil, but you do it anyway. You may even do it openly, not caring what others may think. Don’t worry. They do it too.
In case you are one of the few who have not heard about it and have not followed the widely disputed practice, the “Five Second Rule” is the belief that if you drop some food on the floor, it is alright to eat if you pick it up right away, say in five seconds. While common sense may speak against such a practice, some science seems to be coming down in favor of what once was folklore or an “old wives’ tale.” A recent study seems to suggest that a few seconds on the floor does not matter much. Your wet gummy bears are not likely to pick up much in the way of bacteria if you pick them up right away.
Unbelievably, dropping food on your carpet seems to pick up less bacteria than dropping it on your tile or linoleum floor. Of course, if you own a dog or a cat, the food item may pick up some animal hair or dander you might not want to pop in your mouth.
No matter how clean Fido looks to you, all that rolling around on the floor is not good for your dropped food. Also, you have to consider that Fido might beat you to the item, in which case your dog has the treat you lost and let’s face it. Your dog never seems to get sick after eating food off the floor.
While I would not care to eat off my floors, considering what I know, I may be less reluctant elsewhere. You may have heard that Aunt Matilda’s house was so clean you could eat off the floors. That may literally be true, although I do not think I would try that on a dare. She might slap me. Still, it is good to know that your odds of puking later are greatly diminished according to modern-day science, if your food is not down there too long.
Who funds this type of study, you may wonder? Who cares? This particular science is extremely important when you consider the amount of people who drop food on the floor, then pop it in their mouths. Isn’t it time we got the answer to the age-old question, “Does the five second rule really exist?” Now we know (perhaps). There are, of course, studies that say the exact opposite (see link below). We will ignore them for now.
Life itself also has a rule like the Five Second Rule. It goes like this. The longer you are down, the more likely you are to pick up dirt. When you fall down, get knocked down, get tripped up or whatever it is that causes you to land on your butt or your face, it is best if you get right back up and get going. The world just does not look as good when you have fallen to the floor.
No scientific study is needed here. Hopefully common sense will tell you. The quicker you get up and clean yourself off the better it is for you. If it has been a particularly bad day, it can be hard to convince yourself to get off the ground. You may wish to wallow in whatever is down there. Just like the food in the study, more is likely to jump on you if you stay put. It is the nature of life.
There is one more thing to consider while we are invoking scientific studies. It is a known fact that if you fall and stay down, you will look like a dropped treat to people-eating Cyclops. In that case one of them is likely to scoop you up and pop you in his mouth. Another thing to know from the most recent study is that Cyclops have a much longer time, a 5 day rule perhaps. In that case, wallowing in the muck with one of Fido’s playmates is likely to do you in. Being chomped on by Cyclops is far worse than eating candy off the floor. You have been warned.
“Does the five second rule really work?” howstuffworks.com/science