This past Friday while at The Inn, Ernie asked Cathryn if she’d eat a pretzel that had been dropped on the floor.

Cathryn didn’t give a solid answer. The five second rule was just not enough for her to make a decision on the Pretzel. This clearly disappointed all of us.

Today, however, Cathryn e-mailed the group informing us that she dropped some pineapple on the floor over the weekend and then proceeded to pick it up, rinse it, and eat it. She included with this story a full equation for how to calculate edibleness of a food item dropped on the floor using a Likert scale.

Here’s the scale:

Finally something better than the 5 second rule

Emotional value of food + cleanliness of floor + ability to be rinsed (without compromising its integrity) – # of seconds on floor

Values of 5 or lower would indicate that the food should not be consumed.
Values of 6 to 8 would indicate that the food could be consumed if desired.
Values of 9 and above would indicate that the food should be consumed.

Using Cathryn’s real life example of the pineapple from the weekend, here is her equation:

5 + 4 + 5 – 4 = 10 (the pineapple should have, and was, consumed)

This works pretty well. Though it doesn’t quite explain why Sander would happily eat a pile of Lemon Jello that was dropped into mud and sat for three weeks in the rain. Perhaps there needs to be a Sander amendment.

If Name = Sander Add 8 points to result.

12 thoughts on “Protocol

  • 4/16/2007 at 2:32 pm

    Aside from having to switch “agree” and “disagree” in the options above, I highly approve this chart.

    nice work.

  • 4/16/2007 at 3:27 pm

    Oh Mike, there is one major flaw in your Sander amendment. Let us assume that yellow jello gives an emotional attachement rating of 3. It’s not a home made slice of mom’s apple pie, but the jiggling is oh so cute. Then you have the muddy outdoors + rain, which is clearly a 1 for floor cleanliness. And you cannot rinse jello… another 1. Now we must calculate the number of seconds passing in 3 weeks time. Under the assumption it was outside for EXACTLY 3 weeks, down to the second, the jello rested in the mud for a total of 1,814,400 seconds. With your Sander ammendment, the overall score for the jello would be 3 + 1 + 1 – 1814400 +8 = -1,814,387, which is clearly a “you will die if you eat this” rating. With these numbers, it is my suggestion (if Sander really is gross enough to eat the muddy jello) that the Sander amendment be increased to about 2 million.

  • 4/16/2007 at 3:36 pm

    Ha Ha! of course!

    To make the amendment even more dynamic we could just add Sander’s weight to the equation. So in the case of soggy Jello, he’d be over the edge by at least 4 million.

  • 4/16/2007 at 4:22 pm

    I submit that you can indeed rinse jello because of its smooth surfaces…

    I think the chart should be amended to take note of items that can’t be rinsed but instead can have the dirty parts removed, like if you were to drop a banana for example: odds are that you can remove the offending bits of flesh even though it is not rinsable.

  • 4/16/2007 at 7:47 pm

    a banana is more rinsable than jello. Have you ever rinsed jello? It gets all funky. I know from experience. I guess you could rinse it if it was just from a mold and intact, but sitting in above freezing temperatures in the sun for 3 weeks… I doubt it will be smooth and rinsable.

  • 4/17/2007 at 6:29 am

    But then the Jello wouldn’t really be all that edible then will it? It will be reduced to its natural water and horse hoof extract. I think what we’re getting at is the Sander would Eat mud.

    Also MikeD, I think you are forgetting another important part to this quiz. I think you should add a “Dare” Option. Daring someone to eat something that has fallen on the floor forces the person to seriously consider the implications of refusing the dare. Also there should be a cash reward option for completion of the dare. While it doesn’t include eating something i would like to submit Exhibit A:

    MikeD – “Kurt….Stick your hand in that oil.”
    Kurt – “No way dude!”
    MikeD – “I dare you to stick your hand in the oil!”
    Kurt (pauses and thinks about it for 10 seconds) – “Dude its like 400 degrees!”
    MikeD – “i’ll give you a dollar!”
    Kurt (Thinks it over) – “A dollar you say?!”

    That really happened.

  • 4/18/2007 at 11:16 am

    Wow I never thought my equation would elicit such a reaction! I like the “dare” amendment- it also might make a difference if other people are around, with the whole “is this socially acceptable?” question.

  • 4/19/2007 at 8:28 am

    I witnessed this exact situation happen to Sander last night. And since he had not yet read this post or the comments made about him, it was truly a blind experiment in what exactly Sander would do with food dropped on the floor.

    He was scooping ice cream and, I’m sure it’s happened to everyone at some point, as he tried to pry the delicious frozen goodness out of the container, the spoon flung out and tossed a large glob of ice cream straight onto the floor. I giggled in anticipation of what he would do, half expecting him to gobble it down, but really really hoping he would toss it in the garbage.

    There was a moment’s hesitation on his part, and a look of sadness in his face as he held the now melting chunk of ice cream in his hand, before he lifted the trashcan lid and plopped it in with the rest of the waste.

    I asked why he threw it away, and he responded, “You didn’t see how much pet fur was all over it.”

    Could Kurt throw away ice cream?

  • 5/8/2007 at 11:40 am

    As I am late to this conversation, I’m assuming my input is moot, however, I would argue that any food YOU drop on the floor is okie dokie to eat (including Sander’s Ice Cream, pet hair can easily be picked off).

    Stipulations to this are: It is not in a “public” place, therefore, it must happen in your home, or the great outdoors (and for those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s the place that doesn’t have paved streets and concrete sidewalks within 1/2 mile of your location, which is amended from my own opinion of at least 5 miles). Dropping something in the great outdoors simply adds a little “jungle pepper” to your food item, and will not kill you. In fact, I would hold that there is nothing on the floor in your home or the great outdoors that would make the food inedible (unless you drop said food in a pile of poison ivy, or other hazardous area, in which case I would describe the food as unretrievable, not unedible, and what were you doing eating near poison ivy anyway?). Other condition is that you are allergic to something you dropped the food in, or you’re just a slob and have salmonella (sp?) all over you house, in which case, you have bigger problems.

    My two cents.

  • 5/8/2007 at 2:22 pm

    Well take it back! We’ve got enough change kicking around this site to sink the titanic.

    Nah…i’m just kidding. I love the Jungle Pepper rule. I like saying this little phrase while eating something while dropped in the woods, “God made dirt, and God don’t hurt!” Then quickly throw that Zagnut bar in my mouth!


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