Shortly after I graduated from University, I spent a couple of seasons working as a naturalist / interpreter at the Devonian Botanic Garden, where I took school children on nature hikes for the day. And while each of us interpreters had our own way of celebrating for having survived all the young'uns we were responsible for, one of the most sought-after treats was a well-deserved ice cream cone from the facility concession each Friday afternoon.
Yes, food really is love. Ahem.
One particular Friday especially stands out in my memory: There we were. Sweating. Exhausted. Relieved the week was over. A hush came over all interpreters as we
gorged ourselves delicately ate our treats in the hot sun, savouring every morsel.
But one interpreter, who was late returning with her group and therefore late in joining us in the ice cream fest, hurriedly attempted to catch up with the rest of us by aggressively attacking her cone. One big lick and -- *PLOP* -- her ice cream toppled over and plummeted to the ground.
Naturally, we all panicked.
"Ten second rule! It's still good! IT'S STILL GOOD!!"
"If you won't eat it, then I will!"
"For the love of God -- PICK IT UP!!!"
So of course she picked it up -- what else could she do at that point? -- shoved it back on the cone, and licked the melted remnants off her hand... in addition to everything else that came back to the cone with the fallen ice cream. And, yeah, even with gravel and now-frozen bugs in it, she still declared it to be the best ice cream she'd ever had, haha. You understand.
Everyone has a story like this... and everyone naturally tries to OUT DO a story like this.
My husband, for example, often scoffs at the Ten Second Rule.
"Ten seconds? Ha. In the army we had the Three Day Rule. It was, like, ' Dude, I remember seeing the guy who DROPPED that! ' "
But for those of you who prefer your food to be fresh and not full of gravel or radio-active soil, then check out StillTasty.com, which offers guidelines on whether or not you should still consume the four-day-old salad that was left festering in your fridge.
So good luck and happy eating!
* Special thanks to Divulge With Dani, who passed along this gem of a website!