Last week, I dropped my fork at lunch.
The reaction of my dining companions was a bit overblown. You'd think a new inmate had lost his grip on a bar of Irish Spring in the communal shower. That a wide receiver had contracted a severe case of butterfingers in the end zone during the final two seconds of Super Bowl double overtime. That Michael Jackson had dangled his baby, Blanket, over a hotel balcony. Even Mr. Principal offered to get me a new fork.
"Guys! It's okay. I'll get it." I scooted my fork out from under the table with my foot. Wiped it on my shirtfront, And commenced to eatin'. They looked at me like a cat watching its owner step into a shower. Like a vegan watching a competitive eater take on the Big Texan 72 oz. Steak Challenge. Like a toddler watching an adult voluntarily receive a flu shot.
Obviously, these people had never eaten a piece of garlic toast dropped on the top step of the basement stairs. Or a slice of sausage that flipped off the top of the microwave and onto the classroom tiles. Or fed their toddler the half of a chocolate chip granola bar that he squeezed until it fell onto the cat-infested-garage floor. It's floor food, people! Not detritus fished from a cesspool or bucket of pus. Floor food!
And by the way, there's no five-second rule. It will be good for a couple of hours if you don't have indoor pets. Were you all grown in Petri dishes and nurtured under antiseptic conditions? What if you have to travel to India? And dine at a market stall on delicacies that have been marinating in their own juices under the blazing sun and insect feet? Or get invited to Korea, and are offered kimchi? Or visit New York, and the only food you can afford is a hot dog from a sidewalk cart?