The Five Second Rule Doesnt Always Apply

The Five Second Rule Doesnt Always Apply

A Story by T. L. O'Neal

Just because something is on the floor doesn't mean you should eat it. True story.



The Five Second Rule Doesn’t Always Apply

Written by: T. L. O’Neal


   The relationship between a father and daughter is always a special one, especially if she’s a daddy’s girl. Both of mine were and I hope they still are, but the youngest one always tried to please me from an early age. I’ve always liked southern food, so she always ate it too. It didn’t matter if it was smoked hog jowls, fatback, okra or grits, she would hold her own with me when it came to chowing down on it.


   I remember when she was a little thing, maybe three years old and we were at the grocery store. She was riding in the cart down the canned meat aisle and I said to her,


“Wow, look there, it’s canned pig brains, yummy. Wouldn’t you like some of those for supper?”


Well, I was just kidding of course, the thought of eating them was a bit much even for me. I did try them years ago growing up but that was the first and last time that I ever put them in my mouth. Anyways, when she heard that about the pig brains in a can, she just had to have them. I told her I was just kidding but she was throwing a royal fit about it.


“I want those pig brains Daddy.”


And then I said in a joking way. “You don’t really want those do you?”


“Yes I do, I really do.” She replied.


So I said, “Are you going to eat them? If you are, then I’ll cook them for you.”


   Which she said that she would and held on to that can like it was something special. She looked at that can with a sense of pride and just couldn’t wait to try it for supper. So as soon as we got home, I cooked them up just as I promised her for supper. I scrambled them with some eggs in the traditional Southern fashion while trying not to get sick on my stomach in the process. And I want you to know that she ate it every bit. This surprised me because they don’t look that appetizing; it looks like scrambled eggs all right but instead of the regular bright yellow color, it’s more the color of human flesh. But the color of it didn’t seem to bother her a bit in the least.


     So after that we would try different types of food just for the hell of it. My wife was daring too when it came to different cuisines. I’m not even going to go into the instant jellyfish that we tried but we did go to the Asian market quite a bit. Then there was this other time we got a roasted duck at the Chinese market; it was one of those with the head still on it. Everyone thought that it looked kind of neat with the head still on it and all, so we had them chop it up for us since we weren’t sure how to do it. We never had duck before so the guy took this big old cleaver and chopped it bone and all. Hell I could of done that; it wasn’t nothing like cutting up a chicken, it was more like chopped Barbeque, without all the bones of course. Anyway, they put the head in the box with it too; I guess that’s what they do with it over there… maybe, I’m not quite sure to tell you the truth. So when we got home to eat, I put the head in her plate because she wanted it. It sure was funny watching her try it eat it but she didn’t have much luck with it, especially with the bill. She did finally give up on it and just ate the meat but she thought the head was pretty cool looking just the same.


    Then there was this time I cooked a pizza when she was little and put anchovies on it. Now I liked them every now and then, so she wanted to try them too. She ate them like it was better than candy, so I started to have them every week since she liked them so much. This went on and on for a good six months or so and it turned out that she really hated them all that time, but had been eating them that whole six months because I liked them and she wanted to please me. It was sweet but kind of funny too when you think about it. I was buying them all that time because I thought that she really liked them and I was trying to please her. It was a like a culinary “Gift of the Magi” of sorts. Poor little thing ate those anchovies for all that time and hated every mouthful just to please me. It was a mighty sweet gesture on her part and a hard thing to do too I bet. Anchovies are one of those foods that you either hate or love; there’s no in-between when it comes to them.   


   One thing that I was sure of was that she loved eggnog, and I loved it too. No one else in the house really cared for it except us two. We just couldn’t wait for thanksgiving to get here, because that was when the grocery store always put out the eggnog the day after for sale. We would go through three gallons of the stuff by the time that New Year’s came around. She always liked cinnamon sprinkled on the top of hers, but I was a little more traditional and always went with the nutmeg. We sure did miss it the rest of the year.


   Later on my wife and I remodeled an old farmhouse from top to bottom, even redid the hardwood floors. We sanded those all the way back to the wood and stained and varnished them too before we moved in. It all looked good when it was time to move in and I was picky about it too. I wanted to keep them looking good and tried to take care of it. I told the kids that there was no drinking or eating anywhere but at the kitchen table. I was kind of tough with the rules but you need to be if you want to keep things in order and not tore up, especially after all that work we just put into it. Well, we came home from somewhere one evening, where it was escapes me at the moment but it’s not really important anyway. Anyhow, we came in and I noticed something on the hardwood floor outside the kitchen door. On the dark stain it looked like grape jelly and I wasn’t too pleased about it none either. I was sure that one of the kids had been eating out of the kitchen.


   So I said to the kids, “Which one of you has been eating out of the kitchen?”


Of course they all replied, “ We didn’t do it Daddy.”


   I don’t care what any kid does or doesn’t do, that’s always the reply. That answer is probably hardwired in every child’s brain at the exact second of birth. I think it comes in with that first breath of air that they take and it stays there till the last when they’re about eighty years old or so. Just human nature I guess.


   Anyways, as I was saying… they all denied it and without really thinking about it,


I said to the little one in a kidding manner, “Pudge, go taste that and see if it’s grape jelly.”


We always called her Pudge for some reason or other, I’m not really sure. It was something that her mama always had called her; it didn’t really make much sense being that she was a little, skinny thing.


    Anyhow, before I knew it, she was there and had her finger in it. I started to yell out to her not to do it and it seemed like everything slowed down into slow motion as it always does on TV. I started to run to her as fast as I could with my legs as heavy as lead hollering, “NOOOOOOO!”


   And it was at that instant that I saw in horror that little finger go into her mouth and with a smiling grin on her face say,


“It’s not jelly Daddy, it’s cat poop.”


   Now I couldn’t tell you how she knew it was cat poop because I was pretty sure that she never had tasted it before, or for that matter had any desire to do so. I suspect that it tasted the same as it smelled as so many things do, so it would be a safe bet that was how her young mind had figured it out. Whatever the case, I was horrified and while still running, things sped up again and I swooped her up under my arm without missing a beat. I then ran down the hallway to the bathroom as hard as I could go with her still tucked under my arm like a football.


   By this time she didn’t understand what the hell was going on and the smile was leaving her face. It was replaced with a look of confusion and one of disgust with the taste of poop still freshly in her mouth.


   Once we were in the bathroom, I made her wash out her mouth out several times and then wash it out again with hydrogen peroxide about three more times. If this wasn’t enough, I made her then brush her teeth five times too. She didn’t know what all the hoopla was about but I was having a duck fit about the whole situation. I knew by this time not to joke around like that anymore with her, and I never thought for one minute that she would of took me seriously like that. But she is a Daddy’s girl, so I had to watch what I said from there on out with her. Especially when it came to eating off the floor.


   This all made me wonder where the cat poop came from in the first place; yes I know it was obvious that it came from the cat and the only cat we had at the time was Rusty. But we had Rusty for about six months and up to now he had never done anything like that before. Except if you wanted to count going in the potted plants but I always chocked that up to the call of the wild and his desire to get back to nature.


    So being the good detective sort, I went investigating around to see what was up with the poor cat. Then I noticed that there was a small trail down the hall leading to the bathroom and to the litter box. He had one of those spaceship looking ones with the dome on it and he thought it looked pretty cool too, well at least I did. Anyway, I took a look in it and it looked like Jackson Pollack had been in there decorating and slinging pooh all over the place. I couldn’t blame the cat, he did try to get to his box in time but the clock ran out on him and he didn’t quite make it there in time. He must of gotten hold of a bad mouse or something that didn’t agree with his belly. Whatever the case, I’m sure he felt better after all of that.


   My daughter thought it was a funny story and told it probably a hundred times or more, and with all the sticking of her finger in her mouth, facial expressions and mannerisms to boot. She always liked telling stories; I guess she gets that from me. But when she started to school I told her maybe she should just keep that story to herself. It’s not something you would want to tell at school I wouldn’t think. I can laugh about it now but at the time it just about gave me a heart attack and poor old Rusty, it embarrassed him so bad that to this day he hasn’t ever mentioned it once. It just goes to show you that the five-second rule doesn’t apply to everything; there are some things that you just don’t eat or taste and are just best left alone. 


© 2010 T. L. O'Neal

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Featured Review

lol, this is a truly entertaining story. I LOVED IT! "I want those pig brains daddy" hilarious. the cat poop, though i know u must have been horrified at the time as i would be, but this had me rolling. I have a bit of a darker sense of humor. Just another chronicle in the colorful life of T.L. elating piece. Your girl is precious..

Posted 11 Years Ago

10 of 10 people found this review constructive.


Wow!! that was one heck of a story....Little children will drop something on the floor and eat it if you are not careful...that is too funny!!! thanks for sharing that secret...

Posted 8 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

You must be a great writer, you almost made me sick !
Entertaining as can be. The little girl , Pudge, is just her
daddy`s dream and I could not agree more.
Wait until her fiancee finds out about the cat poop !
yuck !
As usuual you have woven a tale of "down home' perfection.
I love it !
----- Eagle Cruagh

Posted 11 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

T, I almost puked several times just reading this story. I mean, pig brains?! For real?! Wow. Anyway. The fact that I felt nauseous proves to me that every literal laugh out loud was well earned. This was a spectacular write. Awesome story, my friend. Sorry about the wait in reading this. I can't wait to read more of what you've been posting lately.

Posted 11 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

OOOOOOOH my god...

and I thought my kid was bad with each dirt covered ice pellets off of the ground outside after an ice storm..
Good lord.... Poor thing...

As flattering as it must be to have somebody dote on you like that --- Gross.. LOL

Posted 11 Years Ago

2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

haha...i like this one as well...
"poor old Rusty, it embarrassed him so bad that to this day he hasn't mentioned it once"
this line is funny...
pig brains are nice in soup (according to my mom),
duck head is nice as there is where the eyes and brain are located,
and one of my fav is instant jelly fish...the ones that comes in a package
but then again i am chinese and we eat everything under the sun
thank you for giving us a glimpse in your life and bring laughter to our life with this story...

Posted 11 Years Ago

2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

"It was a culinary "Gift of the Magi" of sorts." Brilliant line!

"poor old Rusty, it embarrassed him so bad that to this day he hasn't mentioned it once" LMAO

How I love your style of writing! Very entertaining and written well. Poor Pudge! I cannot imagine eating pig brains, however. There is no love like love of a child!

Excellent job!

Posted 11 Years Ago

2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

Ha! I remember one of my daughter who used to eat money... each time the doctor said to wait for nature to take it's course. He said that if she ever started eating notes I should make sure she hadn't a savings account opened up I didn't know about. My second eldest daughter would always eat worms... ugh. Your writing, as always, has a beautiful tone to it and the enthusiasm in your writing is always inspirational. Lovely stuff.

Posted 11 Years Ago

2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

Very well today and a very moving piece... loved the humor in this ... great job on this.

Posted 11 Years Ago

2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

This is another funny and very well written memoir you've brought us. I feel like I'm cheating you a bit by reading your stories without paying for them--they are that good. If we bundle this tale as a chapter in your ever-inceasing memoirs, I find that the cat poop build up is perfectly hatched. Your form and follow through are impeccable. These stories are a preference to many of us and I hope to read tons more. Man, you have talent up the yin-yang!

Posted 11 Years Ago

3 of 3 people found this review constructive.

Great story, especially the anchovies. I can't remember my daughter ever being so bold.

Posted 11 Years Ago

3 of 3 people found this review constructive.

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40 Reviews
Shelved in 1 Library
Added on February 19, 2008
Last Updated on October 24, 2010


T. L. O'Neal
T. L. O'Neal

In the sticks, NC

I started writing as a way to work out my feelings and found that I enjoyed it very much. I enjoy humor and feel that you can find it in most things, even though it may be hard to find at the moment. .. more..


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