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Host Garrison Keillor answers your questions about life, love, writing, authors, and of course, A Prairie Home Companion.

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Dear Garrison, I am a

July 13, 2005 |

Dear Garrison,
I am a biomedical scientist who writes my grants and papers in the middle of the night while listening to old PHCs which somehow get me in the proper frame of mind. In the monologue from Atlanta you mentioned the 5-second rule. As a physician I cannot endorse it. As a parent, I live by it.

Harvey Kornblum
Los Angeles

Dr. Kornblum, the idea that food dropped on the ground can be eaten if picked up within five seconds may be faith-based and not scientific but it is important for human parents to draw the line that divides our children from, say, turkey vultures and jackals. The five-second rule has prevented many many children from feasting on the remains of old raccoons, even if they've observed their old dog Buster doing so. I think that the five-second rule would be a good topic for a biomedical paper and I wouldn't be surprised if a big ice cream company would give you money to study it. Oftentimes it's a scoop of ice cream that falls on the ground that raises the five-second rule. And if your research vindicates the rule, you would be page-one news, sir. They might even name it for you: the Kornblum Principle. This could be your ticket to fame and fortune.

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