I had dropped my bottle top.

So I was at a football match the other day. No, it didn’t seem very likely to me either. But it was a situation connected to my brother’s birthday. He had wanted season tickets to see AFC Wimbledon*. This is the new name of Wimbledon Football Club. Interestingly, and this is something that doesn’t really make sense to me but, apparently, some investors in Milton Keynes were able to buy Wimbledon’s team name, their players and most oddly their position in the league. But Pete wanted to see Wimbledon not a team in Milton Keynes.

“Well,” I said to Pete, “I happen to know the chairman, Kris Stewart, so I’ll see if I can come to some sort of arrangement.” The arrangement was that I paid full price, and I could bring round these West Wing tapes I owed him thank you very much.

Then, of course, I had to go to the first match with him. So off we tumbled. Pete, Pete’s girlfriend Debbie, and my good self.

We met up, when we got there, with Kris “the chairman” Stewart, and my good friends** Joe and Marian***.

So there was a football match. It was my first, and “we” won 6-0. Interestingly I correctly predicted the attendance of the match. I asked Joe what the average attendance was and he told me that it was “something like 3,000”. And I simply surmised that as there were 4 irregular people Marian, Debbie, Pete and Me the attendance must be 3,004. Which was exactly correct. But that wasn’t why I brought you to this scene.

I was happily standing about drinking my bottle of water when tragedy struck. I had dropped my bottle top.

I reached down and picked it up. This was, I can assure you not because I planned to replace it onto the bottle but more because I don’t like to litter.

Now I was faced with a dilemma I would have to drink all the water before I could return the bottle to my pocket. I can admit it now, I balked. Now usually I’m a person who likes to keep very hydrated. In a day I will usually consume about 8 pints of water. Along with about 2 pints of coffee and any beer or wine that happens to come my way of an evening. But by that point I had already had more than I would unusually get to in a day. And I couldn’t take any more.

Just then Debbie mentioned that she was thirsty. I pointed out that I had a bottle of water in my hand and would she, I wondered, be interested? She was. As I passed the bottle to her I explained the situation about the bottle top. She had an interesting question for me.

“How long was it on the ground?”
“Oh,” I replied, “not very long. I picked it up pretty quickly.”
“So,” she wondered, “was it on the ground less than 10 seconds?”
“Yeah why?”
“Well it’s the 10 second rule.”

With that she drank some water, placed the cap on, and put the bottle in her pocket.

In the interval (I’m pretty sure it’s not actually called this). I went to chat to Marian, the famous New York neurotic. I mentioned to her the whole incident, mainly just ot see her reaction.

She was disgusted by the idea of the bottle top on the floor but she also added, “but somebody else had been drinking out of the bottle first.”

It’s interesting to note something particular at this point. Debbie is a biochemist.

My particular flavour of thought on the matter was that sharing a bottle with a friend was okay, sharing it with the ground wasn’t. In the end though having an opinion that falls between the scientist and the neurotic sounds about balanced to me.

* A link to the AFC Wimbledon website can be found in the links section.

** This is certainly not to imply that Kris isn’t one of my good friend. He most certainly is a very good friend.

*** Although Marian called me a wiener. So is sailing close to being downgraded.

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