Last gristle

You can tell that humanity still has a long way to go when you consider that there is no word (as far as I know) for the phenomenon of always finding gristle only in the last bite of your hamburger or taco. Doesn’t this always happen to you? It’s very similar but in some ways the opposite of “new word syndrome” (where, after learning a new word, you suddenly see it everywhere, and wonder if it’s just now showing up in your life, or if you’ve been missing it all along). In this case, you have to wonder if the only gristle in the burger/taco was there in the last bite or if you’ve suddenly become more sensitive to gristle (which you must have just swallowed previously) because the meal is over. C’mon, you know it happens to you.

PatrickObservations/Words09/25/04 2 comments


Dad • 09/26/04 1:20 PM:

I generally avoid the problem by using a technique I call “wolfing down.” Another reason the gristle could be in the last bite is that you stop eating once you get it. (Similar to a lost item being in the last place you look.)

The problem could easily be subjected to scientific research. How about the times you order two hamburgers? Does the gristle show up on the last bite of the first burger (in which case it should also show up sooner in the second burger, based on the “sensitivity” argument) or the last bite of the second burger (in which case you have to ask how it knew you were having 2 that day). A further question is how many gristles do you have to put in a burger to be confident (say, 95%) that it will be discovered at all, let alone the last bite. This is similar to the raisin bran problem of how many raisins to add to the cereal to be assured that there is a raisin in every bite.

Bottom line: no, this doesn’t happen to me. If there is gristle in the burger, it should be found randomly. So clearly something else is going on. Maybe you’re eating faster at the beginning, when you’re hungrier, and you don’t chew as thoroughly, so the gristle gets swallowed before it identified.

Finally, this is also similar to finding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

Patrick • 09/27/04 1:31 PM:

No, I mean the last bite of the whole thing. No stopping after getting gristle in the middle of the burger/taco.

As for Weapons of Mass Destruction, the issue is similar, but not the same, since you can never be completely “done” checking, and you don’t overlook WMDs early in the search only to find one stash at the end.

I want to hear from others. Does this happen to you?

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