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Thursday, 13 September 2007

Corn On and Off the Cob

By Paul Henry aka The Old Professor of Paulz Blog

This article is the ninth in a series of articles where an 84-year Old Professor attempts to find out what it’s all about after learning it isn’t as simple as putting your right foot in and putting your right foot out and then putting your right foot in and you shaking it all about. After which you do the Hokey Pokey and you turn yourself around. That's not what it's all about. Not even close in spite of what we’ve been taught all these years.

I was thinking about eating corn or, more specifically, corn on the cob. Why do many say we eat corn on the cob when even casually observing the process, it’s fairly obvious we are eating the corn off the cob?

Stimulated by this line of thought, I began to wonder about the various ways that corn on the cob is eaten. This seems to be an area that has been ignored by researchers. I seem to naturally start at the left end* of the ear of corn and nibble my way to the right end.

At that point I return to the left end and go across again much in the manner of the old-fashioned typewriters. I have no idea why starting at the left end seems so natural when it’s equally efficient to start at the right end. Perhaps it’s because it’s the way I read – left to right.

I’ll need to investigate how my Jewish friends eat corn on/off the cob. I understand that Hebrew writing is read from right to left and perhaps corn is eaten that way too.

But then when I observe my lifetime partner eat corn and she goes about it in much the same manner I do. However, she is Chinese and lived all of her formative years in China. Their writing goes up and down so my original theory probably will not hold water although eating corn that way would be a very efficient way to do it. If one started nibbling up (or down) and continued to spiral around until all the corn was eaten there would be no wasted time or effort in going back and forth to start all over again.

In controlled studies, my observations have proven that 50 percent of the lateral effort is non-productive.
I need to go someplace and lie down and rest now. This research stuff is very tiring.

* The expression, “start at the left end” assumes the nibbler is the one viewing the corn. If an observer were facing the nibbler, it would be the right end.

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 02:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


lol I love this! Corn on the cob is my favorite veggie and I remember as a child trying to eat it in various ways but always returned to the basic left to right because my mother said it was the the "right" way. I always wondered how she knew that.


Sorry, Paul, I am afraid that I will disprove your theory as to why you start at the left end of the cob. I read from left to right also, but start my row on the right side and work my way left. Maybe I'm just backward about a lot of things. I'll have to give that some thought.

I think you need to collect more data. I remember seeing someone start at one end and when the reached the end they ate their way back to the beginning.

For myself I have to cut the corn off the cob before I can eat it.

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