Debate 2008

One of the features of our new apartment is a working garbage disposal. It's been a few years since we've had one, and Mr. Fob and I are suddenly discovering a new source of marital conflict. According to Mr. Fob, movies and television have taught him that you should never stick your hand in the garbage disposal, even if it is turned off. I prefer to rely on common sense and the fact that the off switch means "off" and stick my hand in to make sure no utensils are hiding before turning it on. Mr. Fob thinks I'm crazy. What do you think? Do you stick your hand in the garbage disposal or do you like to grind up your spoons and forks?

Comments

After watching a How it is Made on garbage disposals, I'd have no hesitancy about putting my hand in one to retrieve spoons and such. There's no blade or anything sharp.

I'd just make sure no one turns it on while you have a hand in there because all disposals are made to be able to grind even chicken bones down.
TJ said…
i only put my hand down when it is gloved and i think there might be something down there. and never ever when it is on. it is safe to put your hand down there when it is off. unless someone turns it on i guess. so, tell him millions of women do it everyday and none of us have lost a finger yet.:)
kadusey said…
I stick my hand down there all the time. My husband does not. He is why almost all of my measuring spoons are severely scratched now. So we made a new rule: small things only go in the other side of the sink.
AzĂșcar said…
I take a peek and turn it on, leaving my hand on the switch to make sure I can turn it off in a hurry to rescue any errant cutlery.

And every time I stick my hand in I freak out a little, they scare the crap out of me.
Anonymous Person Who Is Definitely Not Your Husband said…
I think you're crazy to stick your hand in there needlessly. Did you read what Celia said? Chicken bones!

If I were you or your husband--which I'm not--I would just leave the strainer on the drain so nothing goes down there in the first place.

I think your husband sounds like an intelligent and very sexy man.
Emma said…
I usually check before I run the disposal, but it kinda freaks me out, and I double check to make sure no one else is around that might accidentally turn it on, and I do it really fast.
I have the same irrational fear when all the lights are off and I have to go down a long hallway - I run. That probably stems from our long hallway growing up and the numerous times we would hide and jump out and scare each other.
Courtney said…
i never check, mostly because I don't want to touch the gross food in the disposal. (I think soggy, wet food is disgusting.) But I am quick to turn it off if something sounds like a non-food item. I do have a couple scratched measuring spoons, but nothing worse than that.
bawb said…
I only put my hand in after I hear something sounding horrible.
Kristeee said…
Haha. The blogging world should be able to solve the debate! :)

I have a sink mat in the sink to protect the spoons and other small items from falling into the disposal. (In fact, that was the debate at our house - BlueEyes thinks the mat is unnecessary and gross because he never rinses it off after doing the dishes...) If I take it out for whatever reason, though, I do stick my hand down to check
Lindsay said…
We don't currently have a garbage disposal, but during the years when I did, I never hesitated to put my hand down there while it was off to check for stuff. I've ruined too many small measuring cups and spoons to not take that precaution. :)
TK said…
I think you're right - intellectually. But, honestly, I share Mr. Fob's paranoia.

Even more honestly, though, I think my aversion to it is probably enhanced by (if not totally caused by) my fear of putting my hand into a space I can't see - i.e.: whatever 'vegetable' or 'animal' might be lurking in there, though I'm okay with 'mineral' - as long as it doesn't have moving blades.
skyeJ said…
I remember a character in a Stephen King novel ("Firestarter" maybe) who dressed up in women's underwear and then stuck his hand down his running garbage disposal to commit suicide. Since I always wear women's underwear, I am scared of putting my hands in the garbage disposal. I'm afraid it will turn on magically by itself and mangle me. I can do it, but it scares me. It also scares me to turn one on in the first place.
Julie said…
I only stick my hand in after I've turned it on and realized there is a spoon or fork in it, then I turn off the disposal and retrieve it.
Roni said…
I only do it if there is a jam of some kind cuz I don't like touching the icky food down there. I have never even thought of it being a safety hazard when it is off. I convinced Ben to stick his hand down there for the first time ever a week ago.
ambrosia ananas said…
Ditto Bawb. I'll stick my hand in, but only if I know something is in there. And it scares me every time.

So when I say I stick my hand in, what I mean is I tentatively poke my finger in, find nothing, and ignore the problem until the disposal stops working. Then I make Bawb stick his hand in and fix it.
Kengo Biddles said…
I'll reach in and gently finger spoons &c out, but I'm not about to put my whole hand in...I'm skittish that the Off switch is somehow lying to me.
Mr. Fob is totally nuts. You can tell him I said so. I put my hand in there all the time. If it is off, it is off.
Snarky MorMom said…
Freshman Home Ec. class I put a nasty banana muffin down the disposal after having it graded. (Though I got an "A" it didn't look edible and I knew the lack of care that had gone into making it.)

Unfortunately, the disposal was broken and my teacher wanted me to put my hand down the disposal to get the muffin. I refused because my Dad had thoroughly given me the "Don't ever put your hand down the disposal" talk. She got pretty mad, but I stood my ground. Then she wrote a note and sent me to the principal.

The principal looked at the note, and said: "Did she really think it was a good idea for you to stick your hand down the disposal?"

That was a very satisfying authority figure response for a 15-year-old girl.

But apparently I'm a flip flopper... As a mom and an old lady, I stick my hand down the disposal all the time to retrieve things and to clean and disinfect that area of grossness. Also, if my Freshman daughter stuck something down their I would expect her to get it.

The end.
Katya said…
I stick my hand in the garbage disposal, but I'm all trepidatious about it.
Th. said…
.

I won't do it, but Celia's right---it's not dangerous, not even if it's on. (disclaimer implied; you can't sue me)
Th. said…
.

I wasn't going to mention it, but since it's now on the Slate homepage, there's also this.
Kailey said…
Ha! We have the same issue in our new place. Though I do have bloody gory images of mangled fingers in my head when I do it... I ALWAYS stick my hand in first!

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