Monday, November 21, 2011

The Final Straw (almost)

I could have died. Possibly from blood loss. Most certainly from embarrassment. I am convinced that it will be a passing moment on a seemingly non-lethal day that will eventually "take me out."

It started and ended with a straw.

Those who know me understand that I am propelled by two things. Sunshine. Caffeine. Mix the two together and, not only am I good for the day, but I'll probably manage to engage in unintentional self-humiliation several times. It is my lot in life.

And on a sunny Saturday I was on a quest to satisfy my unquenchible thirst for a sparkly, ice cold, Vanilla Coke. I stood by the soda fountain with 44 ounces of goodness in my hand. I squeezed the plastic lid onto the styrofoam cup, grabbed a straw from the bin and banged the end of it on the counter to force it to poke its little tip out the other end. Whoever runs the machinery that wraps these straws in clear plastic must have a PhD in sadism. It clings tightly to the straw, refusing to relinquish it from its grasp. But a firmly, well placed "thump" on the counter will cause about a quarter of an inch to burst through to freedom. I had accomplished just that. I raised the free part of the straw to my mouth and grabbed it with my teeth, preparing to drag the wrapper off the other end. That's when my left hand turned on me. The one holding the cup. I moved to put it on the counter when a noise to my left distracted me. Turning my head to find its source was my undoing. The bottom of the straw jammed into the top of my left hand. Momentum took over. The straw rocketed through my not-yet-clinched teeth and embedded into the back of my throat.

And when I say embedded, I mean "EMBEDDED."

This was the kind of impact that takes you by surprise and makes your gag reflax go into overdrive. I grabbed the straw and pulled it out of my mouth, eyes tearing up, throat shocked by the savagery of the sneak attack. I looked at the offending plastic tubing. The end of it held a nice, neat, round piece of Ron meat. I actually saw a part of myself stuck inside a straw. How many people can say that?

It's been two days now. I'm trying not to swallow any more than absolutely necessary. Speaking at church yesterday was interesting. I avoided big words, prefering to use their single-syllible cousins. The bleeding stopped Saturday evening, which is good because the Red Cross is calling me about every other day wanting more of my platelets. I think I am down to ... three. They can have two of them. Just leave me one for old time sake.


jimmah said...

ron meat. too salty for my taste.