Friday, 5 April 2013

How Chocolate Choked Me - a Story from the Archives in my Head

I realize that lately I haven't posted anything funny, or indeed anything that was not strictly work related. So I think it's just about time were break this pattern. I'm not gonna bore you with details of my life during my absence: suffice it to say that I'm awaiting publishing news and it's mindfucking me. (I went 53 words without swearing - that's my new record during these troubled times).

So instead I decided to share with you guys a meaningless episode from my childhood which nearly left me dead. Oh, I can taste the funny already!

So. . .

This happened around the time I was eleven. Now you should know something about me as a kid: I was a glutton. I still have a ravenous sweet tooth but I like to think that over the years I have grown to control myself. People who have lived with me for any period of time may disagree but then again, this is my blog and my story, so I'll spin it however I damn well please. Anyone who disagrees is cordially invited to kiss my ass.

Anyway, back to the story. I have previously discovered the joy of putting a spoonful of white sugar in your mouth and letting the coarse crystals slowly brush against my tongue as they dissolved and became the progenitors of what I think will me the mother of all diabetic sucker punches. But I digress.
Having enjoyed the sugary taste, I sneaked downstairs into the kitchen once in order to shove white crystals in my mouth (sugar not meth). You should know that at that time I developed ninja skills to sneak past my mother or as I called her back then, the anti-sugar warden. Somehow under the guise of making coffee for the entire family, who was watching some crappy show upstairs. I thought I would reward my preteen taste buds with a spoonful of white crystal poison.
It was around this time that perhaps a week before, I had discovered the unique taste of hot chocolate and the elation it gave me every time it tickled my taste buds. So after I dunked a spoonful of sugar inside my mouth, I went ahead and prepared the beverages for my family.
Now here you can get a glimpse of how an idiot's mind works. I thought that if white sugar, in crystals tasted so good, so would the chocolate power, except it would be ten times the fun thanks to its chocolaty goodness.
So, enlightened as I was, I dunked my still-moist teaspoon inside the chocolate powder, scooped up a small powdery brown mound and promptly put it in my mouth, expecting to see cherubim and to have a slight orgasm as my sense of taste went in overdrive.

What happened next nearly took a turn to the macabre.

Now to this day I don't know what chocolate company it was, because I refused to consume anymore hot chocolate after this event, but they are lucky I didn't sue them, even though I'm an idiot.

I don't know how something so good could turn so deadly. Once the powdered chocolate hit my saliva, it morphed into a giant ball of death that lodged itself behind my throat and held fast. I could feel a small lump behind my trachea as if I had a Gremlin trying to escape or perhaps one of the hatchlings from the movie Alien. I suppose the fantasy geek that I am today would have thought it cool to have dragonite: but back then I was too busy trying not to choke to death. (I apologize if I lost half of you due to my erratic references: my reference range starts somewhere in 1972 and goes on until 2050).

So to summarize; I had snuck downstairs to have a spoonful of sugar, decided to upgrade to chocolate powder and then the chocolate evolved into a Stephen King short story. At this point, the stealth had been completely lost as I was bent over the sink drinking water straight from the tap, to try and dislodge the chocolate ball of death from my windpipe. I was making hacking noises that would have disgusted your cat.

During all of this, my parents were in the living room upstairs, enjoying a tv show from the late 70's which the entire world forgot about other than to Italian channels which my country latched onto like a bunny in heat.
My mother with her raptor like senses first sensed the disturbance in the Force, whilst my more mellow Dad couldn't care less about the world outside the cheesy kickboxing scene where the same guy wins Ike and time again against extras who were probably underpaid for their services.
"Ryan. Are you Ok?" I heard her ask.

It is here that I must pause and ponder on this fact. The mechanics of choking are easy enough to understand. I can't fucking breath! So how, in the name of all that is dumb, was I supposed to miraculously manage to inhale enough air and yell back a response, when my lungs were burning and my brain cells were dying.

So let me clear something up for everybody. When someone is panicking because they are dying, having you yell questions at them is not the ideal way to deal with that situation. I couldn't answer back.

So my mother yelled harder.

Here's what confuses me. Did she expect to scare the chocolate ball of doom away by using her mom voice? What could yelling at a suffocating person accomplish other than making their last moments alive a living hell because you had to scream instead of shutting the fuck up?!
What's more; as I stood bent over the sink trying to hack up the chocolate, my mother's voice became more urgent.
Causing me to panic even more.

Mind you, I'm not tryin to put down my mom or anything. All I'm saying is that even smart people can become dumb in some situation and it took my near death to get some blond moments out of my mother.
Again, thanks mom.

It was my dad who came to my rescue. Unlike my mom, dad keeps a cool head in dire situations: this is the guy you want around during an emergency. He quietly can down the stairs and, completely ignoring me, he heated the kettle up and waited.
By now I had become something of a tall smurf and I could just make out a giant scythe as a shadowy figure in a black tattered robe pointed and laughed at me. So yeah, the Grim Reaper is a jackass. Just in case you were wondering.
Methodically, my dad reached out for a glass and poured scalding water straight from the kettle into the glass. He promptly grasped my chin with one hand as he poured the boiling water down my throat.
Now before you start judging remember that this guy saved my life my melting the powder in my throat. Secondly, my dad is tough. As in old school tough. I mean not only did his guy build the old school, he went over the site and built it himself because he wouldn't hire any damn foreigners.
Needless to say, it hurt a lot. There were no permanent injuries except that my lips became twice the size of Angelina Jolie's and my tongue devolved into a thick red raw mass the size of Kim Kardashian's ass.
There was a lot of crying and whining with my dad giving me subliminal looks. After about an hour or two I was somewhat OK, albeit scared out of my wits.

As soon as they tucked me in and said goodnight I asked them whether I could stay home from school after such a traumatic event and having my face look like something out of a horrid reality show.
My parents did not even blink.
"You can breath and you can talk. That's all you need for school. Next time stay away from the hot chocolate."

So I guess I learnt two things that night. 1. If you are choking on something powdery, drinking water at volcanic levels of heat might just do the trick.
And 2. If you think that you can get out of school by choking on a ball of chocolate and then have the insides of your mouth scalded by the same boiling water that saved your life - think again. It doesn't work.

Take my word for it. I've tried.

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