Thursday, August 17, 2006

Some words to the wise


The most important thing you need to remember when accidentally swallowing half your piece of barely-chewed gum is to maintain composure (a close second is to not cough while chewing on it in the first place – c’mon focus!). It’s not like you’re going to die from a piece of gum, even if it is stuck right in the curious area that is your Adam’s apple. In fact, look on the bright side: Even if it doesn’t go away when you swallow two, three, four, sixteen times, it’s still giving off that fresh Peppermint flavor, and you don’t even have to chew! That’s testament to the Orbit gum-makers that this stuff works amazingly well. And consistency! You ought to write a Thank You note to the flavor makers. Sure, it’s a little strange having that “Just Brushed Clean Feeling” in your throat as you’ve never ventured quite that far with your toothbrush, but you can’t deny the feeling. It certainly does feel clean. As clean as a throat can feel anyway.

And, yes, gum can be incredibly sticky, so dropping a quart or two of cold water down your throat isn’t going to ease it on down, ease it on down the throat. And following that up with milk chocolate covered soy nuts doesn’t hurry things along so much, either. You might think that it would, as you’re not prone to having things hang out in the throat for too long, but some of them inevitably get stuck in there. That’s just a big bother – well, a bother on top of a previous bother, really – and it just makes your previous problem a little bigger. Not like, say, problems in the Middle East or whatever, but this leads to a lot of throat clearing, or sounding like you’re trying to clear your throat, but we all know the truth, don’t we? It’s not going to be cleared anytime soon. We know this, but those all around you don’t and apparently they feel it’s rude when you clear so loudly. Sometimes doing it louder helps get it out faster, but they don’t know that. They ask about your needing more water or whatever without knowing you’re on your third quart and in need of a short jog to the bathroom or, adversely, a big diaper.

Oh, and don’t bother with the Ears-Nose-Throat doctor guy. He doesn’t really know what he’s talking about, anyway. As far as you’re concerned, he’s two steps below an intern, who’s trying to earn respect by wearing a white doctor jacket, as if that means anything. Like, say you had sea water and sand stuck in an ear for the past 10 or 12 days and you couldn’t get it out, so you went to him as a last ditch effort. The warm water flushing out said ear sounded real weird, but it wasn’t all that bad. It’s the cold, long-ass metal Q-Tip prongs he uses, the ones that go way beyond that point of no return, that area you were never meant to go past with the regular cotton swabs, the ones he uses like chopsticks going after a final piece of Kung Pao chicken. He doesn’t care so much that a) it’s not chicken, it’s your friggin eardrum and b) every “accidental” bump he makes on your inner ear sounds like he’s poked a hole in your brain (which you weren’t certain what it sounded like before, but now you SO know). And, yeah, even if he did jostle loose a tennis ball of wax that he says was there, along with a long curly-Q of a hair that likely wasn’t yours to begin with and a mess of sand, he never took into account your uncommonly small ears, stupidly using the big people ear tools instead of the ones made for people born with the midget sized ones. Okay, little people. One size fits all, nothing. It took a day or two for the swelling to go down, but it’s not like you couldn’t have done it yourself and he knows that. He does. If you went to him for this gum fiasco, his expertise would be ramming a couple fingers down your throat to make it all come back up in a mass of sticky goo, but you could that yourself, too. Yeah, no going back to the hack.

Anyway, the longer you wait, the longer the piece of gum appears to get anyway. The flavor may be fading – and you’ll want to make a note of that to let Orbit in on that sad fact later sometime – but, even if it never goes away, it’s like you’re going to have another uvula and who has two? This sets you part from the pack. This makes you better. This probably enriches your word power. And, sure, it’s true that gum sticks to the stomach lining for seven years or more before it is digested. Gum in the throat, however, it probably won’t last as long. Not that it can be digested that far up period, not unless you have a serious case of acid reflux. If you don’t, perhaps you can yearn for it to happen. Or eat polish sausages with sauerkraut. That may give things a kick in the flanks.

If you hadn’t gone after that crumpled doughnut like it was your last meal, perhaps you could try lunch. When you tackle a full meal, you swallow more, and it’s likely going to stick to the bread or orange if you aim your chewed-up food in the proper direction. But the doughnut has some serious lasting effects – while lunch looms as a good idea, the stomach shrinks from the task. But it’s just as well. In fact, you best leave things alone. All that throat clearing makes you sound like you’re doing battle against your emphysema with one of your iron lungs. Give it a rest. Wait for the peppermint to burn in your belly. These things tend to work themselves out, after all.

Then again, Triscuits. Try Triscuits. The scrape may just conquer the stick.

5 comments:

ewesa said...

recommendation: inverted coughing. (did you know some people have pocket flaps of skin in their throats and food can get stuck in there?)
(also, sorry for your pain, but the resulting writing is really good! in desperation you've stepped outside of yourself. I think it's my favorite)

bestsariah said...

So which option did you go with? I'm hoping it was the diaper...

Gum gone yet?

Dainon said...

It did the suicide leap several hours later, about six hours after the 8 or 9 Triscuits I gobbled down.

aisy said...

that's nasty. have you chewed gum since?

Dainon said...

Oh, yeah. I was gunshy for a bit, but you know what they say ...

If at first you don't succeed in chewing one piece ... chew, chew again.

That's awful, idn't it? It's late.