Yep. It was stuck.
Slowly, I inhaled.
I coughed. Nothing.
I coughed again. Nothing.
OK, this was becoming something of a "situation." Gently, very gently, I swallowed. The bone moved. It moved into a more painful and alarming position.
"Well, this sucks."
The thought came to me that I had just completed the American Red Cross CPR class in November. For just a moment I thought, "Excellent, I've been trained in this sort of thing." Then it occurred to me that my colleagues standing over my blue-skinned body may not have been.
I inhaled once more. My breathing passage was clear, but the bone was certainly making its presence felt.
My mind sprang into action running through a checklist of vital points:
- Was I wearing clean underwear? Check. (Thanks, Mom.)
- Was there anything incrimating or personal on my computer? I quickly closed YouTube and launched an official looking spreadsheet.
- Was there anyone around that I respected and whom I didn't want to see me flopping on the floor in paroxysmally? No, the coast was clear.
It was also clear that, one, the bone wasn't necessarily impeding breathing functions (yet) and, two, I wasn't going to be able to cough it back up. I had to do something and I had to act fast.
Since I couldn't swallow the bone, I swallowed my panic. Then, I reach out, pushed aside the coke, and grabbed a big forkfull of mashed potatoes. I gulped them down.
The mashed potatoes intercepted the bone like a wet blanket thrown over a cat. They enveloped it, subdued it, and pushed it down. It worked. I was saved.
I've torn up my Red Cross card. Instead, I am now a card carrying member of the Idaho Potato Farmers Union.