Thursday morning I was speaking with a client (wearing a headset) and got hit with one of those sneezes that comes out of nowhere, gets its start somewhere down around your toenails and launches itself from your being with the force of a typhoon, spray painting anything within shouting distance.
So I stifled it. Well.
Do these things go flying when you sneeze?
The result? A rather unique, exquisitely horriffic *pop* that emanated in my chest, followed by the sensation of a freight train traveling up my neck, riding my throat, stoked with coal and hauling ass. My client heard nothing. I ruptured a lung.
Remember how your parents told you not to stifle a sneeze? What do they know? They have kids so they can work like dogs the rest of their lives paying for us. They can't be that smart, right? Well, I've never seen any person blow themselves up holding in a sneeze, so at this point I must re-evaluate every IQ test I've taken.
What happened next? It was a real party. The air that escaped my lung had to go somewhere, so it made it's way toward the one place it would have room to stretch out - my head. And in a stroke of good/bad/odd luck, the train was derailed just shy of it's destination, bruising my vocal cords. That's right, I have a sneeze stuck in my neck. Ponder that one for a few seconds while I catch my breath.
Author: Yeah, well either way there's no fun in this. It's one of those things that is absolutely not better than a stick in the eye.
I survived work. When the sun went down things got interesting. In a hacking fit at midnight I painted the kitchen sink red. I was spooked. The resident canines, however, were very impressed. They encircled me at the sink, staring me down. The smell of blood drew them to me. Here I stood; alone in the kitchen, late at night - eerily bathed in light from the Christmas tree, surrounded by two hundred pounds of salivating dogs. I considered my chances, and Mrs. Author's voice broke the silence like a beacon of hope: "Are you ok in there?"
I was not, and I knew it. I required rescue from the pool of drool that was hastily rising at my feet.
FudgePants: "We were hoping you'd hack up a steak next."
Nigel: "Gross! Oh wait, did you say steak?"
Author: Thanks for nothing. Did I mention that Truffles is an obsessive, food-driven Lab? We drove to ER for the customary round of X-rays and morphine. I was able to view the air trapped in my neck. I longed for that stick in the eye. When asked what my symptoms were, I told the attending, "It hurts when I canoe." The next day they stuck a camera up my nose, down my throat in to my lungs. It was very sexy.
This is not porn: Vocal cord closeup.
Now my mission is to caution those around me. Our new neighbors (four hippies, much writing material) heard the story and approached me yesterday. They asked about my condition. I told them I'd never be able to weld under water again, but that I'd be fine otherwise. One of them looked at me with a very serious expression and quipped, "Dude, we're letting everything rip over here now."
That's where I'll leave this story for now. I feel better. I dare not proclaim full recovery for fear that I'll cough and send objects and substances flying from every orifice.
So keep your distance. And in the new year, when you feel a tickle coming on, remember that poor fool in the hills of Vermont; hunched over a sink, lung looking like it just came back from a Dick Cheney hunting trip, dogs gnawing at his legs.
Remember me, and let everything rip.
Sola: "That does it. I'm never holding in a fart again. Don't want to get it stuck in my neck."
FudgePants: "Can we revisit the steak issue?"