Stupid  

   how falling on a flute
   while playing it
   can later make drinking milk difficult

 
    My mom and dad tell me I was kind of a hyper 3 year old. (Is there any other kind?) I’ll have to take their word for it. In fact, most of this story comes to me second-hand, because frankly, I don’t remember much of it except for a particularly unique sensation, which I will describe in a few moments.  

Did you ever have one of those cheap-o bamboo flutes that used to be kind of popular as party favors? No? Most of them were about a foot long and a half inch in diameter with three holes along the lower half. You’d cover those little holes with your fingers and theoretically you could make music.  

I’m 2 years old and figure that the faster I run up and down the length of our little ranch house, the more flute noise I will be able to distribute amongst the widest possible audience. Paying perhaps a touch too much attention to the music portion of this performance, I stumble over something, maybe even one of my 2 other sibs, and fall face forward onto the floor with the flute still in my mouth.  

I remember the pain -- the diffuse kind that stuns you like when you get hit hard on the nose, except this was on the inside. I must have bawled pretty well after that. There was some blood, but not a lot. Mom took me to the hospital where I proceeded to run up and down the hallway in panic or pain, I’m not sure which, waiting for the doctor to see me.  

Glory be, the doctor couldn’t seem to find anything wrong with me, so they sent us home. (I gotta believe that they gave me ritalin or some kind of kiddy tranquilizer given my fretfullness.)  

We get home and it’s getting late. Time for milk and a snack.  

I remember this part.  

I take a mouthful of milk and swallow. Instead of going down the old throat it *all* comes out my nose, choking and scaring the shit out of me. I don’t think Mom was really looking as this occurred or maybe she didn’t grok the situation fully, because she gives me another drink.  

Hoo boy! Coughing, sputtering, choking, milk everywhere and shooting out my nose, except nobody’s laughing.  The flute had punctured my soft palette (it’s on the roof of your mouth towards the back - yeah, stick your finger back there and touch it), creating a serious flaw in the pressurization required for swallowing. Highly inconvenient.  

Mother returned me to the hospital post haste inquiring if the doctors might be so kind as to explain why milk comes shooting out her son’s nose and what were they going to do right now to fix it.  

They put me under and stitched me up. I’m better now -- mostly. But I tell you, it’s hard for me to truly enjoy a rip-snorting joke told mid-swallow. I’m guessing that the doc that first triaged me deserves a little spot here on the stupid stage with me on this one. What do you think? 

more stupider:  how i almost burned Central Oregon's largest city to the ground.

 

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