I know that I eat too fast. I can only assume that it comes from growing up and competing with ten brothers and sisters. We actually all ate at the dinner table together until I was in my mid teens. That's when I started eating in front of the television. By that time there were too many to fit in my Mom's small kitchen. Anyway, I learned early on that if I didn't grab that chicken leg first, there wouldn't be any left. My poor mom, she always ended up with the chicken back, neck, and innards. She just wasn't fast enough and would always say, with that slightly martyred voice, "That's okay, I'm fine". As I get older I am learning that eating fast will kill you. A couple of years ago I made myself a steak while home alone. I gobbled that meat down way too fast and choked on it. I slowly realized that I was going to die if I didn't dislodge it, but there was nobody home. None of my tenants were home, Mark wasn't home, there was nobody around to Heimlich me. So I ran out into the middle of the street, waving my arms while making quiet choking sounds. Nobody, there wasn't a soul on the street. By this time I was desperate so I ran back up to my house and started slamming myself against the concrete wall. I cheated death that day, but I still didn't learn my lesson and I continue to eat like a pig on steroids.
Yesterday morning I poured myself a bowl of Cheerios with bananas. When I eat cereal I get out the big spoon, the one that allows me to stuff as much as possible in my mouth. As soon as the spoon is empty, I dig back into the cereal with the big spoon and back up to my mouth. It's kind of like a circular assembly line. So that's how I was eating my breakfast yesterday. Everything was moving along like a well oiled machine but I needed a breather, so I inhaled. Unfortunately I still had some Cheerios sitting in my mouth. One lone Cheerio got sucked in along with the air. I could feel that little round bit go down my windpipe and get lodged at the entrance to my lungs. I immediately coughed/sneezed. The Cheerio then blasted back up my windpipe and into my sinus cavity. I could feel it sitting up there inside my head. I tried to suck it down, but it was up there good. So I got a tissue and blew my nose. Sure enough, that little Cheerio, by now quite soggy, came flying out of my nose. I really have to start eating more slowly, or maybe start making Cheerios-banana smoothies for breakfast with that five hundred dollar blender I got Mark a couple of years ago.