Author's Note: The following post in no way implies that men, in general, have a lower pain threshold than women. Furthermore, the grave medical condition described herein is not funny and really hurts and should be taken seriously. The author is not presenting this story for your amusement, only your edification.
The other night, while James and I watched the Project Runway premier on Auntie Pirtle's TiVo, my dutiful spouse took Ellie to Chuck E. Cheese as part of our potty training reward/motivation/abject bribery strategy. (Sucka! There are approximately 14,721 things I would rather do than visit Chuck E. Cheese on a Thursday night, and some of those things involve ditch digging.)
After a satisfying hour with the delightful Mr. Gunn, James and I arrive at the Dread Pirate Chuck E. Cheese to fetch B. and Ellie. After buckling Ellie into her seat, B. climbs into the car and starts clearing his throat, which sounds kind of hoarse and scratchy.
"I really don't feel good," he wheezes.
"Was everyone smoking in there?" I ask, expecting very little from our fellow Chuck E. Cheese patrons.
"No. Something happened." This sounds serious.
He continues, "Ellie was riding the Clifford ride over and over, and I was eating my salad bar, and she stood up and it sort of looked like she could fall off, so I got up and started to say something, trying to warn her, and I inhaled really sharply and choked. I inhaled a crouton into my lung." He says this with a very straight, very pained face. "It still hurts, right here," he says, pointing to his upper chest.
"A crouton. In your lung," I say. This is not a question.
"Yeah. It hurt really bad. Really bad. It feels like it's still there. Haaaarumppppf. Huuuuuummpf. Heeeeeeeerkkkk. Bllllllleeeeeeek." And so on.
"Soooooo...a crouton? In your lung?"
He shoots me a pained, incredulous look and continues the coughing, throat clearing, herking, etc. for the entire ride home. I try not to laugh (OK, I laughed) and refrain from further commentary. I should have mustered up some sympathy, but ever since that whole "Eighteen Months of Puking, Two Back Labors, and A Vaginal Tear in a Pear Tree" thing, my heart is a cold, cold place.
So, in apology to my beloved husband, the husband who, although in possession of a master's degree, really truly seemed to believe he had a dry cube of seasoned bread lodged in his lung, I offer this: I should have believed you, baby.
Maybe we can get a Lifetime movie deal out of this.
Edited to add: That's an artist's rendering of the incident. There are no conclusive Crouton Lung x-rays but, yes, IT HURT REAL BAD, OK?