The thing about humanity is this: we tend to learn from the mistakes of those who have gone before us, and we alter our behavior accordingly. To that end, I offer the following cautionary tale, regarding the dangers of the seemingly innocuous carrot. Learn from my example, and live a long and healthy life.
If you happen to order vegetables from Bountiful Baskets, and if you happen to purchase the 25-pound bag of carrots, pay special attention. If you are like most people, and you buy regular carrots from the grocery, you can still learn, so don’t stop reading yet.
If you begin to eat a carrot, and one of your children tells you a joke, DO NOT LAUGH.
This is imperative, and the first rule of surviving the dangers of carrots. If you never laugh, you can still learn a thing or two, so please, continue reading.
If you do begin to laugh, and you inhale a huge chunk of carrot into your windpipe, it could be dangerous. You might end up at the hospital on the last Saturday of spring break, and find that the surgeon who could remove the carrot from your windpipe is still at Disney World.
If the surgeon is not available, you might find yourself on a Life Flight to Utah, to have a carrot removed from your windpipe. I know, it sounds ridiculous, but apparently, if you ask to go home, or you drive yourself to Utah, and you need to be intubated, you could potentially not make it to the hospital in a timely manner. Apparently, they can intubate a person choking on a carrot, if the need arises, on Life Flight.
When you finally make it to a large hospital, the admitting doctor might tell you to try to choke it up, which you could have been trying to do for the preceding three hours. You might sarcastically say that you hadn’t yet thought to choke it up, and thank him for the great, albeit expensive advice.
You then ask to be hung from the ceiling and beaten, which reasonably sounds like a way to dislodge a stuck piece of food from the windpipe, especially if you have been choking and pounding on your own chest for several hours. If you suggest that, the doctor might laugh. You can also ask to be punched hard in the stomach, but you probably won’t find a hospital volunteer willing to perform the procedure. At least, I didn’t. You could ask your worried spouse to pound on your back, while you hang down over the bed, but be warned that it could cause the carrot to move deeper, which is extremely painful.
Eventually, a bronchial specialist could explain that the carrot is wedged in your lungs, and needs to be removed endoscopically, or you risk infection, pneumonia or death.
So, you choose to have a bronchiotomy, during which you are fitted with a dental guard, which strangely resembles something worn by Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs. And although you have been cracking jokes and choking for nearly four hours, it is virtually impossible to speak past the dental guard, and it might feel like a medical conspiracy intended to silence you. It is just a safety precaution to prevent you from biting down on the expensive medical equipment.
And then, the nurse might prep you with some noxious gas that renders you quite sleepy, and unable to keep up the witty repartee of the last hours, but still cognizant of the doctors talking in the room, as they send a scope into your lungs, in search of the erstwhile carrot.
And suddenly, you will awaken, and they will show you a large chunk of carrot pulled from your right brachial tube. And they will explain that if they had not removed it, you may have died, or become severely infected.
And that is why you should always slice your carrots into thin strips before eating, and you should never let your children tell you jokes, especially while eating carrots. Believe me, it happened to me, it could happen to you. And that is why I have banned all laughing from our house.