In Which I Manage To Almost Kill Myself With A Steak in the Midst Of A Global Pandemic

So I think we can all agree that good gossip – by which I mean the exchange of non-terrifying information – is in short supply these days. Just last week, Francesca and I had a phone call which consisted almost entirely of me relaying a play-by-play of how, exactly, I managed to lose one of my AirPods while said AirPods were physically located inside my ears. (This is a true story.)

It was riveting.

But our conversation this morning was a new level of scintillating, as it involved a tale of how I managed to almost die last night. From the virus currently terrorizing the world? Of course not. From a steak.

Here is what happened.

I didn’t really eat all day, because kids and homeschooling and work and anxiety, and so when 4PM arrived and Kendrick came to take the kids to his place for a couple of days, I was ready. to. go. Usually I get sad about the prospect of not seeing them on the weekends, but nowadays? NOPE. Here are your children and here are their things and byeeeeeeeeIloveyou!

I had grand plans involving an expensive steak that I bought just for myself, Mad Max Fury Road (topical!), and a bottle of wine, and so the second the kids were gone I set about making my delicious meal and settling in for my lovely, quiet evening. Except I was so hungry and so excited that instead of actually chewing my steak, I inhaled it. Literally. Down the windpipe.

The next moment, I found all my midde-of-the-night I-am-going-to-die-alone-and-my-cats-are-going-to-eat-me fears coming to fruition as I ran in mini-laps around my kitchen, patting at my chest with one hand while frantically waving the other in the air, trying to attract the attention of the people who were not there. I stuck my fingers down my throat, hoping that my trachea had fortuitously migrated into my mouth.

Then, vaguely recalling having heard that people could self-Heimlich with a chair, I threw myself on top of a chair. This did not work.

You know what popped into my head next? The scene in Mrs. Doubtfire where Pierce Brosnan almost chokes to death and then doesn’t because Robin Williams saves him. Let’s lay that one out, just to hammer it home: My last thoughts were almost of Mrs. Doubtfire. 

More kitchen laps. More chest patting. More flailing.

I briefly considered running out my front door to flail at more nonexistent people, but then I realized that I wasn’t actually getting *no* air; I was getting mostly no air. This, as we recall from The Princess Bride, is an important distinction.

I stood absolutely still, concentrated on not losing my mind, and managed to inhale juuuuuust enough of a trickle of air to fill my lungs to the point where I could cough. I coughed. And a piece of steak the size of a small animal flew out of my mouth and across the room.

I want to say I was upset, but I barely even broke my stride: I got a paper towel and Fantastik-ed the floor as calmly as if one of my children had just thrown the thing, rather than it having just almost killed me. Honestly, I was mostly stunned at the fact that, in the midst of a global pandemic, I still found myself capable of very nearly expiring by ribeye. That, my friends, takes some talent.

And, to answer the question that I am sure is on all of your minds: Did I then sit down and finish my delicious meal?

Please, of course I did. Any parent worth their salt knows you don’t let a small thing like a brush with death ruin a child-free evening.

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