As previously established, I have been living with a cough for a while – and recently this has been joined by some of the more traditional symptoms of the common cold. I do not mention this again in the hope of receiving sympathy (as, frankly, I have nowhere to store it – but would note for future reference that I will rarely refuse a grape) but because of its importance to the narrative which follows.
Yesterday evening, I sat down – as is tradition – to enjoy a piece of fruit. I have often had my mouth full of cox in the past, but last night something went wrong. A small piece of my apple must have taken the road less travelled, and in conjunction with my cold-restricted airways (not an ideal name for an airline) I was rendered unable to breathe. As a result of my modest abode and love of privacy, I am not shacked up with seven chaps of less than average height and adjectival names and so there was no-one available to perform the Heimlich manoeuvre (and as a procedure it is quite hard to self-administer – even for a gentleman gymnast). The end of GofaDM (and its auteur) did seem to be at hand! (To avoid unduly raising of cortisol levels in my readers, I should reassure you that I did survive the incident).
A long and very loud combination of coughing, choking and almost retching ensued and some transport of oxygen to my lungs was gradually reinstated. I presume most of Hampshire were left wondering what the noise presaged, but no medical aid arrived (nor did a prince to kiss me better). My eyes turned very red and liquids issued from most of the orifices in the body from which this is possible, but despite this I can confirm that there is no discernible erotic element to asphyxiation (well, not for me – though I suppose I do have very little interest in gland games, even in more ideal circumstances). My life did not pass before my eyes, but the link between my predicament and that of Snow White did. I suspect this would tell a psychologist all they need to know about me. Despite my antipathy to the wasting of food, I should also admit that I did abandon the rest of the apple – sometimes discretion is the better part of valour.
I assume the apple-choking was an accident, perhaps brought on by inadequate chewing or eating with my mouth open. However, if it was a plot to remove me from the picture by a wicked queen, then I suggest he (or she) may wish to check the warranty on their magic mirror. A properly functioning, enchanted looking-glass really should not be pointing me out as the fairest of them all. I’m sure I’m as self-deluded as the next man (probably more so), but even I am not under the illusion that I am that dishy – relatively well preserved though I may be for a man of my advanced years.