When I was in high school, I liked to take toothpicks and hide them in fruit and butter at my friend’s house for their parents to find later. Imagine uncovering a hidden piece of wood, as you butter your toast or bite into an apple. My friend’s mother was really freaked out and returned some tomatoes to the local grocery store with an earful for the produce manager. I sometimes wonder what the store clerk thought of the toothpicks.
Looking back, I probably should not have placed the toothpicks into foods that don’t need to be eaten with utensils. A good friend of mine, Steve, recently drove this point home by turning my joke into a joke of his own.
We were playing pool at a bar and he decided to order some food. His food came out while he was in the restroom and I happened to notice a toothpick holding his large toasted Rueben sandwich together. I took the opportunity to break up and hide the toothpick into his sandwich. As he was eating the sandwich, he began to cough and a few seconds later was holding his throat and choking violently. The thought instantly popped into my head, “Oh my God, I killed Steve.” My brain spun around thinking, “I am going to be in a shitload of trouble if he dies and they find out I was the cause. How am I going to explain this to his parents and girlfriend? What will I tell the police?” I was getting ready to do the old Heimlich maneuver thinking, “its not going to do a damn bit of good because its not food stuck in his throat, it’s a friggin toothpick and it’s caught in his trachea. Oh God, I am so screwed!” As I started praying and pounding the small of his back, asking him if he was ok, and hoping the toothpick would miraculously become dislodged, he began laughing.
That was one of the best counter jokes anyone has ever played on me because I thought I was going to get in some serious trouble and possibly serve jail time (oh yeah, also not to mention killing a good friend). I don’t believe that I will pull this prank ever again, but then again, when you think about it, never is a really long time.