“I ate like 30,000 damn cookies; no milk, no pants…” Cookie Monster (Sesame Street)
Today, at work, I spent my lunch hour in a quaint sandwich shop filled with antique luxuries. It was a Potbellies.
I sat next to a group of young teachers whom I paid very little attention but I did notice they were good looking. While reading the news on my iPhone and eating my delicious “wreck” I started realizing something. I could choke on this right now and make a complete ass of myself in front of young hot teachers. My legacy could very well be that I was the guy, in their story to the kids, who didn’t chew his food and died peeing his pants from choking.
At this moment panic set in and I realized I couldn’t stop eating, this sammy was too good. I took a drink of my water, but there were melting ice cubes in it; I could die from choking on ice… iced. Worse yet, I was at the junction of sandwich eating where you can finish in one big bite or two small bites.
The big bite would be pure satisfaction, like the end of a fireworks show, a finale that would leave my tummy satisfied and my jaw dislocated… getting me out of work. Or I could eat two smaller bites, a risk in that it (the sandwich) could come apart and the fear of choking to death would now be replaced with plain humiliation: mayonnaise covered fingers and a mess of meat, cheese and lettuce running from my chin, down the button line of my shirt, with a pit stop at the table’s edge before ending up on my crotch.
The two smaller bites could also go well, and I would complete my meal like a domesticated champ. But I am a man of big finishes. I finished college with the best GPA of my life- a 3.4. I finished my shower, and forgetting my towel in my room, gave a grand finale to the teachers arriving at the elementary school for the day retrieving it.
I took that final piece and shoved it in my mouth like a wood chipper. I could see my sisters vomiting in their mouths as I chewed, mouth partially closed, but dammit it was good. My jaw hurt but didn’t break, so I made my way back to work. And I didn’t choke.
So now instead of being the dead guy lying in a pool of urine on the Potbellies floor, I was John Belushi from Animal House. A fair trade.