Monday, September 15, 2014

Throat Slugs and Throat Scabs

While the smell of garlicky cheese, roasted tomatoes and yeasty dough wafted through the air, the server finished taking their order. They were just finishing up their appetizers, boneless buffalo wings ordered by the 12 year old and fried cheese ordered by the 15 year old and shared by the whole family.

It was a good thing her parents, she and her husband and their two older boys were practically the only patrons in the restaurant on that Sunday after church because her family laughed raucously in the corner of the pizza joint as the conversation took its usual and inevitable turn towards body humor.

The 15 year old had just begun lamenting the fact that sometimes he had problems swallowing after eating dairy which, on that day, happened to be the fried cheese.

"Oh," she said knowingly, "I call that a 'throat slug'. You know, when there's that slimy thing in the back of your throat that you keep trying to swallow but it keeps bouncing back."

She has her family's rapt attention although there is a slight scowl on her mother's face. Smiles leading to laughing and nodding ensued on all the male faces.

"While you are correct that it often occurs after eating dairy," she continued, "it can also be caused by post nasal drip during allergy season or when you have a cold. You are constantly clearing your throat and trying to swallow, over and over again while the relentless ball of mucous sets up residence with no thought of ever relinquishing its hold. 
When I get to my wits end with that slippery critter, I consciously swallow and then quickly jam my thumb in my neck to try to sever the rubber band effect. After doing that several times, you can usually overcome the 'throat slug', and it will slide down your esophagus to its final acidic destination to be dissolved in your stomach. Often this final severing will need to be emphasized by slapping the counter or table with your hand in order to overcome the incredibly gross feeling of having ingested an alien substance.
Or if you are less of a lady than I or not in public, you can just hock a loogie and be done with it.
On another note, if you retire in the evening with said 'slug' milling around in the back of your throat, and you are too tired after going to bed to get up and take care of it (i.e. you stayed out too late in Vegas singing at the top of your lungs at the piano bar in the New York-New York), you will probably wake up in the morning with what I like to call a 'throat scab'. 
This is the throat slug's evil offspring. The 'throat scab' will result in gentle attempts to clearing your throat to vigorous coughing fits and hacking. If you are in public, people will stare at you. You will make repeated attempts to try to melt or burn it out with hot bitter dirt, i.e. coffee or some other concoction such as gargling with salt water since we all experimented with salt and actual slugs on the sidewalk as kids and learned its chemical effects."
God blessed her with a family of boys for a reason...

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