Today will always be remembered as the day on which I nearly died. Very nearly.
Oh I covered it up pretty well, lived as if nothing in the world were troubling me; devil-may-care, happy-go-lucky. All of that stuff.
But in fact, the day started with a brush with death more terrifying than anything I have ever experienced. I nearly never made it out of the house this morning. In fact, I nearly never made it out of the bathroom.
Yes, our story starts, once more in the bathroom (This is the other time a visit to the bathroom went pear shaped: Oh, there's a bird perched on the shower curtain rail.)
I had breakfasted on peanut butter, lavishly spread across a slice of Kingsmill medium white. Doesn't sound particularly civilised or refined, but you really can't beat it, especially when washed down by a cup of tea with milk and one sugar. So far so good.
Breakfast done with, I went to go and remove its taste and smell from my mouth by brushing my teeth. Now I try to be diligent with my mental, I mean dental, health, lest the evil orthodontist man (See http://joshramble.blogspot.com/2011/07/mouthful-of-abuse.html) shout at me again for not brushing properly. Git. Anyway, his telling off of me worked, because I brushed with standard brush, then with the little one, then I went for mouthwash. This is where the problem started.
Before I actually reveal my folly, I will explain a little more. I was tired! I had stayed up quite late reading the Bible, and that is the actual truth, I'm not just trying to Christian myself out of the blame, and this lack of sleep was taking its toll the morning after the night before. I wasn't fully awake, and was operating on auto-pilot somewhat. Auto-pilot, like any modern technology is fantastic when it works, as it had done for my breakfast and brushing. Where auto-pilot falls down is when it fails.
Auto-pilot says when you have a piece of toast, you spread peanut butter on it. Well, mine does anyway.
Auto-pilot says when you have a boiled kettle, you pour its contents into the same mug as your tea bag, milk, and one sugar.
Auto-pilot says when you have a toothbrush with toothpaste, you rub it across your teeth.
Auto-pilot says when your pour a liquid into your mouth, you then swallow it.
Great with tea. Bad with mouthwash.
Hopefully you can see where this is going. If not, I'll spell it out. I swallowed my mouthwash.
As I did it, I was looking in the mirror at my out-of-focus face. I watched as it drank the mouthwash, and for a split second, looked like everything was fine. I watched its throat gulp. I saw as its eyes widened a moment later, and all of my face's features panicked. Only then did my mind register what was going on, and it panicked.
I snatched up the bottle, without really knowing why. I hoped it might calm my fears somehow, perhaps by showing me some chemical ingredient that comforted me. 'Oh phew, it's made of C7HO9PRx! That positively masaaaages the throat!'. That didn't happen. Instead, the bottle screamed 'DO NOT SWALLOW' in capitals and everything!
It was about this moment that my throat started to burn. I put my hands to my larynx and started choking, and collapsing to my knees, before I realised that it wasn't actually that bad. I got up, feeling like an idiot, and that was when the belching started. I don't like to be too vulgar or anatomical, this is a family blog after all, but honestly, these were real bone-shakers, right from the diaphragm. (What a ridiculous word.)
These subsided eventually, and I did survive, and have since gone on to live a normal, healthy life, but it does raise serious questions about society. Somehow.