Putting away Christmas decorations was slightly more life-threatening than usual this year.
I mean, there’s always a bit of risk involved—climbing stepladders, carrying heavy boxes up and down the stairs while your insane cat tries to see how many times he can run between your legs, that sort of thing.
But those are hazards I’m relatively used to and can prepare for…unlike the unexpected peril that reared its ugly head earlier today when I dropped an ornament on the floor in the living room. One miniature Christmas ball roughly the size and shade of a red pretzel M&M.
Which probably doesn’t seem that dangerous…until you realize how fond—and how possessive—my dog Peek-A-Boo is of anything that could possibly be food. He snatched it up and began sneaking out of the room in his famous “Pay no attention to the dog behind the curtain” trot. Luckily, he was more focused on escaping with his prize than immediately eating it so I was able to grab him before he could bite down and hurt himself.
And that wasn’t the really dangerous part because Peek is almost 13 and not much of a fighter anymore. I got the ornament out of his mouth, put it on the writing desk, and went back to packing boxes—completely oblivious to the threat I had just unleashed.
Until about forty-five minutes later when I took a break…and got myself a delicious handful of leftover red and green pretzel M&Ms.
Which I also put down on the writing desk.
Everyone see where I’m going with this? I put a handful of red and green pretzel M&Ms down next to a GLASS ball the size and color of a red pretzel M&M.
Then, moments later, I threw a glass ornament that had been IN MY DOG’S MOUTH into MY OWN MOUTH.
And I didn’t even realize it until I—unlike Peek—chomped down, crushed the stupid thing, and filled my mouth with about a thousand tiny pieces.
I did NOT handle this well.
Of course, if you think I was upset, you should have seen poor Opie. There he was, wiling away a lazy Sunday afternoon reading the hockey news, when his wife started shrieking about eating ground glass.
Have I mentioned that I’m not always calm in a crisis situation?
In any case, he came running and I began spitting out glass and chocolate and red candy coating that looked suspiciously like blood (which freaked me out even more) then I rinsed my mouth out as much as I could.
Then, I made the biggest mistake of all.
I researched “eating glass” on the Internet…which, as anyone who has ever researched any health-related issue on the Internet knows, is a terrible idea. The Internet is NOT filled of charming anecdotes of how someone ate a piece of ground glass and magically produced a pearl…instead, it uses words like “rupture” and “internal bleeding” and my personal favorite “peritonitis.” Which, in turn, makes me use words like “doom” and “imminent death!”
At which point Opie begins throwing around words like “overreacting” and “hypochondriac.” But only in his head because he is not a stupid man.
To be fair, the odds that I actually swallowed a piece of glass large enough to do damage are pretty small. And the odds that I will be contracting peritonitis are even smaller…but I have never been one to let facts stand in the way of a really good panic attack so I’m sure that I will be developing the symptoms shortly—whether I have peritonitis or not.
So, just in case, let me leave you with this final thought: If you haven’t put away your Christmas decorations yet, be careful…it can be deadly.
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