When I was little - well actually I was seven - I wanted to learn to play the musical recorder. Before I could begin any lessons, though - something happened that put paid to my aspirations.
I didn't have my own recorder. They were expensive, and money was tight. Recorders were popular though, and the big wigs at Plastic Products inc cottoned on to this fact. Instead of a real, expensive, wooden recorder, one of my parents - I forget which - bought me the plastic variation.
I loved it. I was seven, and it was pink and hip. The must have obsession for boys at the time was the Commodore 64 computer game console, and the fad of the moment for my older brother, who was 9.
Now, kids being kids, we didn't always listen to our parents. Lee, my brother didn't keep the room tidy, and the cables for the computer tucked away, while I continued to walk around with the recorder in my mouth - despite being told not to. Can you see where this is going? I warn you. It's gruesome.
I know now, that I was told not to walk around while attempting to play the recorder, not because it made a nasty, shrill, ear splitting noise. I was told not to for my safety. Boy, did I learn the hard way.
Remember those cables I mentioned for the Commodore 64? Well, we shared a room. I was in that room with the recorder, and so was the computer, and it's cables. I wasn't doing as I was told, and I tripped - with the recorder in my mouth.
My Dad and stepmother tell me the sound of my scream, still haunts them to this day. The recorder was stuck in my throat and my Dad had to get it out. The recorder caused internal lacerations. To my throat and ripped out have of my uvula (the dangly bit at the back of the mouth). As he tried to clean me up, my Dad realised that this was going to be a hospital job. I was admitted to the children's ward, and had to have my throat built up with plastic.
The recovery seemed long - I had a diet of wotsits, scrambled egg and ice poles (great diet for a kid who loved those things), but it probably took less time to heal than I remember.
Ever since though, I am so hot on children walking with things in their mouth, and my stepmother tells me every time one of my younger sisters puts something in their mouth, she thinks of that day.
I remember that day, and write today, because our ChicagoNow manager reminded me when he posted about his child playing the recorder. My first response was to tell them never to walk with it in their mouth - this is why. I googled it after and I can't seem to find any other instances - perhaps I'm an anomaly!
Be safe my friends, and don't do anything I would do!
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