I was reeling over the alleged lack of beef in Taco Bell tacos-- You know, the lawsuit claiming only 36% of their taco beef is actually beef, giving a whole new meaning to the term "mystery meat".
Godson loves Taco Bell and so do I, so the mystery meat revelation was unsettling to say the least. When Taco Bell countered with their 88% real beef public relations campaign I justified the remaining 12% "fillers" as "seasonings and vegetables" and put the controversy out of my mind.
Every Tuesday after school, the Taco Bell #3 Combo-- 3 Crispy Taco Supremes, are smelling up my car on our drive home. He usually eats two and I, um, err, occasionally eat one, as we cruise over the hill to my side of town.
Have you ever eaten a taco while driving twist and turns on a narrow canyon in swiftly moving traffic?
It's best left to professionals-- Which I am clearly not.
Case in point-- Driving home yesterday, starved out of my mind, with the Ghostbusters theme song playing at an ungodly decibel level. With a taco in one hand and the steering wheel in the other, navigation aided by my knee, I was taking a bite of (translation: practically inhaling) my fave mystery meat supreme when I hit a whopper of a pothole....
And swallowed a HUGE piece of taco shell-- WHOLE. Dang!
As the very hard and very jagged two inch square chunk of taco shell scraped its way down my throat at 35mph, I momentarily thought I would, quite frankly, die from the pain.... So, in an attempt for serious relief, I guzzled 16 ounces of root beer so fast it started coming out of my nose-- But still the taco-- now painfully lodged in my throat, did not budge.
Still driving hair-pin turns in fairly heavy traffic, I searched for a spot to pull over but to no avail and started coughing like a crazy person, all the while Ghostbusters, which Godson has on "repeat", continued to blast my eyeballs around my head. Godson, by the way, was oblivious to all of this and continued munching casually on his tacos.
Fast forward two miles later, the little grocery market half way over the hill brings me hope for salvation. I pulled into the tiny, over-crowded parking lot, jumped out, and gave myself a freakish version of the Heimlich Maneuver in an effort to dislodge the piece of taco shell that was now feeling like the size of New Jersey half way down my throat.
Unfortunately, instead of moving the shell up and out-- The crispy shell moved south and further down my esophagus. But-- if I leaned forward and slightly to the right, with my head tilted to a 45 degree angle to the left, with my arms over my head, I could almost breathe comfortably. This position was not, however, conducive to driving, nor was it a red flag for any of the market's customers to offer assistance, so the problem and the pain continued.
Godson eventually rolled the window down and asked what I was doing. Squeaking out a call for help, he was a champ, jumped out, and started pounding on my back, before running back to the car and get me his soda.
If the situation wasn't bad enough already, I chugged Blue Mountain Dew to try to "soften" the chip and relieve the pain. All I can say is, if the mystery meat, an enormous taco shell stuck in my throat, or choking root beer up my nose didn't kill me, I assure you Blue Mountain Dew nearly pushed me over the cliff-- That stuff is nasty, and thanks to the hideous amount of caffeine it contains, I am sure to be awake for the next 36 hours.
But "the blue Dew" helped soften the crispy taco shell enough to move to a less painful position and I could freely breath again.
As I type this, about 8 hours after my "leisurely lunch", I swear I can still feel what can only be summed up as a "taco chunk" in the middle of my chest that feels similar to "heartburn from hell". This experience confirms my "adventure" was anything but FAST food.
Was this a junk food "teaching moment" for me? You bet!
I know for sure I will never drink a Blue Mountain Dew ever again. I will never drive with one hand while I inhale food with the other. And I will only eat Taco Bell sitting in the restaurant dining room directly next to the Heimlich Maneuver "how-to" poster.
Better yet, I think I'll skip tacos all together for, oh about, the next hundred years.
Welcome to www.TheFiftyFactor.com - Joanna Jenkins
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