Thursday, May 15, 2008

"Quem deus vult perdere, dementat prius"

Orion Cough Drops
Also in bags.

And I am mad, too! I take one day off, and guess what happens. Orion nearly kills me with his slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.

May the Scorpion take him!

My son, En-Uk, had chosen a bag of medicinal candy from among Orion Confectionery's fine selection to give me for my throat as a birthday present. He must have noticed my regular, mildly asthmatic cough, which seems worse here in Seoul than in other places that I've lived, probably due to the bad air and seasonal dust storms.

Whatever the etiology to my cough, the Orion drops seemed to be helping, so I had several as I sat checking the friendly messages left yesterday on my birthday blog. As I was reading Uncle Cranford's comment, I began madly laughing.

"What's so funny?" inquired my wife, who was laboring in earnest at her translation work.

Attempting to catch my breath and explain, I sucked into my windpipe a tiny drop of candy-flavored saliva, just sufficient for the upper trachea to clamp shut in reaction. Alarmed, I stood up, trying unsuccessfully to inhale. I coughed, emptying my lungs of air.

My wife stared at me. "What's wrong?"

I couldn't answer, couldn't breathe, couldn't cough.

My wife stood up. "What's wrong?

I could nearly have smiled at the irony. Here I was, about to die on my birthday, choking to death from a lozenge intended to stop my coughing. Well . . . it had stopped my coughing.

My wife, realizing that I couldn't breathe, grew alarmed. "Jeff!"

I finally croaked.

Not "croaked" as in "died," of course, or I wouldn't be writing about this, but "croaked" as in the creaky, cracky, deep-throaty sound of a great, big ol' bullfrog . . . or maybe a wheezy, middle-sized frog.

Then coughed a small cough. Wheezed. Inhaled a tiny gasp. Coughed again. Wheezed. Breathed a large breath. Coughed hard. Breathed better. Coughed more. Breathed. Looked at my wife. Smiled. Pointed at the bag. Said:

"I thought that these were supposed to help my breathing."

My wife grabbed the bag and threw it into a drawer of her desk, saying, "Don't have any more!"

To my mind, she somewhat overreacted to my near death experience . . . but don't trust me. I'm mad. Punished by the gods for my hubristic remark about leaving the defense of Western civilization to others for 24 hours -- as if I were its primary defender.

"Whom the gods would destroy..."

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At 6:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It appears I was premature in my apology in your birthday blog.
Now I find you thought it was funny. So now I am wallowing in my guilt, and after all that, find you actually enjoyed my hillbilly humor. That wasn't original, the guy who used to work with me on construction projects told it to me. It was a standard joke on the rodeo circuit. My wife is also mortified, and made me promise never to do such a dastardly thing again.
Quoth the raven, NEVERMORE...and neither will I.

At 6:52 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Then . . . Pat didn't actually say that? I wondered that he was so articulate at one year of age. On the other hand, he did start speaking at 6 months...

About that ". . . guy who used to work with . . . [you] on construction projects . . . ." Wasn't that 'guy' my Uncle Woodrow?

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 9:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Woodrow & I worked together for six years, then I went on my own.
The culprit is called "Rob." because he doesn't like "Robert."
He used to rodeo, and now is a judge in rodeos on the weekends.
Woodrow was fun to work with, and had some great one liners, but this wasn't one of his.

At 10:22 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Good to know that Uncle Woodrow isn't to blame.

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 9:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Note to Jeff:

If the drops prove too complicated for safe use, try the syrup. Almost no one finds it a threat to life.

Just trying to help.

At 9:46 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

My wife later marveled at my inability to let a lozenge dissolve in my mouth, but I reminded her that I was trying to do four things at once: laugh, explain, swallow, and breathe.

Next time, I'll do five things by including "Think!"

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 2:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Make it six. Of course include "think" but move it to item six. I seem to recall your writing something about "croaking" but that was yesterday: or since you are in Korea and I am not, maybe day before yesterday.

(Should this re-occur do not take time to solve the above conundrum)

Item five should be "Croak" but not in the sense you originally wrote. For convenience sake however it might be best to combine items five and six.


At 4:10 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

First, I was choking.
Then, I was croaking.

The sequence means that I still was doing only five things simultaneously.

Unless I've misunderstood you.

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 9:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems you weren't BAWLING, so I have hopes that your maturation level is equal to your intellectual plateau. Please don't CROAK, (as it is understood here in Hillbilly land). We still need you to keep us informed.


At 9:26 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Uncle Cran, do you imagine that I'd let a little thing like death get in the way of my blogging?

Jeffery Hodges

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