© 2011 Aaron Atkinson

This Won’t Hurt a Bit

A couple of years ago after a particularly good day of fishing, we sat down to a dinner of fried fish. Breaded and deep-fried, with mashed potatoes and corn on the cob on the side, fish, prepared by Mom, makes a wonderful meal.

Towards the of the meal Tim coughed, drank some water and announced that he had a fishbone stuck in his throat. After more hacking and gagging and a trip to the bathroom it was clear that Tim was under some distress as the small bone wouldn’t dislodge.

Feeling some degree of guilt, as I’d been the one to clean the fish, I hopped up to Tim’s aid. I grabbed a flashlight from the garage and a quick shine down Tim’s throat confirmed that a small bone, the diameter of a thin needle, was sticking out of Tim’s left tonsil. While Dad held Tim’s tongue down with a spoon, I reached deep into his open mouth with a set of needle-nose pliers and proclaimed, “It’s ok Tim, this won’t hurt a bit.” With a steady hand I pinched the pliers closed onto the eighth of an inch of exposed bone.

Once the pliers were clear of Tim’s mouth we all gazed in shock at the inch of fishbone that hung in their grasp.

An inch.

And that’s no fish story.

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