How To Swallow Anything

By Mike Johnson

I'm deep in the National Forest hiking with the Border Collie. It's directly behind my house so I brought no water. I feel a headache coming on, so dry-swallow a couple pills.

Oops. The second one caught deep in a recess in my throat & wouldn't move. Choking & coughing didn't move it. Swallowing snow didn't move it. I could breath, but I hacked for quite awhile. A finger couldn't get to it.

It wasn't quite a Reader's Digest "Drama in Real Life" but it got my attention.

We made it home & web-searched a photo of the human throat.

That damn pill had to be behind my epiglottis, that little flap that makes sure food doesn't go down your windpipe. Margie wasn't home. The dog is as smart as any doctor but has no fingers.

I was on my own.

The damn thing has to melt, I thought, spitting up the acrid taste of aspirin, but never the aspirin itself.

I'm picturing being the new guy, milling about in the afterlife, when an old-timer pokes me in my ribs.

"What killed you?"


The laughter of a thousand sinners shakes the heavens.

I survived. The pill did eventually melt & my irritated throat is healing. But I learned something online.

The best way to swallow a pill is to push your chin against your chest. It fully opens the throat & goes right down.

Now you know.


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