All Choked Up At The Movies

Ron Nagasawa
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Wednesday - April 02, 2008
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Ron Nagasawa is on vacation. This column was originally published on Feb. 2, 2000.

As the father of a 10-year-old boy and a 2-year-old girl, I often feel like the time I’ll have to spend with them before they grow up is like my paycheck - gone before I realize it’s missing. That’s why my wife and I do everything with our kids, whether they like it or not.

As our son approaches the preadolescent years, I’m concerned that our activities together will start to fall more under the “like it not” category. Still we’re a close family and it’ll probably stay that way as long as I don’t try too hard to be “phat” around my kids.

In my case, that’s a lot easier said than done. The other weekend, we decided to take in a movie. Since we have have the 2-year-old, the probability that the movie we chose would captivate my cinematic needs was nearly zero. In other words, I was going just so I could have buttered popcorn.

We had gotten to our seats about 10 minutes early. What that means is that by the time the movie starts, most of my popcorn is going to be ancient history. By the opening credits, I had nearly eaten half my box of popcorn.

That was when I became aware that the shell from a popcorn kernel was stuck on the side wall in the back of my throat. I spent the next 20 minutes trying to dislodge it by making my tongue do a U-turn in my mouth to brush the kernel loose.

I tried to wash it down with a soda, but to no avail. I thought I could ignore it, but that was like trying to ignore Masashimaru sitting on your lap. After an hour, my strategy was to forcefully exhale and use my breath to blow the kernel free from my throat.

The problem with that was I sounded like a cat trying to hack up a giant hairball. After a few minutes of this, I started getting “shushed” by the surrounding movie patrons. I noticed my son was starting to slink lower and lower in his seat.

Through some small miracle, just as the movie ended, I was able to remove the popcorn kernel. In an attempt to salvage the family outing, I feigned satisfaction, “Boy, wasn’t that movie great?”

Our son politely replied, “Dad, the next time we want to watch a movie, can we just rent a video?”


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