Miss Lily came to our house a month later and just maybe, saved my sister Paula’s life. Well, what happened may not have actually killed her, but if Lilly hadn’t been there, it would have put a serious crimp on Paula’s ability to eat properly, chew or speak. Not sure how the Appalachian looking, leathery-faced smoker found out. Could have been my mom’s hysterical pleas that drew her in, or she happens to be walking by at the right time. Don’t recall. But she came upon an odd dilemma involving my sister getting her tongue stuck in a coke bottle. What the circumstances were remains a mystery.
Here’s my hypothesis: I do know physics was involved. Let me explain. It has something to do with pressure being proportional to the product of density and temperature. Forcing her folded tongue inside the bottle opening, Paula sucked out the air, producing pressure inside the bottle. Creating a seal, the inside pressure dropped to below the atmospheric pressure, thus, creating a vacuum.
I heard the commotion in the kitchen and ran in to see Paula standing in the middle of the room clutching a coke bottle connected to her distended purple tongue. She appeared to be in a panic state, her eyes were bulging; she was very sweaty and mumbling, making incoherent animal-like sounds. I stepped behind the safety of gathered siblings when I saw Miss Lilly rush into the room, via the back door.
“Good Lord, Jesus!” she drawled before flicking her cigarette deftly into the nearby sink.
“Uhhnngawww,” Paula moaned.
“Get me a hammer and a towel!” Lilly ordered.
A minute later, Paula was on her knees, her head wrapped tightly in a towel lying across the hardwood chair seat. Lilly stood with her back facing me, her fist around a hammer swaying by her side. The scene reminded me of an executioner at a beheading. I could see that Paula’s blue tongue and coke bottle were exposed on the chair’s seat.
“Ready girl? I’m gonna count to three,” Lilly said. “One…”
The bottle exploded into a carbonated concoction of caramelized beverage and shards of green glass.
“Two, three,” Lilly continued, then laughed.
Paula, although traumatized, emerged unscathed and was truly grateful for the neighbor’s quick thinking and hammer skills. Lilly didn’t stick around and left shaking her head.
I guess we were a bunch of dumb asses! We Adams have a history of stupidity involving orifices that defies human logic.
One time, my brother Joe got a marble stuck up his ass after filling the bottom of one of those huge cast iron claw foot tubs with marbles. He rolled back and forth for a ride and somehow lodged one of the glass spheres into his rectum.
Years later, during summer break, when I was in high school, I mowed acres and acres of lawn at Wildwood Cemetery in Williamsport. During a lunch break, I got high with a friend. I can’t explain, except to say it just happened, but I managed to get an acorn stuck in my ear. It was agonizing as my stoned co-worker tried unsuccessfully to pry it out with various sized sticks. Resorting to a pocketknife, he partially skewed the thing and flung it out.
In the late seventies, my sister Karen became an RN. She was ordered to give an elderly patient an enema. The old man was embarrassed about the procedure and talked my sister into letting him do it himself. Having had them before, he would do it if that would be OK. Karen, God bless her heart, left the room and the man to his privacy. Returning five minutes later, she found the man covered with sheets, facing away from her. To their mutual horror, things had gone terribly awry. The old man had been successful with the enema bit, but had forgotten to take the cap off and shot it inside! Much worse than removing an acorn, Karen spent ten minutes digging the cap out from the man’s buttocks.
If we learned from our stupid mistakes, I guess we’d all qualify as geniuses.