Wrong Hole, Dude!

Most weekends, Curtis and the dudes and I have a family movie night - during which we always, without fail, eat popcorn. And recently we've discovered the joys of Jiffy Pop. You ever heard of it? It's this stuff:

It's like a flat little skillet of popcorn kernels that you put on your stovetop and once it starts popping, the foil expands into this big bubble, and I kind of can't help standing back with my "flinch face" on because I keep envisioning a huge explosion of scalding popcorn. But keep in mind that I can't even open a can of biscuits without reacting in basically the same manner*, so whatever.

*Seriously, does the biscuit-can pop make anyone else nervous?

Anyway, when we were popping our Jiffy Pop over the weekend, we realized that the heathens kids had tampered with it and it wasn't holding together properly. This was especially evident when, during the middle of the popping, the bottom of the foil came loose and approximately two bazillion unpopped kernels spilled all over the stove.


But we had a movie to watch, and (half) a bag of popcorn to eat. So I figured I'd just pick up all the damn kernels when that was over. Thus, movie night commenced as usual.

Fast-forward a couple of hours; I was getting the boys ready for bed. As my three-year-old, Coby, was undressing, I noticed an abnormally large amount of snorting and sniffling.

"Is your nose snotty or something?" I asked, hoping he wasn't getting another cold because OMG, y'all, I am seriously sick of sickness around here.

"Nope," he replied casually. "There's just a popcorn nut in it."

A ... what? No way. Surely my ears had just deceived me.

"A ... popcorn nut?" I repeated.

Coby wrinkled his nose. "Yep. A popcorn nut. From the stove."

I got a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. Surely he didn't actually shove something up his nose. Surely he knew better. Maybe he was just messing around. After all, Cameron came up to me the other day (while eating a Kleenex, no less) and complained that it felt like there was a corn dog in his nose. So maybe ... maybe ... Coby was just being silly.

I was almost afraid to look, but I had to. So I sat him down and shined a flashlight up his nostril. And sure enough, I could see - embedded deep within - the shiny amber curve of an unpopped kernel.

"You have got to be kidding me," I sighed, staring in disbelief. "Coby, I need you to blow out through your nose, okay?"

He blew. Through his mouth. So I demonstrated: "No, buddy, like this ..."

He blew again. THROUGH HIS MOUTH, again.

Getting a little kid to blow through their nose is like getting a fish to poop in the toilet: virtually impossible. I was starting to panic a little bit. I knew the kernel was too far up for even my pinky finger to reach, and I didn't want to risk shoving it even further in. My mind raced. What if I, like, put my mouth over his nose and sucked as hard as I could? But that's so gross. But what if it works? Oh, but what if I suck too hard and the kernel comes flying out and lodges in my throat and I choke or something ... 

Curtis was out at the store getting milk, so I was at least temporarily on my own. Should I rush Coby to the emergency room? Should I Google "what to do when your kid shoves a popcorn kernel up his nose?" I tried to squish it down by pushing on the outside of his nose, but all that did was elicit a big fussy fit.

So I did the only thing I could think to do: just kept saying, "Don't sniff! ... DON'T! SNIFF!"

I heard Curtis come in the front door and practically attacked him. "OhmygawdCobyshovedapopcornkerneluphisnoseandhewon'tblowitoutandI'mnotsurewhatweshoulddooooo!" I hissed, trying (and likely failing) to hide my utter freaked-outness from the kids.

So Curtis, being the non-hysterical type of dude that he is, calmly surveyed the situation. "Yep, it's definitely lodged in there," he murmured. Then, cool as a cucumber, he said, "Get me a Placker."

Ever heard of a Placker?

It's this:

They're these dental floss picks that Curtis always chews on in a really gross old-man kind of way that we always have. And there's this fold-out toothpick thing.

So I got Curtis a Placker. And he flipped up the fold-out toothpick like a gang member with a switchblade: like he meant bidness. And with me assisting by holding the flashlight, he inserted that thing into Coby's nose. Confidently. Steadily. As though he picked noses with plaque-removal tools every day.

I held my breath.

Coby was like, "That tickles!"

And finally, after a little bit of finagling, pop! Out came the offending kernel. And I started breathing again.

And so did Coby, since, you know, his nostril wasn't blocked by popcorn any more.

I hope he learned his lesson. I know I learned one thing ...

... I'll never stop buying Plackers.


  1. OMG! Thank goodness for Curtis....and Plackers!

  2. Jessica Armstrong LasaDecember 12, 2012 at 7:20 PM

    Phew! That was intense! I do dread opening biscuits by the way!

  3. I was thinking tweezers, but this is much better!

  4. Wow! So glad you got the "popcorn nut" out! My daughter once shoved a pea up her nose. When she tried to blow it out, she actually sniffed it up in there even more. I suddenly got the idea to stick a straw up her nose and suck it out. Amazingly, it worked perfectly!


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