Thursday, June 23, 2011

First Grade Fregley Chokes

It was the day before the last day of school. 

The children had just come in from recess and I had settled them down for a delightful showing of "The Emperor's New Groove" when I felt a tug on my pant leg.

"Mr. Cheeseboy... I'm - gah! - choking - GAH!"

"Fregley" - as I shall refer to him henceforth - is a bit of a lurp.  Gangly and awkward, he is exactly like one of those boys you see in children's movies; the geeky, trouble maker with bad teeth, red hair and freckles. This kid was Fregley before being Fregley was cool.

I grabbed Fregley by the arm and pulled him over to the garbage can. Pulling a kid to the garbage can is a teacher's first natural instinct, no matter the situation. A child could be bitten by a shark at recess and the first thing a teacher would do is say, "Quick, get that boy next to the garbage can! Pronto!"

Fregley bent over the garbage can and continued to choke, gag and slobber.  A bright blue stream of spittle stretched from his mouth to the plastic garbage can lining. My first thought was that the boy was vomiting; you see he had a long, sordid history with the vomit. However, it quickly became clear that vomiting was only a secondary problem.

As Fregley continued to chunk, slobber and cry, I decided to take matters into my own hands. Surprisingly, standing by the garbage can was not working!  Its sacred powers had no affect upon the boy.

I quickly transformed my hands into hook-hands, slid them under Fregley's armpits and carried him out of the classroom, a stream of blue drool dragging behind, gently landing upon the heads of the other first grade students sitting on the floor. 

Of course, the first thing I did when I got Fregley to the office was stand him next to a garbage can. I reasoned that something was clearly wrong with my garbage can.  As he gurgled and slurped over that office trash can, my Boy Scout first aid training began to kick in. 

In the Boy Scouts, you are told to pound a choking person on the back, or at least that's how I remember it because it was a very long time ago.  I didn't feel that the situation had reached the point of back pounding, so I lightly patted him on the back like he was an old lady wearing a barbed wire bra.  

This did not work. 

It finally occurred to me that the back patting was pointless.  I mean, I am not a total idiot, just 83% idiot. Fregley seemed to be able to speak and breath, but I felt that it was my duty to perform the Heimlich Maneuver. (Dr. Heimlich invented this maneuver in 1953 by accident while he gave his wife a stomach massage while she chewed on a bucket of chicken wings.)

Fortunately, just as I was about to wrap my arms around the scrawny hacker, his gag reflux finally set in and he vomited out the lifesaver that had lodged in his throat. 

Fregley looked relieved. 

I looked relieveder. (More relieved)

Fregley wasn't going to die, but he could care less about not dying.

Fregley was reaching into the garbage can.  What was he doing?!  

Fregley was searching for something.  

"Gross, Fregley! What are you doing?!", I screamed.

"I am looking for my lifesaver, Mr. Cheeseboy.  I wanted to finish it."

*This is a 100% true story, but Fregley was not in my class. I did not let him find the lifesaver. 

40 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Disgusting! Glad I'm not a teacher. But I am the first to comment!

Beth Zimmerman said...

YUCK!

Bees With Honey said...

All I have to say, from one First Grade Teacher to another, is that all first graders are gross. Fregley or not. Between the nose pickers and the nose wipers on the arm and the ones who sneeze on you full force, they're all gross.

As for you, good job on saving his life :P

-stephanie- said...

I thought the point of eating a life saver was that you do not choke on them. He should sue.

Mamma has spoken said...

I had this happen to me! My student was five and had earned a piece of candy. he picked a life saver. He choked, I did the Heimlich on him, candy popped out onto the table. He went to grab it because he wanted to finish it, I wouldn't let him.
He's now in high school and will stop by and see me from time to time and he still reminds me of this story. He also asks me every time why I didn't let him finish the candy.
However the BIG difference in our story: my student was and still is one awesome guy!

Everyday Goddess said...

well, blue life savers are the tastiest.

Good work Mr. Cheeseboy!

mintifresh said...

Why didn't you let him finish the Lifesaver?

Marnie said...

You really earn your summer vacations!

Cheryl said...

OK, that little guy is probably a charmer but a weird little charmer. Who would want to finish the lifesaver??? I speak from experience. I was a regular little upchucker in first grade as I had a nervous stomach and a ridiculous gag reflex. AND not once did I try to retrieve the upchucked stuff. While 50 years later I am still the puking legend of my class, I wasn't known for fishing around in the trash can.
PS everyone has to be known for something.

The Church Lady said...

Panic would have set in for me. Sounds like you handled it well. BTW, thanks for the history lesson on the Heimlich. I didn't know that!

Connie said...

Fishing through vomit for a life saver. Classic! Gross...but classic.

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

Your stories and writing keep getting better! I love this line: "Pulling a kid to the garbage can is a teacher's first natural instinct, no matter the situation."

Good work with the kid. Lifesavers shouldn't kill. They'd really need to change the name.

PS Sorry about my post/feed problems. I don't know how to fix it. =(

xoRobyn

Impulsive Addict said...

What kind of stupid first graders do you raise over there?

Wait. I think I had him a few years later in 5th grade. Except he choked on a joint that he was hiding from me after lunch but he DID try to retrieve it from the trash can by my desk.

Crystal Pistol said...

Fregley before Fregley was cool made me laugh out loud.

The whole entire trash can deal-io cracked me up too. Very funny, Mr. Cheeseboy.

It was all just so vivid! I actually FEEL the blue drool on my OWN head...

The Bipolar Diva said...

OMG! You are truly a God being able to teach first grade. I can barely handle my own kids when they hurl. What am I talking about? I toss them a rags and wait until their dad comes home. I really think I'm so destined for fire and brimstone.

Jenn said...

LMAO!! Oh thank you for reminding my why I never became a teacher! I think if I had seen him reaching into the garbage can I would have vomited myself!

The Stiffs said...

I just decided that you teach so that you can blog. Great and nasty, disgusting, gross story.

Katie said...

They make blue Lifesavers in BLUE now?

laughingmom said...

What a great story!! When I was that age I choked on candy in the public library and was afraid to make noise because, well, it was the shhhhh library!

Alison@Mama Wants This said...

So this just confirms that grossness in adults, start in childhood.

Wow, Blue lifesavers?

imbeingheldhostage said...

Yeah. Still gross. I'm wondering if faced with a child vomiting and then trying to recover something from the vomit, if I would hesitate before trying to save his life.

Welcome back from the vacay, we missed you!

Emmy said...

Ewwww!!! Yes that is just disgusting. And hey you are a hero- your back patting obviously saved the day!

ivebecomemyparents.com said...

Shut-the-door-to-the-office-before-people-come-running funny! Or, on Twitter, we'd say STDTTOBPCR funny.

Great story and great telling of it. You know, at that very moment, you had the awesome power to advance Darwinian evolution and exercised incredible restraint. I think this is why I'm not a teacher.

Thanks for the afternoon laugh!

Jen said...

Holy crap! You crack me up! I love that your first instinct is to put him by a garbage can!!
Good job on the life saving :)

Kelley said...

That is so gross and so funny! I picture my 3 y/o possibly choking on a Lifesaver but not my 6 y/o. Thanks for the laughs AND the safety lessons, Mr. CB.

W.C.Camp said...

Now there is a kid who could teach those wonks in Washington a thing or two about resource management!!! Great story but I never quite understood the connection between the blue goo and a normal lifesaver? Maybe he had a blue slushie or actually ate one of the guys from the Blue man group who was EATING a lifesaver. Ugh! Now I really made myself sick - thanks a lot Cheeseboy! W.C.C.

Joann Mannix said...

You saved a life. That should count for like, at least, 3.8 gazillion Get to Heaven points.

I could never be a teacher, because I would have to make those kids scoot over to make room for me, yakking into that trash can. Gross. Your wife must give you vomit duty.

One time I was volunteering in the school office with my bff who happens to be a nurse practitioner. A kid came into the office with his loose tooth hanging by a few threads of gum tissue. Both my friend and I were like, "NO WAY! That thing's just going to have to hang, Mister." We didn't care how hard he was crying, loose teeth made both of us shudder. Luckily our school principal has 4 sons. She heard our adolescent squeals and came out and took care of the job with one yank.

Gross. Gross. Gross.

I'm off to catch a flight this morning, but check out my blog and you'll see my predicament.

Carol Kohl said...

I used to teach kindergarten. I've seen it ALL. Glad I'm retired! Of course, NOW I'm caring for my aging mom...(kind of like a kid). The irony.
http:///www.adventureindementia.blogspot.com

Christine said...

At least you tried to save him, Ma and Pa Kettle here decided to ignore our son as he choked on a sucker, thinking he was just being obnoxious in the back seat of the car. Until his sucker piece went flying across the dashboard and he cried "I was trying to tell you I couldn't breath". Boy did we feel bad.

M-Cat said...

If I haven't said it lately, then I am saying it now. Educators DO NOT get paid enough. My own gag reflex was kicking in once you had him leaning over the garbage can.

Corrina Terry said...

Oh my word!!! That made me want to gag! :o)

Nancy Hinchliff said...

Love...love...love your writing! The story is funny...yes, but the way you wrote it made it even funnier. So glad I found you on the "Laundry Hurts My Feelings" site. I thought your comment was funny, so I knew I would find some gems here. I was a teacher for 30 years, now an Innkeeper...I will definitely be back for more.

Melinda said...

Only a First Grader would want to continue eating something they had spit up and was in the garbage can. What a breed...

Teachinfourth said...

Yep, sounds like a first grader. The fifth grader wouldn't have reached back in the garbage can...well, if nobody else was around he'd have done it.

You, my friend, are a hero!

Unknown Mami said...

Did you finish the lifesaver?

Pat Tillett said...

And that is when you dumped him head first into the can...
Great story!

Lourie said...

I think I just threw up a little. hahaha. Blah. If it were my six year old self, I never would have eaten life savers again. Ever.

Susan in the Boonies said...

Aaaaarrrrrggghhhh!

That was funny! Nasty, but funny.

Powdered Toast Man said...

I would of went after it if it was a hot pocket.

MiMi said...

Bahahahahaha!! That's gross. And awesome.