I have made a few references to this on my Facebook and Twitter, but I have been asked to explain in a little more detail. At the risk of sounding like I’m complaining, which I suppose I am a bit, I will attempt to do just that.

Last Friday, my wife, Amy, and I rode with three of our friends to a popular restaurant for lunch. We rode in said friends’ vehicle, the make and model of which I will not disclose. I rode in the back driver’s side seat, Amy rode in the middle, and Emily, the teenage sister of the driver, sat in the back passenger seat. The ride to the restaurant, about a twenty-minute drive from McKenzie, went well, as did the lunch. The food and service were both excellent and abundant, and so we started for home quite content.

Now, the model of vehicle we were in has a belt attached to the ceiling which can be drawn across the upper torso of the person in the back middle seat to serve as a shoulder belt for an added measure of security. This belt does not clip into an enclosed apparatus as a regular seat belt does, but instead simply clips with a metal hook into a keyhole-type opening on the main belt and is held in place by an elastic cord attached to the belt. My wife inserted the hook per the operating instructions and the trap was set.

I, sitting next to my wife and digesting my burger, lay my head back against the seat and closed my eyes, unaware of the danger that lay inches away.

As I dozed, my wife leaned forward to adjust the backseat vents and the belt, formerly hooked securely into the appropriate slot, came unhooked. The elastic band attached to the belt, stretched further by my wife’s leaning forward, whipped the metal piece on the belt through the air–so fast it whistled–and into my exposed throat. The clasp bounced off the top of my Adam’s apple and bit hard into my windpipe before I knew what hit me.

Several things happened right then. First, I grabbed my throat and wheezed (I couldn’t really do much else) in pain. I looked to my right, trying to figure out why Emily, as meek a girl as you will ever meet, would give me the Miss Piggy judo chop for no apparent reason. My wife, realizing what had happened, paused just long enough to make sure I was not, as I thought, dying and burst into gales of laughter. Our two friends in the front seat both turned and tried to sort out why I was holding my throat.

In the end, I was relatively unharmed, although the impact knocked my voice out until late that evening, an unfortunate thing as I agreed to work concessions at the local high school football game that same night.

Anyway, that’s the story. It’s far better than having cancer, but at least my wife didn’t laugh at me when they told me about that.