Kathy Nearly Bites the Dust

On a mid-November Tuesday, Randy and Kathy thought it would be fun to meet for happy hour after work. We chose the White Chocolate Grill in Park Meadows. We sat at the end of the bar, ordered drinks, and figured we might as well have dinner. Randy ordered Idaho Trout and Honey Roasted Carrots while Kathy chose Grilled Atlantic Salmon and Steamed Broccoli. She really wanted Mashed Potatoes with Good Gravy but she followed Randy's lead and ordered a healthy side.

She should have ordered the Mashed Potatoes.

The barstools at the WCG are very wide and comfortable, so we arranged our two stools next to each other so we could sit closely while eating. The food was fantastic...very delicious. We talked constantly, made each other laugh, and really enjoyed eating together. Besides, this was our 10-day anniversary!

Later into our meal Kathy suddenly stopped talking. Randy noticed this immediately because she had not ceased talking since they sat down. Looking at Kathy, Randy asked, "Are you OK?"

Kathy raised her right index finger and gave non-verbal clues that suggested "just a second." Randy let three seconds pass and Kathy still could not say anything. Randy asked with a sense of concern, "Are you choking?" Kathy nodded her head.

Randy jumped from his chair, removed Kathy from hers, moved behind her, clenched his fists under her ribs, and started the Heimlich Maneuver. Randy performed several thrusts without success.

One of the bartenders saw what was happening so he jumped over the bar and watched Randy continue to try to extract whatever Kathy was choking on. Realizing he was not having any luck, Randy gave Kathy to the bartender and yelled, "Help her!!"

The bartender dude wrapped his arms around Kathy, clenched his fists, and worked to free the food blocking Kathy's airway. The first three squeezes yielded nothing. All Randy could do was watch. Finally, on his fourth squeeze, Kathy spit out the largest broccoli floret you can imagine. It was not much smaller that an entire broccoli stalk.    

Tears came to Kathy's face as she reached for Randy to embrace her. Randy nearly lost his composure. Kathy kept repeating, "I am sorry, I am so sorry." Kathy was apologizing for nearly suffocating to death? Typical for her, she was more concerned about putting Randy through this ordeal than the fact that she nearly died from asphyxiation.

We sat back down at the bar, still embraced, our plates were taken away and Kathy continued to apologize. Randy kept reassuring her that everything was OK. Kathy apologized over and over again for embarrassing me. Really? Seriously?  

When everything had settled down, we thanked the bartender with a large tip and asked to see the restaurant manager. We asked him to be sure the bartender was recognized during the next staff meeting.

Then we did what most people do after a near-death experience...we ordered dessert! If you ever dine at the White Chocolate Grill, do not leave without trying the White Chocolate Bread Pudding. It is amazing.

We will never forget that night. Kathy thought she was a goner, and what a lame way to go. Thankfully an impartial bartender, not concerned with breaking her ribs, was able to save her life. 

Kathy avoided broccoli for the next two-and-a-half months.

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