Had I Known the Dangers

When I was very young, perhaps 8 or 9, I was watching some afternoon television and enjoying a bag of pretzels. It was a delicious bag of pretzels and, probably, a pretty bad show. At that tender age though, it's impossible to know what passes for good programming. Bad television and eating a bag of junk food go hand in hand. It's unavoidable.

I had finished the bag of pretzels and craved more. (I guess I should mention that I didn't eat the entire bag. I didn't acquire than habit until well into my teens.) There were no more pretzels in the house and so I looked into the bag with longing, hoping to find a stray pretzel that I might have missed. There was a pile of salt at the bottom and I stuck a finger into it and pushed around to see if there was anything hidden. Again, no such luck.

As I pulled my finger out of the bag, there were some grains of salt that had stuck to the tip. I licked it off and had my cravings met, for a moment. I wasn't craving the pretzel itself, just the saltiness that contained a hint of a buttery flavor. I had wet the tip of my finger and plunged it back into the salt pile for the tastes that my tongue was striving to experience. It was not enough though.

I tipped my head back and poured the salt from the bag directly into my mouth. It was a horrible idea, and I instantly realized it after doing it. I didn't have a drink at hand and the salt instantly sucked up all the moisture in my mouth and throat. I swallowed and shortly after my chest felt like an elephant was stepping on it. My vision narrowed and, although I was only 8 or 9, I thought I was going to have a heart attack. The dryness that I was feeling in my mouth spread to the rest of my body.

My body kicked into survival mode and started pumping the extra salt out as quickly as possible. The problems I began to experience disappeared and I quickly got a drink to help combat the dehydration I induced upon myself. I didn't come through the experience entirely unscathed though. Since that day I have lost all sensation in my little toes.

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