October 25, 2004

A simple gold band

I lost my wedding ring last monday afternoon. In all the fuss about the trip to the dentist, I'd forgotten about that. Fortunately, I found it again. With the cooler weather coming on, and the weight I've lost this year, my fingers are thinner and it just slipped off when I was putting something into my briefcase. A few discreet wraps of tape and that won't happen again.

I'm on my second ring because the first one wore out. I wear it constantly, except for when I'm working on my car. I've witnessed ugly things happen to people who wear rings while playing mechanic. I've no desire to personally experience them myself.

I lost the first ring too once, and then found it again. Back when Liz was in a wheelchair, we went to a restaurant and while we were sitting there I realized my ring was missing. I freaked. I had no idea when I'd last noticed it, and by the end of the meal Liz had calmed me down enough to just accept that sometimes crap like that happens.

After dinner, I helped Liz into the car then took the chair around back to load it up (we used a bike rack to carry it). I got her chair folded and secured, and for some reason I looked down and there at my feet was the ring. Major relief!

When we were first engaged, I told Liz to get whatever ring she wanted (we were living in different states at the time), and to get me a plain gold band. No engraving, no markings, just simple gold a little over 1/8" wide.

Anything bigger than that and you could do yourself damage...

I'm going to tell this story exactly like I've told it to Liz. I'm careful never to change it or embellish it, or she'd know it's bull. It's not... sorta. Or maybe it is. I've never confirmed or denied it, I just tell the story as is and let everyone make up their own mind. To this day, Liz still isn't sure if I'm pulling her leg about this.

Liz was out with a bunch of girlfriends at a bachelorette party. She wasn't driving, so I expected her to stagger through the door in the wee hours, drunk and disorderly.

A couple of my friends had come over to the house, and we weren't doing much of anything when the phone rang. It was the girls, asking us if wanted to join them at the bar for the party. Their real motivation was that even the designated drivers were hammered, and they needed rides home.

We drove over, it wasn't far, and went inside. It was kind of fun to be the only three guys partying with more than a dozen drunk women. We were having a good time, and then for reasons I'll never fathom I did the single stupidest thing I've ever done in my life.

I decided to recreate that scene in Officer and a Gentleman where Patrick Swayzie swallows an engagement ring. Of course, I didn't actually swallow it, I tucked it under my tongue before taking the drink. Of course, nobody believed that I'd actually swallowed it, and a few minutes later it miraculously reappeared on my finger, to no one's suprise.

Someone mentioned it though at the other table and soon a whole new batch of drunk ladies wanted to see it. Remember that scene?

Open mouth, stick out tongue, place ring carefully on tongue. Take looong drink and open mouth. Viola! No ring. Of course, I wasn't going to continue the scene and go hang myself in the bathroom. There's limits to what I'll do for my art.

Except that, to my horror, the damn ring somehow slipped to the back of my throat and I involuntarily swallowed it.

There's a reason we chew our food. The throat isn't all that big around, and although there's some flexibility, it's not built to deal with things like a ring of metal. The ring got stuck. I wasn't choking on it, but it was too far down to discreetly cough up. The look on my face instantly gave it away, and of course everyone knew I was bullshitting them. It became a game, where did Ted hide his ring. The women searched my mouth, my hands, my pockets, and I could have really enjoyed it all if not for the fact that I'd swallowed my freaking wedding band. I finally decided that "this too, shall pass" and instead of bringing it up, I'd swallow it down and bide my time for its reappearance. I took several large drinks and tried to work the ol' swallow magic. No joy. Not coming up, not going down.

A few minutes later, I'm outside in the parking lot with a good friend. He's holding a huge glass of water that he got from inside, even though he's convinced that I'm faking it and laughing his ass off at everyone else's reaction. He chattering away while I'm trying to redefine "productive cough". All I could think of is Liz being pissed off at me for being an idiot and the stories that the ER staff would be telling about me in the morning. Finally, in desperation I stuck my finger down my throat and managed to throw up on the hood of a Corvette.

Eureka! I gingerly pluck my ring from the puddle of yick and rinse it off with that glass of water. I put it back on my finger, poured the rest of the water on the 'vette to wash off my mess, and headed back inside. I felt stoopid, to say the least. I was amazed to find out that most of the folks thought I was full of crap when I told them what happened, even with my friend's eyewitness account. It was so confused that to this day Liz isn't certain about the actual events.

I'm not that damn stupid. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

Posted by Ted at October 25, 2004 05:22 AM
Category: Boring Stories

I believe ya! Even if it's just a neat story, believe me, I believe ya! ;)

Posted by: Tuning Spork at October 26, 2004 12:01 AM
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