A Stiff Neck

So, he’s been suffering from a
stiff neck for about a week and
it is starting to get to him because
he is an active guy who likes to

jog and ride a bike. He doesn’t
know how it happened, maybe
on a bike ride, the cooler fall air
blowing down his neck under his

jacket, maybe when he drenched
the sheets and they got real cold
and he woke up in that freezing,
soggy mess, maybe some other

way. All he knows is that it is hard
to swallow and he begins to think
his sore neck muscles are beginn-
ing to squeeze his voice box be-

cause his voice is now harsh and
not only won’t he be able to swall-
ow, he won’t be able to breathe
and he will die a slow, excruciating

death calling out for help with a
gravelly whisper no one would hear
and then he thinks he should put the
heating pad back on his neck and

that even though it isn’t five, he
would like to have about three
ounces of that new potato vodka
which he can pretty much let slide

down without having to experience
the pain of a hard swallow but then
he wonders what would happen if
it goes down the wrong hole and

he suffocates that way. He goes
for the vodka anyway, supports
his head with his hand and lets
it slide right on down — the right hole.

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