Tuesday, 30 October 2007

An in depth report in to choking hazzards.

As part of a group study into choking on food (yes, an entire group of people and by that I mean two of us), we would like to release this important report into foods that are preferable when choking entitled: "What food is best to choke on?"

Firstly may I state that this study is based on theory. No one has choked on a foodstuff and had an enjoyable enough experience to tell me about it. Then again, I haven't asked anyone. Secondly, choking on a pound of cocaine does not count as "best to choke on". By best we mean most likely food to allow for survival, not which stuff will give you the widest girthed smile. And besides, cocaine is not a foodstuff.

So on with the study. First coming to mind is the humble olive. It has a built in safety device of having a hole all the way through. The problem is that the olive must be lined up correctly for its safety feature to work correctly. Given that in both axiseseses (how do you make that word a plurelacise?), there is only about 20 of the 90 degrees that are useful to breathing, so that’s 2/9 * 2/9 = 4/81. Not great odds.

Perhaps something that cannot cause a full obstruction. Polos? I've heard stories of St. John's ambulance (formally "Next stop, Heaven"), giving polos to heart attack victims. Apparently there is some lost panacial powers that Polos possess, they just forgot to tell anyone else. These sweets certainly would allow for better breathing, and would essentially dissolve over time.

Looking at the dissolving area, perhaps we want something that simply wouldn't survive long. Space dust? Painful, noisy and quite funny. But the embarrassment would be worth it.

Looking in to a more fruit/farm based view, is my associate Big Dave:

I would have to say something like bread, because of its ability to become mushy very quickly and as thus break apart easily, but hmm, would it stick inside because it can get sticky when its like that, very viscous….

Hmm, nothing crumbly because of flaking factor,

So in the report so far we have considered viscosity and flaking as factors that could prove troublesome, now pain might be a burgeoning incentive to work harder to dislodge, something like a chilli, but on the same hand could also damage the throat. All in all, we need a substance that is viscous enough not to dislodge the wrong way but not too viscous to become stuck and something that won’t crumble causing complications. Also pain becomes a factor in incentive but not in what makes it a good one to choke with. Now olives may prove to be magical food stuffs when it comes to choking but also similar items.

Blueberries, small and smooth, providing less friction but also may prove to be much too small and pose a risk in obvious size areas, now grapes may have a smoother skin but are about 5 times the size of a blueberry, the humble raspberry would seem good at first due to its hole and as thus the ability to draw breath, but at the same time it’s increased surface area due to it’s nodule like creation create friction, combined with the hole, which would also function as an easy escape for air during the dislodging procedure would possibly prove troublesome.

In all fruit seems to be ruled out due to an inconsistency in design and aerodynamics. We are in essence looking for something that allows passage of air from one direction whilst blocking it from the other, whilst also combining the above factors of viscosity, smoothness and lack of pain to an extent. I think some sort of hinged / valve operated, mild chilli the size of a raspberry would be the ultimate in ease of choking (is there such a thing O_o)

But failing this I believe the humble egg probably fried at a push scrambled (not a whole boiled one). The reason being that although not being a pleasure to look at afterwards (Although it doesn’t like part of your lung) it has a moveable side, a very flexible side if you will thus allowing the passage of air on the gentle in breath but will also provide adequate surface area for the powerful out breath! It also has viscosity enough to resist falling further into danger and also provides adequate lubrication for the out journey.




So that’s a piece of fried egg then.

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