Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy! – I Cried Me A Lemon!
We all have strange habits don’t we?
Sometimes they are compulsive, but mostly they form through rituals and routines, something we are used to. Anyway this isn’t specifically about long term habits in this case bad habits; it is about an incident that happened during the time l happened to be living at home with my parents when l was around 19 years of age.
The habit in question wasn’t particularly a bad habit, although after this incident l stopped doing it, but it took a major scare for me to realise that perhaps l needed to use more common sense!
You see, when younger l used to have a thing for sucking lemons, but atypically to me, it wasn’t a case of sucking slices of lemon, but more a case of getting in from work which because l was in catering could be late. So l would make a coffee, and grab myself a few lemons, peel and carry them into the lounge room with me and try and find a film on TV to unwind with.
At 19 l was an assistant banqueting manager at a local civic hall in Guildford, Surrey and during the season, it was not uncommon to start at 6am and finish work at around 8pm after attending to perhaps 800 covers, so l was still usually pretty hyped and needed to wind down and l did this sucking lemons and watching a late night film.
What l haven’t mentioned is that l didn’t suck the lemon in a normal fashion or that my craving for ‘sour’ meant that usually l might have not just one but sometimes 2 or 3 lemons in my bowl. I haven’t yet mentioned, that l did not sit in a chair to watch the television but l used to lay on my stomach on the carpet watching. Are these points specific? To a certain degree yes, and more so especially the lying prone on my stomach.
But the biggest quirk of all, the strangest habit was that l used to squeeze the entire lemon into my mouth and suck the juices that way!
“Yeah, yeah l know … like WTF did you do that for?”
Because that was the strangeness of my particular lemon habit.
The film, “The End” was showing that night on l think BBC 1 and l had caught it at the start time, so l was pretty lucky. I was an insomniac anyway, so even though it wasn’t a late finish – l would still be in bed by around midnight, but would probably read till around 3am, then to be up again at around 5am. But hey when you are young, you can burn the candle at both ends anyway, right?
Now today this film would probably not be classed as politically correct, but back then, wasn’t today. Back then not too dissimilar to now l had a very quirky offbeat humour and so the ‘dark humour’ aspect to this film really appealed to me.
Principally it is about a man [Reynolds] who is informed by his doctor that he only has a set period of time left to live, because he has a rare blood disease which is killing him. Armed with this knowledge he then duly decides to try and kill himself instead of dying a horrible painful death.
Now to some, this very topic is already taboo, people even today simply do not like discussing some of the issues in this film, but l have recently watched it again to ensure the scene l will make mention to is/was in this film, which it was. Society as a whole loves to ostracise what it doesn’t wish to face head on, and talk of death, depression, suicide is considered a big no, no. If you are like me, and see some humour to it and that is NOT laughing at others, but have the ability to laugh at yourself then this is a film that could appeal to your sense of humour.
The incident in question happens in the first 25 minutes of the film, where Reynolds is trying to use the public phone but another guy is using it in the hospital corridor [James Best] and after a few polite requests, Reynolds switches of the guys’ pacemaker and the guy in the background stumbles along the corridor and then slumps against a wall
Looking back the scene is still funny, but as a mature man now, it wasn’t as funny as the first time when l was 19. Understandable of course.
BUT, when l laughed l forgot l had the lemon in my mouth, and as l laughed l inhaled and l had the entire squidgy lemon attempt to go down my throat!!
It took perhaps 2 seconds to realise that l was in trouble. A further five seconds to fully understand that the lemon was lodged in the back of my throat! And no more than a further second to realise that l was choking! Lying down prone as l was proved to be the worse position l could ever be in, because as l tried to find the logic in the first twenty seconds, in those same seconds l panicked! I could still just breathe through my nose and that was fast becoming restricted. I tried dislodging the offender, tried to get up, but found l couldn’t move, tried rolling over; the damn thing was stuck fast.
I guess l must have been making a hell of a racket, because l woke my parents upstairs who came flying down to find me rolling on the floor or pretending to be a dog on my knees and appeared to be barking, and trying to kill myself as apparently l had my hands around my throat
I know what a scene!
My Father normal to his style demanded to know what the bloody hell l was playing at and did l know the time. My Mother thankfully noticed that my face was blue and quickly instructed my Father that she thought l was choking! To which point he then grabbed me and starting shouting at my face, which wasn’t helping! All l could do was gurgle at him.
It was then that he swung around to the back of me and started smacking me on the back, before putting his hands around my waist, bending me forwards and we started a violent form of toing and froing me back and forth until finally and quite reminiscent of that scene in Mrs Doubtfire with the prawn – the lemon shot out at 90 miles an hour and hit my Mother full in the face!
Whilst l was recovering and my Father was trying to regain some dignity in his pyjamas which had become so dishevelled his trousers were now down by his ankles, my Mother had picked up the strange looking pasty prune like pale yellow thing and was examining it with some horror, trying no doubt to understand what on earth it actually was?
Finally, with her remarkable sense of deduction was she able to conclude that it was indeed an entire albeit horribly drained whole lemon!
I will not go into the drama llama ding dong that followed after that, but l will say that after that night l stopped sucking whole lemons, in fact just in case l hadn’t learned my lesson, the citrus fruit in question was under lock and key for quite some time … however l didn’t need telling twice, and if l had lemons after that, they were always sliced!
I put it down to another of my lives lost that night, with but a lucky squeeze out for survival!
I had missed so much of the film, that l simply went to bed counting my lucky stars, but saw the film again a few years later and was able to enjoy it with a renewed zest!
This story is in a strange way related to two other tales in this series which will be written about at another point.
Thanks for reading.
Guy or Bloke, Your Choice