Metro column 14

Richard Herring: I nearly lost my new wife to a kamikaze carrot

Richard Herring was feeling cocky about reaching his one-month marriage anniversary – until a kamikaze carrot got in the way.

Hooray! We’ve been married for a whole month without my wife realising the dreadful error she’s made. This means we’ve been wed 15 times longer than Britney Spears and Jason Alexander (wasn’t he George in Seinfeld? They were crazy to think that would work).

Actually, the list of celebs whose marriages didn’t make it to 31 days is embarrassingly long. I don’t have space to mention them all. All I will say is: ‘Eat my dust Axl Rose. Thought you were better than me didn’t you? Well, not at staying married the first time round, you’re not. Loser!’

However, I do take my hat off to Pamela Anderson, whose second and third marriages combined totalled 174 days. Though if you marry her, you might as well keep your hat on: you’re not staying long.

I’m being pretty cocky about my long-lasting marriage (I’m still a massive 41 days away from reaching Kim Kardashian levels of commitment) but the truth is that I nearly lost my wife after just 15 days. Not because she left, annoyed with me for picking the dead skin off my feet or for playing on my iPhone whenever she was talking…

She nearly died.

This is why I shouldn’t be allowed to have nice things.

She was in the other room, snacking on some sliced up carrot, when she started making the most awful retching sound. I thought she was being sick – perhaps it was a delayed shock reaction to our marriage or she’d just discovered my envelope of foot skin – but she staggered in, very distressed – a carrot chunk lodged in her throat.

If I didn’t do something I was going to have to make quite an awkward phone call to her parents. ‘Remember me, I married your daughter a couple of weeks ago… yeah, that’s me. Anyway, got a bit of embarrassing news…’

It’d be almost as bad as that time that I insisted that my parents got me a goldfish, but then I overfed it and it died. Plus, I couldn’t just flush my wife down the toilet.

Cluelessly, I leapt to her aid. All I could think of to do was to hit her sharply on the back. It didn’t work.

I made a half-hearted attempt at the Heimlich manoeuvre, based on what I remembered from an old episode of The Simpsons. Her eyes were now bulging like Arnold Schwarzenegger’s at the end of Total Recall.

It was awful. I felt powerless, helpless and hopeless. Was I going to have to watch her die? Thankfully, somehow the vegetable got dislodged and she started breathing.

Losing someone in such a random way would be bad enough, but imagine endlessly blaming yourself for your ignorant culpability. I’d probably take it out on the carrots, devoting my life to avenging her death by destroying every one I saw.

You might argue that if anyone has a vendetta in this situation it should be the carrots – I have grated and eaten thousands of them, without provocation. You may admire that kamikaze carrot for trying to even the score.

But as the shock receded I realised that I had somehow saved my wife’s life. This was great. I was a hero. She owed me. Marriage is a competition and I was 1-0 up. Result.

Afterwards, I downloaded the British Red Cross First Aid smartphone app. It’s got clear instructions on what to do in many emergencies. I wish I’d had it before. I’d love to have seen my wife’s face as she stumbled towards me and saw me reaching for my iPhone.

Richard Herring is currently touring Britain with his show, What Is Love, Anyway?

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