My stories: New Year's eve edition

31 Dec

A few years ago, my now-wife and I headed over to our friends’ house for a New Year’s Eve party. We brought a bottle of champagne for the occasion. After arriving and saying our hellos, the party host (my pal Mike) and I went into the kitchen to pop the cork and pour a few glasses.

I undid the foil wrapper and stood face-to-face with Mike with my thumb over the cork as he finished up a quick story. Just as he was wrapping up there was a sudden deafening POP! sound followed by Mike recoiling and shrieking at the top of his lungs as he fell to the ground. Time moved in slow motion as my brain tried to comprehend what had just happened.

Yes, that is right: I had accidentally just popped a champagne cork right into Mike’s face. I immediately went into full panic mode as Mike writhed in pain. What part of his face did the cork hit? Did he have a bloody nose, a busted lip, a gash across the face? What? The cork shot out at about a hundred miles per hour. We were standing less than two feet away from each other. Fuck fuck fuck, this is so bad. Dude is really hurt. What if it hit him square in the eyeball? Would he lose his vision? What if it shot right into his mouth and plugged his throat? That would be an awful way to die. New Year’s Eve was ruined.

A second later, Mike slowly stood up with his hand covering his mouth and eyeballs as big as saucers. He was still whimpering. As he pulled his hand away, my imagination continued to run wild. He could be missing a tooth. A split lip was a surety. And of course, the blood. Oh, the blood. My panic remained as his hand slowly moved away to reveal….

Nothing. Mike, in a state of shock if not quite pain, asked me to survey the damage. He opened his mouth to show off his teeth. Nothing wrong. No mark at all. How the hell?

Miraculously, the cork had hit him square in between his two front teeth, enough to cause some discomfort but not so much that they were knocked out. If the cork had hit him any other place – the cheek, the nose, the eye, the forehead – there would have been a very noticeable injury.

But it didn’t. Mike and I shrugged, poured the champagne, and went to tell our friends of our New Year’s Eve miracle.

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