A peppermint's life is usually a single act of service. The totality of a peppermint's existence is to provide all of us with fresh breath. They give up their lives so we can forget that we had garlic bread for dinner, so we can kiss our loved ones without complaint. So much of what they do quietly enriches our lives, until they dissolve humbly in our fiery furnaces. But when I was 9 years of age, I choked on one of these "selfless" red and white candies, rendering me breathless until my heroic mother performed the Heimlich maneuver on me. Obviously this particular mint was upset at his life calling and fought hard against self-melting. His death came later, after his flight across our kitchen table, and eventually landing next to our Christmas tree --he's lucky our curious poodle, Hershey, didn't eat him.
This event, and my parents will admit, maybe even laughingly so, caused me trauma. For months I was convinced something was wrong with my swallowing process, that my throat had been "damaged" during the peppermint choking. I couldn't swallow certain food --steak was impossible--, I kept bread next to my plate every night at dinner to help "push the food down" and a special need had to be met in snack time at my school, my mom had to phone my teacher and make the request that I get a snack and a drink so if I felt my food was stuck in my throat I'd have a drink to wash down such danger.
But eventually my mom sought a doctor, where I then drank a milky substance that tasted like melted sidewalk chalk, as part some of the tests they conducted on my throat. Of course the doctors told my poor Mom that it was all mental, and that nothing was in fact wrong with my throat. I was merely experiencing the mental after effects of a traumatizing event, caused by one selfish piece of candy. After the dust settled, and breath mints were banished from my house, I abstained from eating peppermint's for years, and even now when I'm offered them by a hostess at a fancy food place, I gladly decline. I usually opt for gum. Be warned: not all peppermints are friendly. Also, thanks for saving my life Mom.