We all do odd quirky acts when we’re concentrating - some doodle, some play with their hair. I nibble. Depending on how desperate the deadline, and what I can find in my larder, the food stuffs range from sensible sunflower seeds to calorific chocolate chunks.
Well let me warn you of a chocolate Minstrel hazard that, until now, went unforeseen in my world and henceforth shall be known as: Minstrel shrapnel. Hayfever sufferers in particular should pay heed to the following lesson learnt by myself...
I was sitting at my desk writing and researching for a client. Whilst numbly reading and quite happily flicking through pages and taking in the results of someone else’s hard researching skills, I was peacefully placing Minstrel after Minstrel into my mouth, and then somewhere in the back of my mind a little ‘personal desk challenge’ grew into existence. How many Minstrels can I can cram into my mouth from this oversized bag? I’m all by myself, no-one can see and my curiosity was piqued. I’ve eaten these gems for years and never tried this... a new game, brilliant!
Still reading I finished my mouthful and started on my mini Minstrel quest. At Minstrel #7 I felt a tickle in my nose which I ignored thinking that my hayfever tablet would do its job and disperse. By Minstrel #8 this tickle turned into enough of a niggle to remind me to look up from my work and locate the lone tissue placed on my desk in case of an emergency. Minstrel #9 found the tickle in my nose increasing and the will to sneeze unbearable, I clenched my jaw to fight the urge to relieve my nose of the pressure building inside it, yet having started my mini experiment of no social worth, I was too eager to finish it and I duly crammed a tenth Minstrel into my mouth. The very second I did this, I had to quickly grit my teeth together once again to fight the now insatiable urge to sneeze. Trying to hold my breath worked for about two seconds, then against all of my pained efforts, I let out three explosive sneezes in quick succession.
Miraculously the Minstrels stayed inside my mouth, however, once the roar of sneezes had rendered my cat to shy away from me in utter disgust, I was overcome by an overwhelming sense of pain in my nose. Yes people, the worst had indeed happened - the force of my sneeze had smashed the shell covered chocolate bites to smithereens, which had then travelled, in the explosion, up my nasal passage and chocolate shell shrapnel from the blast was now lodged in my nose.
This was an hour ago. I have no idea how long this pain will last for, or how many preservatives lie in the sugar shell coating of a Minstrel disallowing it to break down naturally and more importantly, with speed. I had to share my experience with you in an attempt to save any other desk dwellers from potential pain, born from folly. NEVER SNEEZE WHEN EATING SUGAR SHELL COATED CHOCOLATES.
My total was ten in my mouth before they all blew up. Minstrels are extreme - I’m advising pure caution and adult supervision when you’re eating them.