Choking on food is never a pleasant experience; choking on food in a public place is even less. There is nothing like ruining an evening though by dying with your head on the plate.
On Saturday night hubby had a little incident. Along with two friends, we went to a local restaurant to get a bite to eat, (emphasis on bite). The evening was going along nicely when I heard what I thought was a growl coming from the right of me. I looked over and my other half's eyes were bulging out of his head and he was gasping for air. I jumped up quickly and tried to help him but I was not sure what to do. I looked around and quietly, in a non-panicked voice, said "help, help" to nearby diners. People came over to assist. The man at the next table knew the Heimlich maneuver and he pressed his arms under hubby's ribcage. After a minute or so, hubby was relieved of the offending piece of beef. We thanked the kind stranger for his help, hubby sat down again and went back to eating, chewing more carefully this time.
That is how I saw the situation.
What might have also happened is this:
Hubby started choking. I jumped up with this look of fear in my eyes that one might witness in a horror film. I yelled out, "HELP, HELP" in a voice that could be heard by anyone within a mile radius. The veins in my head were popping out and I was forgetting to breathe. The man at the next table knew the Heimlich maneuver, and he pressed his arms under hubby's ribcage. Hubby, who could still talk, kept saying, "lower, lower" as he gasped and then out popped the chunk of cow. Other people who surrounded us said "help her, get her to sit down. Arms went around me as they asked me how I was and I might have heard people talking about calling 911. When the commotion was over, we thanked the kind stranger, hubby went back to eating, chewing more carefully this time.
Two different scenarios. The truth lies somewhere in the middle.
We both may have made spectacles of ourselves that evening, so we might not go back to that restaurant for awhile.