Good morning and welcome back to the Today show. I'm Katie
Couric, along with Matt Lauer. That last segment was fun, huh,
Matt? Sampling all the new kinds of beer you can serve at your
Super Bowl party this year?
Matt: You betcha, Katie! And now we're going to talk about how
to keep people from dropping dead at your Super Bowl party.
Matt: Y'know, Katie, it used to be that the only dangerous thing
about Super Bowl Sunday was partying with Baltimore Ravens
linebacker Ray Lewis. But that was before President Bush nearly
choked to death watching the Ravens-Miami Dolphins playoff game.
A pretzel became lodged in his throat, causing him to pass out
and fall face-first onto the carpet.
Katie: It was the first really bad White House rug burn since
the Clinton Administration!
Matt: Zzzzing! Nonetheless, over four million pounds of pretzels
will be eaten this Super Bowl Sunday, many at your house,
especially if you invite our chubby friend here, weatherman Al
Katie: So, to avoid nasty carpet stains at your Super Bowl party,
we've got some important safety tips for you.
Matt: That's right, Katie. The American Red Cross says one of
the most common reasons people choke is by trying to swallow
large pieces of poorly chewed food.
Katie: Gross! Who would go around swallowing pieces of food
somebody hasn't finished chewing?
Matt: Ha! Good one, Katie! Another reason, the Red Cross says,
is eating while laughing.
Katie: For this reason doctors recommend serving your Super Bowl
party guests while they're watching taped highlights of Fox's
Best Damn Sports Show Period.
Matt: Bada-bing! Also dangerous, according to researchers at
Colorado State, is anything that's "round, firm and slippery."
Katie: Guess that leaves out CBS sideline babe Jill Arrington.
Matt: Rim shot! Now, if you happen to invite Japanese friends to
your party, ask them not to bring the popular new Asian snack
called moti. It's a flat cake made of hard-boiled rice that
turns into dough when mixed with saliva. Twenty people in Tokyo
were hospitalized on New Year's Eve after choking on moti.
Katie: So just for fun, we're making Al force down a plate of
moti, half-cooked Vienna sausages and some large, very stale
pretzels cut into three-quarter-inch segments, the exact
diameter of his windpipe, in less than 30 seconds. Pig out, Al!
Matt: Things are going down a little hard there, huh, big fella?
Katie: Too bad Matt and I drank all the beer last segment, huh?
Al: Krplgh! (Cough!) Clkkkgh!
Katie: While Al struggles, here's a cute Super Bowl party
decoration you can use that's both funny and useful. Next to
your big bowl of pretzels, put up a warning sign with the
Buffalo Bills logo on it and the words DON'T CHOKE! That's
Matt: You know who I suspect in the Bush choking thing?
Matt: Now what with all the craziness at your party, it might be
hard to tell if someone is choking.
Al: Hghlp (Gasp!) mmgn!
Katie: If it's clear he's choking, see if you can get him to
invoke his gag reflex. Usually looking at a photo of rotund
Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid naked will do the trick.
Matt: If that doesn't work, apply the Heimlich maneuver. But be
sure no one is standing in front of the person choking. Often
the victim will spew the projectile a distance that is many more
yards than Ravens quarterback Elvis Grbac will throw for all day.
Al: (Gasp!) Krgklgh.
Katie: You want to wrap your arms all the way around the person
and pull in sharply just below the bottom rib. But since Shaq
isn't available, we don't have anyone with arms that long.
Matt: But before our jokester Al shows up on that big Doppler
Radar in the sky, do you know what's the last recourse you should
take with your Super Bowl party victim?
Katie: See if you can find out what score he's got in the pool?
Matt: Exactly! Next segment, the coroner's inquest!
COLOR PHOTO: DANA FINEMAN/SYGMA
What with all the craziness at your party, it might be hard to
tell if someone is choking.