Friday, December 9th, 2016

Don’t let facts get in way of cute story

4

A young girl saved the life of her best friend when she remembered Spongebob performed the Heimlich maneuver on Squidward to dislodge a clarinet stuck in his throat.

Miriam, a Long Beach Middle School seventh-grader, and her “BFF,” Allyson Golden, had just finished rehearsing the “West Side Story” classic, “I Feel Pretty,” for an upcoming choral competition when their teacher cracked a joke that had the 12-year-olds erupting in laughter.

“Allyson was chewing gum, which she shouldn’t have been,” Miriam recalled Friday in a mock tattletale voice during an interview in the principal’s office. “We were laughing and then the gum gets lodged in Ally’s throat. And she stopped laughing, which was weird because Ally laughs a lot.”

That’s when Miriam says she recalled an episode of the popular Nickelodeon cartoon, where she believes she saw SpongeBob use the Heimlich maneuver to retrieve a clarinet lodged in the throat of another character, Squidward.

“And I get her up and I do the Heimlich and the gum goes flying out of her mouth,” she said.

Well, not quite.

One little hiccup in the heartwarming story is that a Nickelodeon spokeswoman says there was never an actual episode of SpongeBob performing the Heimlich.

“Not that we can find,” said spokeswoman Maria Poulos.

She said there was an episode where Squidward swallows a clarinet, but SpongeBob reaches down his throat to pull it out. In another episode, SpongeBob’s pal Patrick tries to perform a “slimelick” maneuver by reaching around a clam, “but it didn’t work,” she said.

Neither Miriam nor Allyson were concerned with such technicalities.

I’m happy Allyson is okay, but was this really a story? The rescue had nothing to do with SpongeBob. Miriam was more likely to have been inspired by the cartoon to consult the Magic Conch to decide what to do.

Given the number of episodes where SpongeBob’s internal organs have made an appearance, we should be grateful Allyson didn’t suffer a headache.

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