A grain of rice like a bullet in the head

I HAVE a grain of rice up the back of my nose.

It’s been there for 12 hours and it must be eating my brain because I can feel myself going mad.

I know of no other hurdle on the running track of life so frustrating as bits of food up the back of the nose. An inextricable shred of mango between the teeth doesn’t even come close.

How do these things get there? Over the past 12 hours I have reached with my finger back towards my brain as far as I could go and there appears to be no passageway through which a grain of rice could pass.

When I swallow, the food goes down, not up! Nor do I eat with my nose, for heaven’s sake!

Is my epiglottis performing some kind of independent gymnastics, hurling grains of rice into my brain space like a little lever in a pinball machine, going for the bonus?

I ought to be able to forget it, but it’s impossible.

I want to try reaching it with a paperclip cunningly shaped to fit the meandering of my sinuses, but the family won’t untie me.

Should I blow my nose with excessive force in the hope I can encourage it into my handkerchief? Or will the sudden pressure fire it like a bullet through the back of my head and turn me into a vegetable?

I’ve tried contorting the soft bits at the back of my throat, hoping I might catch it the way the tip of an elephant’s trunk snares a banana, but all it’s done is give me a headache.

Is it dangerous? Should I go to the emergency unit at the hospital? I don’t even remember how it happened. I was just eating. Curry and rice. I slowly became aware of an alien power lurking in my head.

Come to think of it, maybe it’s not a grain of rice. Maybe I’ve been cunningly microchipped so people like the taxman can wave electronic gadgets over me and know exactly where I live and what I owe.

It is, after all, the beginning of the financial year.

My wife says she hopes it’s not a microchip because if I ever wandered off and got lost some do-gooder would be able to bring me back.