WFME’s You Decide: Coughing Up A Lung or A Small Ferret

America is all about choice, my friends.

That’s why WFME likes to periodically give you the choice of the decade, except that since I’ve given you this choice five other times before today over the course of two years means that WFME is technically giving you “five choices each decade” to make an important decision that will never affect your future yet prepare you for obscure events that may, potentially happen to you. Then again, since this is the sixth time, you’re gettin “six choices each decade” which is more choice then the government actually gives you over the course of four years.

Aw heck. Either way, today you’d better be ready to make the ultimate choice of your entire life.

Let’s face it. At one point or another in your life you’ve had a cold. Had some kind of illness or allergic reaction that caused you to cough. Cough cough cough cough cough to the point of Nyquilling yourself up or taking medication to quell the cough inside of you. Sometimes, when it got really bad, it felt as if you were going to cough up a lung.

In reality, this can actually happen.

Even if it couldn’t, for the sake of today’s question — let’s assume for one moment that you had a really bad cold. You were lying in bed, sick of TV even though you had 800 channels via satellite and you were passing the time by sneezing, sniffling, aching, stuffy-headening, fevering, not resting and having a coughing fit like you’d never had before. Perhaps, your coughing fit got so bad that you started to cough up stuff. Use your imagination on whatever that might be.

But then suddenly, things got way worse.

It would be at that moment, at the height of your coughing fit, that you would actually COUGH UP A LUNG. Right there, on the bed. Right in front of you. You can imagine how scary something like that would be, and perhaps it would even be tough to call for help. Given, in this scenario you could probably still breathe and function and what not — but the experience of coughing up a lung would be traumatic I’m sure. Yes, you’d go to the hospital they’d fix you up and what not, but you would always have that memory ingrained in your head — the moment you were watching Dr. Phil when you coughed up a lung on your bed sheets.

But what if you were able to switch out that memory for something that (in my humble opinion) would be the far better solution of the two?

What if you coughed up a small ferret instead? A weasel-like, usually albino mammal (Mustela putorius furo) “related to the polecat and often trained to hunt rats or rabbits”? What if at the height of your coughing fit, you coughed up a small ferret instead of your left lung? Wouldn’t that, my friends, be the far better solution?

Personally, if I had a choice, I’d rather cough up a small ferret than a lung. Why? Because if I had been the guy who coughed up a small ferret, I could totally use that story for some time in the limelight. I mean, can’t you just imagine that conversation I’d have with Jay Leno the night I went on The Tonight Show to talk about my most recent and startling experience?

Jay Leno: “So, let’s get to the real story. What everyone’s been talking about lately…”

Me: “Oh, Jay…”

[The Audience laughs and cheers.]

Me: “Oh YOU people! You really want me to talk about it!?”

[More cheering!]

Jay Leno: “I think they truly want to hear the story, Paul.”

[Even louder cheering!]

Me: “Anyone here from San Francisco!?”

[Even more cheering!]

Me: “Okay. So here’s the story…”

Jay Leno: “Yesssss-?”

Me: “The other day… I was having a coughing fit… And, well-“

Jay Leno: “Go on… This is going to be priceless…”

Me: “I coughed up… a small ferett!”

[The audience goes WILD.]

Jay Leno: “As in the small mammal referred to as ‘mustela putorius furo?'”

Me: “Oh, Jay. YES. That exact one!”

[The audience loves me.]

And over on The Late Show with David Letterman I could probably parlay the experience into some kind of stupid-human story/trick. I mean, the media opportunities would be endless, and then I could even tie it into my new book and a bunch of other self-important moments where I would shine.

After all, I’d be the guy who coughed up a small ferret.

But switch that to me being the guy who coughed up a lung, and what kind of excitement surrounds that? People cough up lungs all the time – maybe not literally, but they do. That’s a medical condition. But coughing up a small ferret is a talent of sorts. It’s magic! It’s like being a combination of Dr. Doolittle and David Copperfield. And that, my friends, is ultra cool. In fact, on the scale of coolness (which goes from 1 to 187), that would rank about a 178.

Then again, there are people out there (and I know they’re out there because they commented on the previous You Decide post about getting hit in the head with an anvil or a dead kangaroo) who will undoubtedly choose the coughing up a lung over the coughing up a small ferett because they will say that it would be much more traumatic to cough up a living ferret (yes people, it’s still alive when it comes up) because they will start to wonder what kind of riggling-around in their intestines/damage the ferret might have done while inside. They will sit around all day wondering what happened inside of them. I mean, a live ferret in your stomach isn’t the most comforting visual to have stick with you for your entire life.

But when you really weigh the positives and negatives, I think you’ll agree with me:

Positives For Coughing Up A Lung

  • Simulates real sickness, which gets sympathy.
  • May get you some hot soup, for free.
  • Could become spokesperson for NyQuil.
  • Visit to hospital could reunite you with that hot nurse you always admired from afar.

Negatives For Coughing Up A Lung

  • Pain.
  • Trouble breathing.
  • Not too glamorous.
  • Hard to talk with lung hanging out of your mouth.
  • Unattractive.
  • Little to no appeal to major media outlets.
  • Potentially can ruin your professional sporting goals.
  • No more smoking.
  • Inclusion on Discovery Channel’s newest show, “People Who Have Coughed Up A Lung And Survived To Tell The Tale” as hosted by TV’s Alan Thicke.

Positives For Coughing Up A Small Ferret

  • Fame & Fortune
  • TV Appearances
  • Still able to smoke.
  • Able to eat more, a lighter feel in your stomach.
  • Finally, you’ll have a great story to tell the grandkids (since you never fought in a war).
  • Ferrets are famous: they were figured prominently in the movie Kindergarten Cop.
  • The word ‘ferret’ contains the letters “F R E E” which is how you’ll be feeling once you’ve coughed up a small ferret from your stomach.
  • Suddenly, without spending any cash, you’ll have a quirky adorable little pet.
  • Ferrets will hunt rats & rabbits, thus solving your rodent problem around the house or the farm.
  • You will be a GOD to the regurgitators of the world.
  • Ferret just sounds like “fun” if you think about it.

Negatives For Coughing Up A Small Ferret

  • N/A

As you can see, I’ve put a lot of thought into this. I’ve drawn up the postive/negative lists. I’ve thought about the pain that accompanies the coughing up of any object. I’ve considered the psychological stress and emotional trauma that could be associated with both choices. And when all is said and done, I think my decision is more than obvious:

I would rather cough up a small ferret.

But that’s just me. What about you?

What have you decided?

15 comments on “WFME’s You Decide: Coughing Up A Lung or A Small Ferret

  1. Dave2 - June 24, 2006 at 8:45 am -

    Would the ferret be smoking? Because I hear that smoking is bad for you, and so I wouldn’t want a smoking ferret in my lungs.

    Unless he was smoking filter-tips, in which case that crisp tobacco flavor would be a welcome change from what’s probably in my lungs right now.

  2. Pauly D - June 24, 2006 at 8:49 am -

    Dude. The ferret is in your stomach, not your lungs.

    I think you need to re-read this post.

  3. dgm - June 24, 2006 at 8:54 am -

    you’ve made a persuasive case indeed for the ferret, but i’m sticking with the lung. i can’t get over the fact that the ferret is not supposed to be there in the first place, and i’m troubled by any scenarios that place a ferret inside of me. the lung, however, it belongs there. i won’t be freaked out when i see it come up.

  4. Dave2 - June 24, 2006 at 8:56 am -

    But a cough comes from your lungs. I think you need to re-read basic anatomy.

    In any event, I don’t think a smoking ferret would be any more healthy in your stomach.

  5. Pauly D - June 24, 2006 at 9:44 am -

    Dave – Haven’t you ever swallowed some water or food and “coughed it back up?”

    Tomato, tomAHto.

  6. Just a crazy woman - June 24, 2006 at 10:09 am -

    Good idea on having two different approaches for Leno / Letterman. Sometimes guests tell the same stories – using the same “from the hip” funny lines. Not so “from the hip” if we just heard it the night before.

    You’re right. A ferret is MUCHO cooler than a lung. That would probably make me hang out with you at parties. I might personally rather cough up something useful… like jewelry, a lost sock or even a cute puppy would be nice. I mean what do you do with the ferret after you’ve coughed it up? Does it grab a bite to eat from your fridge and then scurry out your doggie door?

  7. Thoughtsgalore - June 24, 2006 at 5:06 pm -

    Oh Pauly…You’re back to rodents again?! UGH!!!!! The rodentaphobe in me, would much rather choose the lung.

  8. Anne - June 24, 2006 at 6:55 pm -

    I guess coughing ferrets would be better than say…coughing snakes?

  9. Julia Farley - June 25, 2006 at 5:49 am -

    All I can think of is Lemmiewinks…”lemmiewinks, oh, lemmiewinks…” And let me tell ya, that is one nasty story about a rodent. Mmmmmm? I think that coughing up a llama is a much better idea what with the long nex and all.


  10. Monica Ricci - June 25, 2006 at 2:09 pm -

    HMMM tough call Paul. I’d have to go with the ferret (as long as he’s a small one) Here’s my reasoning… a lung is attached and it would be pretty gross to see something that’s attached and fleshy coming out of me. Ugh. PLUS there would be a trip to the hospital involved in order to put the dang thing back IN. Double ugh and questionable on the old’ health insurance. (Not sure lung replacement is covered).

    But a small ferret… whole different ballgame. He’s NOT attached so there’s no hospital visit to put him back. PLUS ferrets are kind of cute. And of course, the aforementioned media attention that comes with coughing up a diminutive rodent. So FERRET. Final answer. ~Monica

  11. […] There’s a reason people put bell-like, jangling items around the necks of their dogs and their cats and their guinea pigs and their small ferrets. There’s a reason cages and hamster wheels and habitrails make sounds. It’s because as humans, we should at all times, know exactly where the animals around us are. What they’re doing. What piece of furniture they’re about to burrow inside of. […]

  12. […] There’s a reason people put bell-like, jangling items around the necks of their dogs and their cats and their guinea pigs and their small ferrets. There’s a reason cages and hamster wheels and habitrails make sounds. It’s because as humans, we should at all times, know exactly where the animals around us are. What they’re doing. What piece of furniture they’re about to burrow inside of. […]

  13. […] You chose between getting hit in the head with an anvil or a dead kangaroo. A bird in the hand or a bird in the bush. Coughing up a lung or a small ferrett. A painless nail in the head or a weekly pedicure and walking around with a ziploc bag filled with water or a severed left arm. They were tough choices that, surprisingly, pale in comparison to your next enigmatic choice. A choice so tough, it will shake you to the core. […]

  14. Joan - November 6, 2006 at 8:34 pm -

    Coughing small ferrets doesnt sound like too much fun, but i’m a smoker and if i’m coughing them up i would think its because they aren’t smokers themselves.

  15. Joan - November 6, 2006 at 8:38 pm -

    and 1 question, I found this blog because i have been smoking cigarettes since age 14 and have just started coughing up small ferrets recently at age 16.
    this is REALLY bad right? i need lots of info!

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