Way back when we lived in Montana (here and here) and Vicbowin was just in Kindergarten she had this really annoying habit of chewing on pens.
I'm sure she'd been doing it for years by then and I'd been nagging her to stop for years as well. Nothing seemed to be working.
So this one day I had to drive over to Bozeman, which was 1/2 an hour from where we lived. The kids were in the back (minus Remewin who hadn't been thought of yet) and Vicbowin was gnawing away at a pen.
All of a sudden she starts making this obnoxious spitting noise. I turned around to tell her to please stop only to see that the pen had exploded in her mouth!
Ink was spilling out of her lips, down her chin and into her lap. She looked as if she were about to vomit.
I immediately pulled into a gas station, hopped out and ran in to ask for some paper towels. I had told Vicbowin to wait in the car, but she didn't listen to me and instead stood on the sidewalk wailing about her mouth--something like "It's all over me! Get it out!!!"
I ran out to the curb to start cleaning her up when I noticed people staring... including the gas station employee.
I was embarrassed, thinking to myself 'it's just ink people.'
Then it dawned on me.
The ink was red!
It didn't look like ink at all. It looked like blood. It looked like my daughter was bleeding profusely from the mouth and I was barely batting an eye!
"Can I help you?" The gas station guy asked.
I smiled as calmly as I could... trying not to laugh at the horror and trepidation visible on his face.
"It's just ink." I said.
His face changed instantly. "Oh." He breathed.
"I'm fine." I said.
I laughed and smiled at Vicbowin and said loudly (for the benefit of the crowd), "Now you know why I don't want you to chew on PENS."
Soon enough it was cleaned up and we were ready to go again. The people had moved on, and besides the puddles of red ink (and the red teeth) there was barely anything to show for the experience.
Well, except for Vicbowin never chewing on a pen again.