Bush - Pretzel Incident
On January 14, 2002, U.S. President George W. Bush emerged in front of a press conference with a very prominent broken blood vessel welt on his cheek, and said that he had choked on a pretzel while watching television the day before. Bush had reportedly been sitting on his couch, 90 minutes into watching an NFL football Miami vs. Baltimore play-off game on television, when he choked on the pretzel, falling to the ground, injuring himself, and briefly losing consciousness before awakening to see his dogs Barney and Spot showing alarm at his state. Laura Bush was reportedly in the adjoining room at the time, and Bush was alone watching the football game.
His physical injuries consisted of a scrape and bruise across his cheek and lower lip, injured by his glasses when he fell from the couch. He was attended by a physician following the incident. United States Air Force physician Dr. Richard Tubb, who performed the follow-up examination, theorized that the food morsel may have stimulated a nerve, upon becoming lodged in the President's throat. The incident did not affect the President's scheduled flight the following day, and as a joke he had a bag of pretzels sent back to the media pool aboard Air Force One with a note scrawled on the bag, "Chew slowly", once the plane was en route.
The following day, Bush twice addressed press reporters joking that he should have listened to his mother and "chewed before he swallowed."