Remember When George W. Bush Choked On A Pretzel And Fainted?

There were a lot of ups and downs during former president George W. Bush's terms in the oval office. Let's not get political, though! Both sides of the aisle can agree that it's never good to choke on a pretzel and faint. Yet, that's precisely what Bush did on January 13, 2002. The Los Angeles Times reported he had been watching football in the private, residential section of the White House at the time. Blacking out, the President fell from his seat and roughed up his face in the process, leaving a bruise on his mouth. Maybe he should've stuck to his favorite snack instead: cheeseburger pizza (via Business Insider); perhaps the savory sauciness of that unique pizza pie and burger combo could've kept his throat from getting too dry.

Thankfully, he soon woke back up. His dogs were right where he had left them, lounging nearby yet staring at him in curiosity. Doctor Richard Tubb, the White House Physician at the time, calmed all concerns, explaining that this was just a freak accident. However, Bush's low heart rate of 35-45 bpm may have made him susceptible to losing consciousness so easily (via Los Angeles Times). Clearly, though, all's well, as Bush is still thriving to this day.

"Thank God it didn't take down the presidency," John Moeller, a White House chef at the time, later told Lancaster Online. He'd been the one to buy the salty snack, something he'd done since Bill Clinton was president.

What George W. Bush said

In his first public appearance after the unfortunate accident, Bush assured the Associated Press that he was doing well. "My mother always said, 'when you're eating pretzels, chew before you swallow,'" Bush told them. Apparently, he had not heeded those words. "Listen to your mother," he joked. "I hit the deck," continued the President. "I didn't realize what happened 'til I looked in the mirror. My glasses cut my [sic] side of my face." Fortunately, he recovered quickly. The President figured he'd only been out for a bit after the pretzel went down the wrong pipe, per NY Daily News. Even though he reported feeling "a little off his game" earlier that weekend, his blood pressure returned to normal, and he took off on a trip via Air Force One the next day. It seems his spirits were as high as his altitude.

Later, during a trade-speech archived by the U.S. Government Publishing Office, Bush joked again. "I thought for a while, when they told me that I was going to receive a gift here, [they were] going to bring me a pretzel," he jested. Not eager to repeat his harrowing experience, he claimed he was hoping for a soft pretzel. That wasn't the full extent of the President laughing at himself, either. He sent an enormous bag of pretzels — the crunchy kind — to reporters with a signature and note for them to "chew slowly" (via the Associated Press). Good advice, Mr. President!