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My near-death encounter with foam packing chips!

Full disclosure.

For my personal safety I have been admitted to “an institution.”

24 hours-a-day trained caregivers are watching over me on enough television screens to outfit a Buffalo Wild Wings sports bar restaurant. Oh, did I say my room is padded? Well sort of. … But it’s not the walls that are padded. IT’S ME!!

I am covered — head to toe —in itty-bitty, statically-charged foam packing chips!

There are soooo many of these damn foam chips all over my body that Trump would send his spokesperson out to say there are at least a gazillion!

There’s BREAKING NEWS on CNN. Wolf Blitzer is in the Situation Room showing a photograph of me. I look like the abominable snowman or the Michelin tire mascot.

Wolf says, “This guy looks like a lunatic!” Immediately, the scroll across the bottom of the television screen reads, ‘Middle age man attacked by foam packing chips almost suffocates!’

But wait…

Before you read about what happened in one of those magazines at the supermarket checkout — with outrageous headlines like “Man Opens Kitchen Cupboard & Survives Avalanche of Tupperware Containers” — here’s my side of the story.

The note stuck on our front door said, ‘We attempted to deliver a parcel today.’

You know what was coming: “It sucks to be you because you must call our customer service center in India and make arrangements within 20 minutes of reading this notice, or the tracking number assigned to your parcel will be permanently wiped from our records.”

I know. About now you’re saying, “Gary don’t go get the parcel. Don’t do it!”

First mistake: I got the parcel.

Back at home I read the shipping label: “Weight: 3 ounces.” Ahhh, this explains why they used a cardboard shipping box the size of a commercial walk-in restaurant freezer to ship something the size of a deck of playing cards!

One look and I knew right away that to open the box would require a German-engineered, finger-severing knife. Well at least the knife in my fishing tackle box.

It’s an hour later. The box was wrapped in so much of that industrial-strength packing tape that I called the White House.

“Yes I’d like to speak with President Trump. Or maybe Kellyanne Conway, the decision maker. Instead of building a fence, tell him I’ve got enough sticky packing tape to seal the entire 2,000 mile Mexican border!”

You know where this is going.

Second mistake: I opened the box. Then I rolled up my sleeves, took a deep breath and very slowly reached in.

The last thing I remember was that I was up to my elbows fishing around trying to locate the parcel.

Then it happened! All I can say it that it was like a tactical ballistic scud missile attack.

Foam packing chips drifted down through the air. Unfortunately, the ceiling fan was on. The living room soon looked like a monster lake-effect snowstorm coming in off Lake Ontario burying Buffalo.

I didn’t know what to do. I remember saying to myself, “Gary, don’t panic!”

So I did what anybody who survived a horrific explosion in their living room: I grabbed my iPhone and texted “OMG!” Then I uploaded a video to iTunes and of course checked my Kardashian Twitter feed.

Next, I dashed outside and threw myself to the ground. I began rolling violently trying to get those millions of foam packing chips off my body. I’d use my finger to flick them from my chest only to have them reattach on my head! White foam chips were ALL OVER ME!

Soon the “authorities'”arrived.

“Neighbors have reported sighting a strange individual, said he looks like an albino version of the Philly Fanatic. They say he’s rolling all over the ground, sort of like he’s impersonating Joe Cocker spastically singing, ‘With A Little Help From My Friends.'”

Back at “the institution,” I’ve got time on my hands. Time to think.

I’ve got it! Get me the White House on the phone again.

“Yes. I have a suggestion for President Trump regarding the fence he wants to build to secure the border. I’ve got a better idea! Spread truckloads of foam packing chips along the border. Illegal immigrants and drug runners wouldn’t dare walk through this stuff!”

— Gary Chalk

Gary Chalk has been described as “Canada’s Dave Barry.” His weekly laugh-out-loud column “Living Retired” pokes fun at Baby Boomers’ lives — everything from middle age men wearing relax-fit jeans and nasal strips to women’s decorator pillows in the bedroom to couples parallel parking their Winnebago. Each Monday thousands of people throughout North America begin their week with a chuckle with his humorous columns.

Reflections of Erma