I can still feel it stuck in my throat

Hello everyone,

From the book Thank You for Being Late by Thomas Friedman.

My dad and I used to play golf in the summer after he got home from work—six or seven holes after dinner and before the sun went down. To get to the club we had to drive through the intersection of Louisiana Avenue and Highway 12. Every so often we would go past it and my dad would remind me that during the Great Depression he worked at a CCC—Civilian Conservation Corps—camp near there when he was a teenager. The CCC was the public works relief program established by the Roosevelt administration from 1933 to 1942 to pro-vide employment for young, unmarried men, who built public build-ings and parks. More than once my dad told me he made one dollar a day working there, most of which he saved for his family, and that he could only afford to buy a loaf of bread to eat—“and I can still feel it stuck in my throat,” he would say. Every so often, when we would pass that intersection, I would say, as only a smart-ass teenager could, “I know, I know, you can still feel that loaf of bread stuck in your throat.” He never forgot it, but neither did I. Fortunately my daughters will never know such a feeling.

What does “I can still feel it stuck in my throat” imply? Does it imply that it had been difficult for Mr. Friedman’s dad to swallow that bread and he still remembered it? Or does it imply that he still remembered the taste of that bread in his mouth/throat?

Thank you.


I think both are true here - he could only afford the bread, with nothing like soup or cheese or butter or jelly to make it more enjoyable to eat. So physically he still remembers the feeling of the dry, perhaps stale, bread. But also, “stick in one’s throat” can mean something that is annoying or difficult to accept: Stick in throat - Idioms by The Free Dictionary So here, the fact that he talks about it sticking in his throat also means that it was hard for him to accept working for only a dollar a day, and now he has vowed that his daughters will never have to repeat his experience.