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Girl, 12, licks flagpole; results predictable

Monday - 1/6/2014, 11:36am  ET

WASHINGTON - What on Earth are they teaching the children these days?

The movie "A Christmas Story" has become a holiday classic, and it may seem as though everyone's seen it. But one kid in New Hampshire hadn't seen it last Thursday and might have saved herself a lot of trouble if she had.

Maddie Gilmartin, 12, of East Kingston, was in her backyard during Thursday's snowstorm when, she told local TV station WMUR, she thought, "What would happen if I stuck my tongue to a flagpole?"

(We'll pause here while every reader over 40 puts their head in their hands and sighs.)

Anyone who has ever seen "A Christmas Story" knows what happened next: Her tongue got stuck.

Her dad Shawn Gilmartin saw Maddie standing very close to the flagpole and waving her arms - just like in the movie - and ran to help.

Maddie's thoughts at the moment: "Did I really just do that to myself, like did I really just do that?"

Anyone who has ever seen the movie also knows exactly what not to do next: Try to pull your tongue off the pole.

She tried. That's when the bleeding started, her dad says.

He tried breathing hot air on Maddie's lips and tongue, but she was stuck to the flagpole for about 15 minutes. Her parents freed her with some warm water while they waited for the paramedics to come, and then took her to the emergency room.

Maddie says her lips feel like they've been stung by bees, and she's taking pain relievers and using cold compresses. The swelling in her mouth will last about six weeks.

No word on whether her parents will finally show her the movie.

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