I’ve been told tragedy plus time equals humor. Here’s my attempt.
So the other day I was cleaning grates out on Main Street—the sidewalk, I mean.
There I was, on the sidewalk, minding my own business. It was the last grate. My comrades and I had cleaned grates all day and they were sick of it. I was sick of listening to them be sick of it. My vigorous digging, tilling up the excess sand, leaves and random objects, was interrupted when Marcie said “This guy’s going to pull out. You should…”
Crunch. Scream. Scream. Geralyn falls forward. Foot is being ground, like between two millstones. Scream. Coworkers scream. Geralyn yanks foot free. Shelby is dialing 911. Geralyn is protesting “no, don’t call 911,” and panting, and thinking well, I guess I’m going to miss my shift tonight.
The things you think of.
The driver was standing over me. My coworkers were standing over me. The paramedics showed up almost as fast as the reporter. And what do I think first? Sweet. Hot paramedics.
Said medics strapped me into a goalie-pad, which they called a splint, and hoisted me onto a stretcher. By this time my boss and half my coworkers were standing around being concerned and asking me if they could get me things. Mercifully, my handsome rescuers whisked me into the ambulance.
At the hospital they lifted me out of the ambulance. “Well, that was scary,” I said.
“We haven’t dropped anyone today,” the medics replied as they wheeled me through the door.
Thus and thus, I was left on my stretcher, awaiting a room. Joyce, my supervisor, came and sat with me. A nurse came brandishing disinfectant.
“Where’s the stick for me to bite?” I asked.
“Ohh, precious,” the nurse said.
About that time the health and safety guy and the boss of bosses showed up. They were pleased to find out I was still alive, and began to discuss what new regulations they could put in place.
Meanwhile, paramedics ‘fine one’ and ‘two fine’ were lounging about the emergency room. I looked over at them from my stretcher. “What, do you wait around until something bad happens?” They informed me that I was in their care until I was properly admitted. I figured this would give me enough time to get a phone number. I whispered to Joyce, “The stereotype about medics being good looking is true!” Whereupon she reconnoitered and informed me that one was married, but the other one wasn’t wearing a ring.
The one who wasn’t wearing a ring wheeled his cart of implements toward me.
“You’d better make sure I’m still alive,” I said.
“I suspect you aren’t, but I’ll check anyway,” he replied, bending close to affix the blood pressure cuff, and allowing me to admire him from a better angle.
Finally I was wheeled away. I watched Joyce and Russ recede and called “Good bye. You’ll never see me again. I suspect they’ll take it off at the knee.”
“Maybe a little higher,” said handsome, unattached medic.
They managed to get me into the stretcher bed thingy just fine. It was adjusting the bed that was beyond them. “This thing is older than we are,” they said.
“Just don’t kick the thing that makes the whole thing drop,” I said.
“What does this do?” said the medic, poking around under the bed.
And finally, they bid me adieu and allowed my well-wishers and supportive coworkers and bosses to converge. “Do you need a drink?” asked Marcie.
“A strong one,” I said.
The nurse poked my foot and found out it wasn’t as bad as we thought. A young lady, whose badge said ‘student’ (which strikes fear into the heart of Geralyn) came and poked my foot, and said she suspected it wasn’t that bad. And at last the doctor examined my foot and told me it wasn’t that bad but I shouldn’t go back to work for a week.
And here I am. Honest, folks, I was trying hard to work and be a productive citizen.
As I write, my foot is up. I’ve been hopping around on it, probably too much. It looks pitiful, and it hurts. But hey, it could be a bloody pulp, right? And now that I read the story back to myself, it really is funny. So have a laugh at my expense, and watch out when you’re cleaning grates on Main Street.
I’d like to say that, for all my sarcasm, I appreciated the help and support of my coworkers and my supervisor who stayed with me the entire time, made sure my bike was brought to me and helped me with Worker’s Compensation papers. Thanks also to my sister, the nurses and doctors and the handsome paramedics. You all were great.