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  • I Do Not Like The Cone Of Shame…

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    (Continued from Operator, What’s The Number To 9-1-1?)

    Here’s the thing about Ladue… Oh, yeah, we’re still right where we left off. I’m crumpled on the asphalt after falling off the roof of the St. Louis Ethical Society, a pre-school teacher is shushing me, my supervisor is on her way, and I have my phone in hand while attempting to dial some numbers so that I can say a few final I love yous to some people because the rudimentary assessment I was able to make of myself indicated that it was entirely possible I just might bleed out before making it to the hospital. This was driven a little closer to home by the fact that I was starting to feel somewhat lightheaded and I knew for a fact that I hadn’t hit my head on impact. No, I’m not a doctor and I don’t even play one on TV, but I also know a few things that I learned from them what DO have such degrees – and I’m not talking television degrees. I wasn’t so much diagnosing myself as I was making an assessment and saying, “Self, this ain’t good, and hopefully it’s not as bad as it could be, but ya’know, you’re showing a couple of signs here, so…”

    So… where was I? Oh yeah, Ladue.

    Here’s the thing about Ladue. Anyone who is from around these parts knows exactly what I am talking about when I merely utter the word Ladue. Those of you who “ain’t from around here” – and I know there are many of you readers who aren’t – are probably saying, “What the fuck, Murv? So what’s the big deal about this Ladue place?”

    Well, I’ll tell you. It’s kind of where the elite live. It’s the high dollar district. It’s where you find really big ass houses with 6 car garages, 12 bedrooms, 42 bathrooms, pools (indoor and outdoor), great rooms, formal dining rooms, etc. It is populated by corporate lawyers who sue other corporations for hundreds of millions. Pro athletes. Architects who struck it big designing a building that looks like an art deco penis. Shit like that. It’s where the rich people hang out. And so, not just a whole lot of excitement occurs around there. This is not to say that shit doesn’t happen. Shit happens everywhere. But, in Ladue, there’s not a whole lot of real excitement of the sort we commoners are used to. You’ll understand what I mean in a minute.

    So, back to me sprawled out on the cold asphalt bleeding and broken and trying to make some phone calls while the shush lady watches on in horror. (Seriously, I feel sorry for her. I hate that she had to meet me like that. I’m the happy go lucky maintenance guy there on odd Fridays. I’m the one saying, “Sure. Happy to take care of that for you,” with a smile while I clean up some mess or fix some broken thingamawhatzit. Your first introduction to me really shouldn’t be a string of high volume obscenities spewing out of my mouth while I bleed all over the playground. But, it is what it is. I just hope she isn’t having any flashbacks.)

    I’m digressing again, aren’t I? I probably need more coffee…

    So, anyway, since not much excitement goes on in Ladue on a regular basis – especially on an idle Friday mid-afternoon a few weeks before Christmas – getting a 9-1-1 call gives the fire department a chance to shine. And by shine, I mean they get to bring out every shiny truck they have, run the sirens, and every single firefighter and paramedic on that shift gets an opportunity to get out of the building for a few minutes. Now, I want to make myself clear – I am NOT in any way dissing the Ladue Fire Department. These guys totally rock. I kid you not. They are the shit. They really are. All I am saying is that since excitement seems to be scarce, everybody gets on board for it. Why am I telling you this? Well, do you remember the hurried footsteps from the end of the previous installment? Yeah… well, we aren’t talking about two sets of footsteps. Roy Desoto and John Gage didn’t come running up the steps – although, it would have been sorta badass if Randolph Mantooth and Kevin Tighe had turned out to be the responding paramedics (Yeah, I’m old, so sue me) – no… it wasn’t a couple of paramedics. It was ALL OF THEM. Okay, I’ll admit that I’m not sure if they were ALL paramedics. I know there was at least one, and his name was Trevor, but we will get to him in a bit. All I can tell you is that as far as warm bodies showing up I counted (eventually) a minimum of five. Hell, I don’t even get that much attention at my book signings.

    Now, at this juncture I am still squinting and trying to dial some numbers (remember back when we had phone numbers committed to memory? Yeah, I sorta miss that) so that I can say “I love you, goodbye” to a few people (now I have a Thomas Dolby earworm…), but as it turned out that wasn’t going to happen. Making the phone calls, I mean. Obviously I didn’t die. Unless I am a ghost writer, in which case this blog is about to get especially weird. Anyway, as the entire Ladue Fire Department descended upon me the whole notion of calling anyone came to an abrupt end. Things became pretty hectic, pretty fast, and given my state of being my observational skills were a bit blunted. What I mean is, I didn’t get to sit back and watch. I was in the middle of it and everyone had questions.

    I’ll be honest – I should have written a bunch of this down back on December 8th (later in the evening, I mean), because at this point a lot of it is a blur. The things I do recall are talking to Kitt, because she arrived on the scene as well. I remember asking her to take pictures of the action so that I would have them for a blog… After all, I knew then and there that if I lived I would be blogging about this. I have talked to Kitt since the fateful day, but I haven’t asked if she ever snapped a pic or two. I guess I need to do that.

    UPDATE: Kitt sent me the three pics she snapped at my request

    Everybody came to the party…


    The cone of shame…And the evil ladder in the background


    And away we go…

    Among the other snippets were Trevor the paramedic introducing himself. The other firefighters/paramedics introducing themselves, but unfortunately I don’t remember their names – mostly because Trevor was the one who rode with me to the hospital and was in the ER with me. Then there was being asked several questions, all of which I was able to answer just fine… You know the drill – What is your name? What is your quest? What is your favorite color? How many joules of free energy were created by the force of your impact? Yadda, yadda…

    During all this I was pretty much just watching blurs bounce around me, so very early on I asked, “Does anyone see a pair of glasses anywhere?” A few seconds of searching and one of the firefighters said, “Yeah. Here’s a pair of sunglasses.” To which I said, “Actually, they’re prescription and I am damn near blind. Would someone please put them on me so that I can see who the hell I am talking to?”

    Also very early on, one of the primary questions was, “On a scale of one to ten, what would you say your pain level is?”

    My response, “Oh, about a six.”

    “Only a six?”

    “Yeah. I have a pretty high pain tolerance. Just ask my wife. She’s a redhead.”

    And yes, they all laughed. And then they offered me fentanyl. And then I declined the fentanyl. And then they said, “Are you absolutely sure?” And then I said, “Didn’t I just tell you I am married to a redhead?” And they laughed again. And then Trevor asked, “Are you really sure you don’t want anything for the pain? I can give you something for the pain.”

    So, now I will tell you what I told Trevor – many years ago my appendix exploded (not burst. According to the surgeon it literally exploded) while I was out in the woods. After my wife and a good friend dragged my ass out of the woods and got me to a hospital I was shot up with painkillers (because I needed them badly). The problem was, when they got me to the next hospital (long story) where a surgeon could evaluate me, I felt fine and was talking to bluebirds and Snow White just for something to do. This prompted the surgeon to have me sign a release that said he was going to cut me open and fix whatever he found wrong, because it was that he couldn’t be sure from an external examination since I was loopy as all hell and didn’t respond to the poking and prodding as I should. Granted – the version I gave Trevor was slightly more abbreviated, but he got the gist. The long and short was that I wanted the docs at the ER to be able to figure out what was wrong without too much guessing because I wasn’t responding to their stabbo devices – if I wasn’t dead by the time I got there, that was…

    Either way, he reminded me several times that painkillers were available to me. I, in turn, reminded him several times that I appreciated the offer, AND that had they arrived about five minutes sooner – as in ten seconds post impact – I would have gladly taken every goddamn thing they had in stock and demanded more, but that Adrenalin and the onset of shock were now doing the job of the painkillers… AND, after all, as I had noted, I am married to a redhead. A six is nothing in the grand scheme of things.

    It was at this point – well, when they all stopped laughing – that I was told, “You know, we get people who have done nothing more than stub their toe and they are screaming and demanding drugs.”

    To which I replied, “Lightweights.”

    After a quick encounter with a sphygmomanometer, Trevor announced, “Your blood pressure is a bit high.”

    My reply? “Dood, YA’THINK? No offense, but I just fell off a fucking roof. I’d expect it to be a bit high.”

    At this point I should probably point out that they had all been working on me as they were supposed to do. They’d already cut my pant leg and then insisted that I lie still because I was trying to see what they had uncovered. I asked, “So, is it a compound fracture?” An aside here, I also seemed to amaze the crap out of them with some of my questions and limited knowledge of things medical such as knowing I’d had an Adrenalin dump, that I was getting shocky, and knew exactly what a compound fracture was, not to mention the difference between a tibia and a fibula. Anyway, the reply was, “Not really sure just yet.”

    Now, I’m hard of hearing, but when you are on your paramedic radio right next to my head, I can hear you, and what they were telling the hospital was that it appeared to be a compound that had come through then reduced itself so that the bone was no longer poking out. Of course, at that point, given the size of the gash in my leg and the amount of blood, without an X-ray that was about the best they could surmise.

    By the way, sorry for the disorganization here. As I noted earlier in this post things were pretty blurry and disjointed. I remember snippets, but not everything.

    So, by now they had carefully peeled off my coat, cut my favorite blue jeans all the way up to my knee, removed my shoes, gingerly moved me onto a back board, attached an EKG, locked me into a cervical collar (hence the name of this post) and strapped my happy ass down with all manner of ratchets and ties that would make the Redheaded Dominatrix I am married to squeal with glee and say, “Oooh, look at the toys!”

    Somewhere in all this mess, I gave my truck keys to Kitt so that EK could come pick up the truck and sell it after I died. I’m pretty sure I remember Kitt talking to EK on her phone and letting her know where the paramedics were taking me. And then, the thrill ride began.

    Now, when I say thrill ride I don’t mean the ambulance ride. That was pretty anti-climactic in reality. Wasn’t my first, but hopefully it will be my last (but probably not.) The thrill ride of which I speak is getting off the deck. You see, the building was constructed back in the early 60’s during a time before common sense. I can say that because I grew up in the 60’s and I know good and damn well none of us had any of the above. Some of us still don’t, but let’s not go there. Anyway, the stairs to get up onto this deck are straight the fuck up. They are like climbing K2. Trust me, I know. I have been up and down them numerous times carrying tools, materials, and <gasp> an extension ladder. On top of that, the gate at the top of the stairs is a bit on the narrow side. It’s designed for a person to come through. It is not designed for a person on a back board carried by a half-dozen paramedics to come through.

    Suffice it to say, these guys carried my fat ass down those stairs and loaded me into the back of the ambulance and didn’t once drop me, which was much appreciated.

    So… There I was in the back of the ambulance. They started an IV, because everyone needs a “four” when they are hurt. (think about it)… Trevor once again asked me if I wanted some fentanyl. I replied, “Dude, have you got short term memory loss? Haven’t I told you several times I’m married to a redhead?”

    He laughed, then asked me how I managed to be cracking jokes when I was in as much pain as I obviously had to be in.

    I told him, “There’s humor in everything. Sometimes you just have to look for it really hard. Besides, there’s that whole shock and Adrenalin thing. I’m going to be a lot worse when that wears off so I am holding out for the really good shit.”

    Then the door closed, the siren started up, and I took a horizontal ride to Mercy, about 7 minutes away.

    More to come…







  • Y, That’s Why…


    Dads, as a general rule, should keep their observations to themselves, especially in the context of the mother, daughter, dad triangle.

    Trust me, it’s easy to get lost in there. Easier than the Bermuda Triangle.

    Such a sweeping statement, as usual, begs the question, “Why?”

    The answer, simply enough, is “Y.”

    You see, dads aren’t properly equipped in the genetics department. It’s that pesky optional vowel that is causing all of the trouble, apparently. Probably a throwback to some sort of Welsh ancestry, but who really knows. If there’s a Y, you’re pretty much out of the loop. Case in point…

    We were sitting in the living room the other night – that being E K, the O-spring, and Moi – just vegetating and staring at the idiot box. We were probably looking at Castle, or some such. I don’t really remember, which is probably another Y affliction. But on with the example… The show broke for a commercial or two or ten, and on came an umpteen second spot for a department store chain and their gihugic, must-attend, low-Low-LOW price sale on all manner of latest and greatest fashionable women’s shoes. Of course, in order to illustrate how wonderful the selection, they proceeded to show umpty-jillion different shoes in the span of 10 seconds.

    Now… I have nothing against women’s shoes. They aren’t something for which I go shopping – unless the redhead tells me to – but by the same token I don’t think there should be a ban on them or anything. Fact is, the redhead herself happens to have some pretty hot shoes. By themselves, not really so special, but when she’s wearing them… well, there’s a total package thing happening that… Well… We we won’t go there…

    Back to the commercial. You see, as they prattled on about all of the different styles available, they proceeded to show all manner of boots. However, the thing about several of them was that they had no toes. Granted, it was partly because nobody was wearing them, but my point here is that there was no toe to the shoe. As in, whoever happened to wear them would have their wee little piggies exposed. Now, to me, given that these were boots – a type of shoe that is designed to protect not only your foot, but your ankle, and depending upon the type, your calf as well – it seemed a bit odd that one would go through all that trouble and leave the toes exposed.

    I stated as much. Aloud. In the same room with E K and the O-spring.

    “What kind of sense does that make?” I asked.

    “I like them,” E K replied.

    “Really?” I said. I’m sure there was a bit of incredulity in my voice, because the redhead complains quite a bit about her feet getting cold. Then I asked, “Why?”

    With a dramatic sigh the O-spring took it upon herself to answer for all of shoe loving womankind: “You’re not a girl. You just don’t get shoes.”

    Apparently it really is all about that Y. I guess the X’s have it…

    More to come…