There’s this kid that works in our ER, a fellow tech, for the sake of anonymity, let’s call him Billy.
Now he’s not quite a kid–he’s of the legal drinking age and he‘s over six feet, 200 pounds–but I call him kid cause he looks like he’s 12.
Anyway, he’s the nicest guy you’ll ever meet. Great with the patients, great with the staff and he always has a positive and upbeat attitude.
I’ve known him for over two years and I’ve never seen him angry or even remotely upset.
The kid wouldn’t hurt a fly….
Sweet as a baby panda bear wrapped in velvet….
Alright, maybe that last one is taking it too far, but you get the idea.
But recently, I saw a side of our old boy Billy that, quite frankly, scared the shit out of me.
The first incident happened about a month ago.
I was in a patient’s room setting them up on our heart monitor when I heard the sound of things crashing and people running.
I poked my head out of the room to see Billy and three of our security officers in hot pursuit of a psych patient that was making a break for our ambulance doors.
Wanting a piece of the action, I joined in. By the time I got outside, Billy and the officers had the woman and were bringing her down to the ground.
But during the struggle, Billy was screaming out in an almost drill sergeant-like voice: “GET DOWN. GET ON THE GROUND. GET DOWN NOW!!!”
Now, I couldn’t see him screaming it, but I heard him. But it was so unlike Billy that I couldn’t quite believe that it was him.
It was almost like a scene in the tv show, “Cops.” You know, when the cops go chasing a suspect through backyards and over fences and then catch him and wrestle him to the ground, all while screaming “don‘t resist,” but in their hearts they hope he resists so they can beat the shit out of him.
That’s what it looked like.
And for a second I thought, “Holy shit, Billy is a bad ass.”
But I brushed it off. That must have been one of the security officers screaming like that. Billy didn’t have that in him.
But about two weeks ago I got confirmation that Billy is, indeed, a bad ass.
A psych patient was brought in by the police department. He started to get all jumpy with us. Got it into his head that he’s going to have a go with myself, Billy and three security officers.
So we all grabbed him. He started going nuts on us, swinging and fighting. So we used more force and pinned him to the cart.
That’s when it happened.
Billy, his face red and with the look of a madman, started screaming at the guy at the top of his lungs: “STOP FIGHTING. GET DOWN. LAY BACK. GET DOWN!!!!!!!”
Shit, for a second, I got so scared that I nearly got down and laid on floor. Anything to make him stop screaming like that.
The kid was serious. He wasn’t having any bullshit. And at that moment, he went from Billy the Kid to Billy the Bad Ass.
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It’s common knowledge around the ER that I work in that I’m a damn good looking man.
I mean, I really have that “wow” factor going on. Some of the nurses have even taken to calling me “Eye Candy” or “E.C.” for short.
So it doesn’t come as a surprise that some of our lady patients have the hots for me too.
I get comments like “aren’t you a handsome man” or “you’re so big and strong” or, even, “you look like a Greek God, a perfectly brown, Puerto Rican, Greek God” all the time.
I mean, all the time….
Ok, ok, so most of them are pushing north of 80-years-old and, yes, a few may have a touch of dementia/are old and crazy, but I was always told to take a compliment when you get one.
Now, I’m not going to say that they’re entirely right, but I’m also not going to say that they got it all wrong.
Who am I to question their judgement? They’re just calling it like they see it. And it makes them happy, which makes the nurses and doctors happy and in turn keeps all the techs happy.
It’s a win-win situation. Everybody’s happy. I, of course, have to deal with the crushing burden and long list of responsibilties that come with being the deparment EC, but I’ll leave that for another time.
For now, I’ll just keep fulfiling my duties and be comforted by the fact that sometimes all you need is a little eye candy to make things better.
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-You taking me to my room?
-I am, Verna.
-It’s about damn time. I’ve been in this ER all day.
-Sorry about the wait.
-Whatever. How about this weather? It’s May and it’s still cold out. And how about last winter, huh? Cold as shit, right?
-It was a real Chicago winter.
-Sure was. I tell you, I’m too old for this crap.
-It’s got nothing to do with old. I’m half your age and I was sick of it.
-Yeah but I’m old, and this frail, Jew broad can’t handle the cold any more.
-And what are we going to do next winter? It’s only going to get worse.
-I don’t know. Just deal with it, I guess.
-Well I’m going somewhere warm.
-God no. That terrible place for old, decrepit fucks who are on their last leg, trying to relive their misplaced youths.
-Take it easy. So where, then?
-The U.S.Virgin Islands.
-I’ve never been.
-It’s beautiful, except for the crime.
-You got all these rich, white people with big houses and then you got all these black guys that don’t want to work, and they steal from these white people.
- Jesus has nothing to do with us Jews, honey, so leave him out of this.
-I’m just saying, that seems like a harsh assessment. I’m sure it’s more complex than that.
-Whatever…. So where would you go?
-I don’t know, I got family in Puerto Rico. I guess I’d go there.
-Jesus, you’re Puerto Rican?
-I’m a Chicagoan. And I thought Jesus had nothing to do with you Jews?
-You know any members of the FALN? I bet you didn’t think I didn’t know anything about that, huh?
-The Puerto Rican nationalist liberation group from the 70′s and early 80′s? No, I wasn’t even born yet.
-Well how do you know about them?
-I just do.
-I bet you support them, don’t you?
-Well most of them are dead. And I’m pretty sure the movement is dead now, too.
-Damn Puerto Ricans. You know we support your whole economy. And you bastards have every right that American citizens have, if not more.
-That’s not true.
-It is. And you know what else?
-I got to take a piss. Roll me to the bathroom before I get in my bed, would you?
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-Hello! Can I get some help in here?
-Yes, sir. How can I help….
-Jesus, you again? I gotta see your mean mug every time I come to this ER?
-I do work here, so chances are good you’ll bump into me when you visit.
-You don’t have any pretty broads that do your job? Every time I call for help, they send this ogre in.
-Nope. Sorry, sir. Just me.
-And what did I tell you about calling me sir? It’s Marty or it’s fuck off.
-Alright, Marty, what’d you need? Gotta pee again?
-No, I need you to lower the head of the bed. My back is killing me.
-Alright, tell me when to stop….
-There! Right there! Jesus, kid. You trying to kill me? Remember, I’m old as shit.
-Sorry about that, Marty. How’s that?
-Better. Much better.
-Good. Anything else?
-Alright, I’ll check in later.
-You see that game? The boys are looking better.
-Yeah I saw it. How about the rookie, Fuller?
-How about him, huh? The kid was all over the field, and man can the kid put a hit on for his size.
-He’s still a rookie, and you know he doesn’t even come close yet, but he’s like a little Peanut Tillman.
-Yeah, he is. Fuller is like a Little Peanut….
-Better yet, Lil’ Peanut.
-God damn, we got ourselves a Lil’ Peanut.
-It’s promising, right? I mean it’s early, but with Peanut there to coach him, it looks good.
-If he stays healthy, he’s going to be a great one. Mark my words, kid.
-I hope so. We need one.
-Now fuck off, I want to get back to watching my program. And thanks, again.
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-How much longer to the El?
-We got like five more blocks, bro.
-I’m tired, man.
- You’re lazy, that’s what you are.
-I’m just saying…. We’ve been walking for like an hour.
-Chill, bro. We’re almost there.
-I’m hungry, too. Give me some of those Cheetos.
-Here, take them. Damn you like to complain.
-Just give it here.
-Bro, bro, look at this shit.
-That stroller in front of that building across the street with those two babies.
-They’re alone. Where the hell are the parents?
-That lady over there’s got to be the mom.
-Across the street digging through the trunk of that truck.
-She’s like a block and a half away. And she’s got her back turned to them. Any psycho could just snatch those kids up and run away.
-No one’s going to do that. Who’d try and snatch a couple babies up like that?
-You never know. There are plenty of psychos in this city. What sane parent does that?
-They’ll be fine. Stop tweaking.
-You know what I feel like doing? Scaring the shit out of her so she learns her lesson.
-I’d run up, grab the stroller and start running away with it while screaming ‘I’m stealing your babies! I’m stealing your babies cause you weren’t paying attention to them!’ It’ll scare the shit out of her and she’d never do that dumb ass shit again.
-Yeah. Yeah it would scare her. And it’d probably get you a free trip to County at the same time.
-I mean, I wouldn’t actually run away. I’d stop and snap on her for being a neglectful mother and tell her I did it to teach her a lesson.
-Yeah. I’m sure the cops would buy that story. You really are right. There are some psychos in this city. I’m walking next to one right now.
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-Hello! Hey! Jesus Christ, what does a guy gotta do to take a piss around here?
-Yes, sir. Sorry about that. Just a busy day in the ER. Can’t get around quick enough.
-Busy day my ass. I practically pissed my pants over here. This damn prostate, I gotta piss every five minutes. Help me out, will ya?
-No problem, sir. Let me grab a urinal and we’ll get you taken care of.
-Help me up here. I’m a little wobbly. Been on this damn cart for hours.
-I got you. Just grab the urinal and I’ll support you while you pee so you don’t fall.
-Jesus I gotta piss. You got me? I’m 80-years-old, don’t wanna fall and break a hip pissing.
-I got you, sir. Just go ahead and pee.
-Alright…. Alright…. Here we go.
-I got you, sir.
-You a sports guy?
-Yeah I am.
-How bout those Bears, huh?
-What is it with Cutler, huh? Two beautiful TDs and then he’s giving the ball away like it’s Christmas.
-And how about Conte?
-Conte? Conte? Don’t even get me started. Can’t the guy ever make a fucking tackle?
-I mean, he’s out there trying to play patty cake with a tank of a man and he gets stuffed, twice! You’re a safety for shit’s sake, you get paid to make the tough tackles. Get low, put a fucking shoulder in like a man.
-You remember the game against the Packers last year?
-You trying to give me a heart attack? Of course I remember that game. He’s a no good bum!
-I don’t like for anyone to lose there job, but I’m sure he’ll be gone next year.
-Hey, kid, you don’t do your job, you lose your job. That’s the way it is. He’s a pro, he knows what he has to do.
-I guess you’re right.
-I’m all done here. Take the urinal and help me back onto the cart.
-I got you, sir.
-Take it easy, huh? I’m old as shit.
-No problem. Here you go. Sorry again about the wait.
-You’re alright, kid. Now get back to work. Don’t be a bum like Conte.
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-Good afternoon, sir.
-Why are you here today, sir?
-I’m feeling dizzy and I think I blacked out.
-Alright, sir, I’m going to need you to change into this gown so the doctor can examine you.
-Alright, not a problem.
-Thank you, sir.
-You a military man? You look like a military man. Sound like a military man.
-No, sir, I’m not.
-You sure? You look like a Marine? You a Marine, son?
-No, sir. I’m not brave enough… Can we get you in this gown so the doc can examine you?
-Sure thing, son…. You know, I’m a Marine.
-Served in the Nam. I’m a God damn patriot, son.
-Thank you for your service, sir.
-You’re God damn welcome.
-Do you like being a Marine? Must be exciting.
-Son, you show me someone who likes being a Marine and I’ll show you a God damned liar. Being a Marine is something you do, not something you like.
- I have a buddy who is a Marine. He served in Iraq. He swears it was the best part of his life, being out there in battle.
-He’s a fucking fool, then. And he doesn’t know any better. Yeah, basic is good, three meals a day, warm showers, a rack to sleep in, but war–being a Marine in the field and humping all day, eating out of a bag, shitting in hole, being shot at–is shit. It really fucks you up, son.
-Sounds like a shit storm, sir. Thank you, again, for your service, sir.
-It was my duty…. You’re sure you’re not a Marine, son? You look like a military man….
-I’m not brave enough.
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