30 September 2008

Give Me the Skull

My uncle Ron was the guy who first told me I should get trained in first aid. My uncle Ron was smart so I gave it some thought. All I knew about first aid was what I saw in the gore fest car crash movies the pedophile first aid teacher (who nobody could much stand, nevermind listen to) showed us in Guidance Class. Guidance Class is where boys learn what hemmorhoids are and why they are so fucking funny.

Half a year or so later my cigarette smoke choked Hockey family drove real slow past a really bad car accident that had just been reached by an ambulance crew. My dad said, "That's the bloodiest accident I have ever seen. It looks like the seal kills my dad took me on when I was about Beer's age," before pulling into a nearby parking lot so we could take in the crash's aftermath without holding up traffic and without ever having to be accused of being rubberneckers. "It's not rubbernecking if you're looking at something straight on boy," is what my dad used to say.

It was a busload of retards on their way back to the loony bin after a day out in the real world. There was so much blood spurting and running down the gutter the drain started to back up as it began to coagulate on the steel grate. One of the retards, the biggest of them probably, was running around the scene with his buddy's skull in his hand. The ambulance guys let him run around with the head for quite some time. They had bigger problems to sort out. They tried to encourage a few people from the drive-in restaurant to get the head from the guy but they did not budge from their burgers. The motherfuckers kept on eating except for a few people who looked eager to help, just not help with the big crazy fucker running around with a bleeding skull held high in the air.

When the next ambulance crew showed one of the guys from the first ambulance pointed around and told the new arrivals, "We got a few goners there. There's six more major bleeds over there! Don't worry about the crazy guy running around with the skull. The skull belongs with that one when we get a chance to get it from him."

More ambulances came and gathered up the statistics that brought you seat belts and airbags. By this time the big guy with the skull had sat down and was having a good cry with his friend's skull. One of the ambulance guys asked, "Give me the skull," before he reached over and took it. He patted the big guy on the shoulder and said, "She didn't feel a fucking thing. Didn't feel a thing." Then he walked over to the ambulance with the head and reunited it with its body, took out a cigarette, lit it and took a real long thoughtful drag.

That was when I decided to get some first aid training. I figured the worst thing you could probably see doing first aid was a decapitation and I had already seen that and boy did it leave an impression.


Heather Coolidge said...
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Mr. Beer N. Hockey said...
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Heather Coolidge said...
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Jon said...

Well, I have to wonder what those deleted comments were about. Personally, had I witnessed that event, I don't think I'd have made a good paramedic. I mean, every time I saw blood, I'd end up having screaming skull decapitation flashbacks. Ib was asking me what post traumatic stress disorder is. It is when you have screaming skull decapitation flashbacks, sort of. It sucks.

Mr. Beer N. Hockey said...

There was a little personal information in the last few comments that I thought I better edit. It makes it a lot easier to write when you do so from the perspective of an alter ego like Beer instead of the fucker I have to look at in the mirror every day.

Paramedics get to see all kinds of bloody messes. That's why more than a few of them go nuts.

ib said...

Well, not that I was enquiring as to what post traumatic stress IS, precisely. More of a case of, the more you see the more it affects, inevitably. One either becomes inured or not.

I was intrigued by these deleted comments too.

This whole post was interesting. As a primary school age kid - age nine - on the way back home on the bus we came across an accident where a car had crashed head on into a bank. The driver and passenger were clearly dead in the concertinaed wreckage. It was similar to the episode you describe, but turned down a notch or two. No screaming shock casualty holding a bleeding skull aloft.

But. As a busload of snot-nosed faces pressed up against the windows of the halted bus, we witnessed a severed dog's head rolling down the street. Presumably, the car had swerved in an attempt to avoid the dog. Several kids guffawed and stuck their fingers in their mouths. Some of it was nervous laughter; some of it was genuine mirth. Sick. Some kids inevitably started crying. A couple grew hysterical. I remember being straight-faced, but quite solemn. Not unaffected, but unsure how to react. The spectacle of the head rolling under the bus and out the other side was strangely amusing.

I'm glad it wasn't human.

Mr. Beer N. Hockey said...

Offhand, I like "Apocalypse Now"'s look into where post traumatic stress can take a man. Just about everybody has a memorable encounter with a bloody mess they toy with from time to time.