Friday the 13th

Posted on July 16, 2018


Life in the Boomer Lane was home several days ago, minding her business and having nothing in particular to do. She whiled away the time listening to POTUS call his own interview with the London Sun newspaper, in which he had dissed the Prime Minister of the UK,  “fake news.” May’s reaction was to move forward with her meeting with POTUS, after having  first unsuccessfully attempted to spend the day with a deranged black cat.

This seemed to LBL like a positively delightful way to acknowledge both Friday the 13th and the man who, on a daily basis, has her doubt her own sanity.

Then, a text from her friend Susan revealed that Susan was experiencing several alarming physical symptoms.   Susan, loyal readers may remember, has been the star of many previous blog posts, mostly detailing her uncanny ability to attract men who wore antlers and/or bunny slippers to dates, carried slices of Velveeta in their pockets, and left movie dates while in progress in order to go shoe shopping.

LBL rushed over to Susan’s house and the two arrived at the hospital ER at 5:15 PM.  ERs, due to their lack of anything resembling a comfortable chair or a vending machine,  are, instead, wonderful places for people watching. This Friday the 13th provided LBL and Susan approximately seven hours of such pastime.

Friday the 13th, true to its legend, turned out to be mighty bad luck for any number of individuals, Susan included. The ER was turned into a scene from an apocalypse film, a  certain percentage of patrons looking eerily like zombies. The lucky ones were able to procure wheelchairs. One gentleman, unusually thin, sat in the kind of oversize wheelchair LBL normally saw on the reality show “My 600 LB Life.” His friend who accompanied him appeared to be holding a large can of beer.

ERs are not the stuff of reality shows. What is normally seen as an ER on TV is actually a trauma unit, where life can hang by a thread and every second matters. The usual run-of-the-mill hospital ER, on the other hand, is filled with a lot of people who would normally go to a doctor’s office for treatment but, for one reason or another, choose not to.  Others simply need immediate relief (“immediate” being defined as a large number of hours) from either pain or  discomfort.

What the ER actually provides is a fairly high degree of boredom. LBL and Susan whiled away the hours by constructing stories about others in the room and noting how hunky all of the EMT guys were, as they rushed in with people on gurneys.  The people on gurneys didn’t seem aware of the physical attractiveness of the men who brought them in.

In addition, unlike the ERs seen on TV, this ER, once people got past the teeming waiting area,  had very few actual rooms for people. Most people were taken to gurneys, lined up one after the other, reminiscent of Little Orphan Annie’s sleeping accommodations at the Hudson Street Orphanage in New York. Some people, like Susan, didn’t even score a prize gurney like that. Instead, she was in a hallway, in which a curtain could be pulled around her if need be.

Susan did get care. She was poked, prodded, sent for a chest X-ray, CT scan of her head, and asked dozens of questions.  Because she felt light-headed, she gave interesting answers to some of the questions and repeatedly requested something to eat. The request was denied because she had to first take a blood test to see why she was light-headed, and then wait for the results of said test. Susan asked if it wouldn’t be easier to simply get something to eat first and then see if the light headedness went away. The ER staff did not follow the logic of such a request and so she continued to go without food.

After seven hours in the ER, the doctor decided to admit Susan. LBL left the hospital at midnight,  after being assured by a nurse that Susan would get into a real hospital room with an actual bed very soon. (As it turned out, that didn’t occur until 2 AM.)

LBL headed home, turned on the car radio and heard POTUS bleat that Theresa May was “an incredible woman…doing a fantastic job. A great job.” LBL was gratified that May, having just challenged the curse of Friday the 13th by spending time with POTUS, had managed to survive intact.

As LBL navigated the now empty streets toward home, she was sure that both Susan and Prime Minister May were relieved that Friday the 13th had, as it almost always does, happily turned into Saturday the 14th.

(A note to readers who are holding their collective breath, wondering what was wrong with Susan. Turns out it was a stomach virus and she is already back to normal, or as normal as she is ever capable of being. Theresa May, on the other hand, may never fully recover.)