After last summer’s Hurricane Katrina hullabaloo, it finally dawned on me that I should have a store of batteries, decent flashlights, candles, first aid kit, etc. If anything, I thought it would a good idea to have some waterproof matches and a poncho in case Pilsen floods and I need a cigarette while awaiting rescue on my roof.
Last night some of this stuff came in handy when I came home around 11:30 to a pitch black apartment. Yippee. I was going to seek refuge with my drinking partner from earlier in the evening, since she hung out at my place when her air went out last week. I called Com Ed, found out it was coming back on within the hour so I decided to tough it out.
About 10 minutes with no radio or TV, I got real bored and went to my window to see what was on.
Crazy belligerent drunk with a half a six pack yelling at the wall of a building across the street. Hmmm, rerun. It was a hot night and the street lights were on so I thought people would be hanging out like the time our power went out last summer. I started to water my flower boxes when I heard a siren getting closer and closer. I leaned out the window a bit to see an ambulance stop in front of the apartment building across from mine.
If you think paramedics will rush to your aid, think twice. These guys got out and walked slowly toward the building like a couple of timid Avon ladies. One kept looking at a paper in his hand and walking up and down the length of the building. The other knocked on one of the many doors. Heads started to pop out of their upper floor windows. Neighbors trickled out of their doorways to see what the matter was, and one gentleman pointed the paramedics to a side door.
They shuffled slowly in that direction. A door opened and they went in with an orange stretcher thing in tow.
So there I was on my knees with my head stuck out the window waiting for something real interesting to happen. A axe-wielding maniac with half a face running out perhaps. No such luck.
A couple of minutes later, the door opened again and the paramedics walk back out, ever so slowly with a young woman following them. She is carrying her purse and turns to lock her door, looking fit as ever, at least from my vantage point and the three of them climb into the ambulance and speed away.
Um, ok. . .
I wondered what her 911 call like.
Dispatcher: Chicago 911, what’s your emergency?
Girl: Can you send some paramedics over?
Dispatcher: What’s wrong?
Girl: It’s for me to know, and them to find out. Are they like coming, or what?
Dispatcher: Uh, sure. . . I guess . . .