The mid-afternoon traffic crawls slowly across town. I’m not paying much attention from the passenger seat, but suddenly something doesn’t look quite right up ahead. “Hey, isn’t that. . .?”
BEEP BEEP BEEP: “Fire Alarm has dispatched Engine 681, Truck 68, and Medic 9 to Local Thoroughfare at Right Here Street for a motor vehicle crash.”
Why yes it is. “Medic 9 to Fire Alarm. We’re right on top of that; show us on scene.”
A sixteen year-old has managed to splatter Mom’s Toyota across a tree and much of the sidewalk. She stands outside the car, looking unharmed and trying not to cry. Seat belts work. We don’t see any apparent injuries, and she doesn’t want to go to the hospital. We call Mom on her cell phone, and then we wait.
The engine and truck secure the wreckage; the tow truck arrives. Finally Mom arrives to take custody of her daughter and sign the paperwork.
As we are securing our equipment, a car pulls up next to us. I’m not sure how he got past the police barricades. “Excuse me, can I get through?” he asks. “I just live up there.” The driver points past the accident scene.
“Nope, sorry,” I reply.
“But I just live two blocks up there!”
“I’m sorry sir, but it’s blocked.” Can’t you see the ambulance, two fire engines and the tow truck? Heck, the ramp truck is PERPENDICULAR to the roadway!
“So how am I supposed to get home?”
“Sir, you’ll have to go around.”
“How do I do that?”
Are you serious?! I only work in this town. I have a map book, a street guide, and a GPS, and I know how to use them. I know the major streets and landmarks, but if you want to know obscure side streets you should ask a local expert. Like maybe someone who *JUST* *LIVES* *TWO* *BLOCKS* *UP* *THERE*!
“Sir, why don’t you go back down the street and ask the nice police officer at the road block?” I’m paid to handle medical emergencies, not navigational ones. If I had to guess, though, I’d say you could probably follow the rest of the traffic. As he turns around, another woman pulls up in a car.
“Excuse me, can I get through? I just live right up there. . .”
I could never be a police officer.
(Inspired by a recent post by Motorcop. It’s true, though.)