Thursday, June 03, 2010

early morning speechless


The teenage girl is down on all fours on the pavement outside the pub, a look of anguish on her face, her long hair hanging perilously close to the splatterings of vomit beneath her; she looks like William Blake’s Nebuchadnezzar, but given a Miley Cyrus makeover: fluorescent yellow micro-skirt, crop top and – in the hands of her boyfriend – a spangly bag.
‘The taxi won’t take her,’ he says, swinging the bag like a lure and casting his eyes up and down the street. ‘We’ve been here an hour.’
Suddenly a woman appears at my shoulder.
‘Just look at you,’ she says, her tone surprisingly affectionate.
‘Are you a relative?’
‘You could say that. I’m the mother.’
‘Do you know what’s been going on?’
‘I know exactly what’s been going on. She’s had too much to drink.’
‘The problem is the taxi won’t take her in this state.’
‘She can stay with me, then.’
‘Okay. Sounds good. Where do you live?’
She jerks her thumb behind her. ‘Over the pub.’


When the grandmother has made herself comfortable on the trolley, I hand her the four month old baby.
‘I don’t think this SATS reading’s accurate,’ I tell her. ‘He doesn’t look like he’s short of oxygen. But just in case, let’s give him a little bit extra, shall we? I won’t use a mask – I don’t want to upset him any more than I have already.’
I take the tubing from the pack, uncoil it, plug one end into the oxygen spigot.
‘Okay. Good.’
The grandmother and the child watch me, equally wide-eyed.
‘Now. What I want you to do is just hold this end of the tube and waft it in front of baby’s face. Like that. Just to give him that extra little boost.’

I smile reassuringly and hand the tube to the grandmother.

She sticks it in the baby’s ear.


Anonymous said...

Well, I suppose that's one way of getting oxygen straight to the brain...

Rach said...

Lol Spence, I didn't expect that!!!xx

Beautiful Things - Cathy said...

'She sticks it in the baby's ear'... Fantastic! One thing I've learnt in life is to never underestimate how stupid people can be!!

Joe said...

You owe me a cup of coffee, and possibly a new monitor for that last line!
How can people be that daft?

Spence Kennedy said...

I know I've been known to do and say stupid things in the early hours, so I shouldn't really be the one to point the finger, but honestly...!

Thanks for all your comments :) x

Baglady said...

Genius. I was expecting her to show us how to look after people. But no.


Spence Kennedy said...

Safe pair of hands :/

ViatorT said...

lol!poor baby!


uphilldowndale said...

Wonderful, I just wasn't expecting that! It would seem making babies takes less IQ than looking after them.

Spence Kennedy said...

If there was any kind of childcare exam, overpopulation wouldn't be so much of a problem, that's for sure. ;)

Jean said...

yikes...the human race is in sooooo much trouble!

Spence Kennedy said...

Maybe she's part of some evolutionary vanguard. Inflatable babies. You don't have to carry them - just tie a string to their toe and they'll follow you like a balloon. (Caution - don't over-inflate) :/ x

lulu's missives said...

That was a nice little vomit or heart attacks.
Perhaps the Grandmother needs some help??

Spence Kennedy said...

Only there was some vomit - under the girl on the pavement (sorry - can't seem to keep off the stuff). Maybe I should call it sploosh or something to make it sound less disgusting. :/ x

Anonymous said...

the grandmother sounds a bit like the patient who, when asked to demonstrate how she used her asthma inhaler, puffed it either side of her face as if spraying hairspray. Couldn't understand why it wasn't working!!

There are lots of them about


Spence Kennedy said...

I must admit it's the first time I've come across that degree of cluelessness (prob made worse by the early hour, of course). But there must be loads of examples out there. Cue horrible image of someone pulling a face, then tucking in to a pot of Diprobase. :/