Thursday, December 20, 2007

Reenforcing the Lesson

It took exactly 72 hours before I was able to put my newly minted American Red Cross First Aid and Adult CPR card to use.* The story goes like this...

The time has come to store all our worldly goods that can not, will not, or should not go with us on into our cruising life. There are a few antiques, some personal momentos, some old, analog pictures, CDs and video, and a metric buttload of useless ophthalmology books that DrC insists on keeping.

So on Tuesday, we rented a UHaul (do not do that, just don't... story later) and literally tossed everything we would like to continue to own into the back of a long truck. Then we poured ourselves and the children, literally drenched and dripping from a steady, miserable rain, into the truck and our van and drove to California. My mother has agreed to house our goods in garage-like splendor for however long it takes for us to come to our senses.

After dumping everything on her, we schlep over to the Chevron/UHaul/Carl's Junior/... to turn in the truck before heading through a blinding snow storm up to my dad's place in Tahoe. At the drop off point, the girls and DrC witness a nasty argument in the parking lot between two women. The battle escalates, culminating in one of the women clocking the other across the jaw with a cell phone.

DrC decides both of them are idiots and proceeds inside to turn in the truck.

Jaime and I, on the other hand, spring into well trained action. We get the victim inside where I proceed to tell everyone what to do. If I do say so myself -- and I must since only reluctantly will DrC attest to the facts of this situation -- I handled myself very well for a pushy, recently minted graduate of the American Red Cross First Aid and Adult CPR course.

I checked the victim. Scruffy, noisy, dirty, and bleeding all over frickin everywhere. I ordered one totally catatonic witness to call 911. I ordered a second nitwit in a Carl's Jr uniform to get me a bag of ice and a stack of napkins, a third to get me a pair of food service gloves and a final bystander to stand at the door and keep an eye on the assailant while we waited for the cops to show up.

Then I cared for the victim in a rather brusque albeit remotely polite way by slapping a stack of napkins and an icepack on the wound, asking for particulars, making sure she was coherent and not hurt anywhere else and altogether behaving like a model of First Aid Citizenship.

Ten minutes later, the cops and an EMT show up, ask me a few questions, and then tell me that I'm done. Go away. So I did that "wait until someone smarter and more experienced than you shows up" bit.

Call it karma, the fates, God, or the Lords of Cosmic Jest, but there is no way you could have planned a better training scenario had you been an instructional designer with the task, "Write exercise to verify that student didn't fall asleep during the bloody wound section of the class." It was like a field test. The only thing that would have made it better was if one of the catatonic witnesses had collapsed in a heart attack and I had to administer CPR. Though "better" is a slippery word in this context, I'll grant you.

At least Jaime was impressed.

* The card itself is now at the bottom of Elliott Bay along with my wallet, a set of keys, and a $163 million winning lotto ticket. I only know that the ticket is a winning ticket because of Murphy's Law, of course, but I am nevertheless convinced with a degree of certainty that borders on obsessive.


Relentless Toil said...

Damn! But good on you.

Anonymous said...

Well, I'm glad your trip is full of adventure. You and the children just earned 5 high school credits.

...upon googling I found this site. I thought well look people in Seattle on a boat. Then I thought wow those kids look familiar...

and they are...

I can't wait to "watch" you on your upcoming journey!