Emergency: supplemental report

"Ah..." said Agatha, over the telephone.

She's far too collected to ever raise a flap, but I sensed a certain strain untypical of her for a Saturday evening. When she told me that she had inadvertently slashed her hand, and that an ER was in the cards, I told her I was coming with her. Her 'thank-you' sounded relieved.

It was a measure of her condition that she also asked me to drive. Now, Aggie's auto these days is a 60s-vintage Mini Cooper. None of this recent revisionist Teutonic crap -- the noisy little original, with wheels the size of tea saucers, a pair of cranky side-draft carburettors, and a general mass suited to go-kart tracks, or being beaten up by Swatch Smart Cars in back alleys. In (naturally) British racing green. Perfect, actually, for coyotes that drive by chinning themselves on the steering wheel with their front paws, shifting the stick with our right hind paws, and tap dancing between the, uh, petrol, and the brake with our left hind paws. Clutch? Coyotes don't need no stinkin' clutches. We don't need no stinkin' cops, either. We not only don't have a valid operator's license, we don't even have pockets to put one into.

Wth a blip or two of the throttle (in vintage Brit, one never revs, one blips) we roared smokily off to the ER, Aggie clutching a sizeable towel around one hand, and the weekend Times of London in the other. She knows the state of Canadian health care, and she's a planner. I considered asking for details of the accident, then thought better of it. I considered asking details of the wound, and thought better of that. We chatted about other things.

The intake nurse had her seen-it-all, Saturday-night game face on, but it was early, so the regulars weren't out of the bars yet, and seating was plentiful. She said the wait would be only two hours. We settled in with the Times, Hockey Night in Canada, and a little anthropological observation. With aid in sight, if not yet very close, Aggie amused me greatly with her adventures at IKEA. We yukked it up so hard that a couple of possible heart attacks began to look askance at us. We were, frankly, obnoxious. Lucky for them, they were ahead in the line-up and could escape

We waited for the predicted two hours, knowledgeably discussing the other intakes: "I bet he's gangrene," and, "Ooh, d'ya think she's a prussic acid overdose?" -- that sort of thing. We noticed that that women with large stomachs and labour pains got quick preferential treatment, and approved. Then the PA quacked, sending Aggie to Urgent Care. Where she stayed for another two hours, as Saturday night reaped its Darwinian toll. The waiting room grew feistier, and more festive.

Two female cops brought in a handcuffed guy with no shirt. Shirtless Guy was impressively fat, and otherwise unremarkable. But I was fascinated by the cops. I couldn't help scoping ring fingers, and facial expressions for signs of recent decree nisis. Was it possible that the tall blonde amazonish one might conceivably have an ex-husband who is a firefighter...? She gave me a fishy stare, kinda brushed her Glock with her hand. I thought better of asking her about it and hastily lowered my snout into the Times personals. Coyotes don't got no IDs in their non-existent pockets either, and I wasn't aiming to cause trouble. Aggie needed my moral support. Or at least her car keys, still in my hot paws.

It was well past the witching hour, and both hockey games had long ended, when Dame Agatha sauntered back in. A glance at her spoke volumes.

"Ma'am, unless I am highly mistaken, you have been behaving extremely saucily with a very young medical intern or three, have you not?"

The answering smile was pure, vintage Agatha -- mysterious, demure, ladylike -- positively Mona Lisa. But I'd seen the complacent micro-smirk that preceded it. Our Aggie was definitely well on the mend, already. We broke into howls of laughter, then beat a hasty retreat into the night. The third possible heart attack, in the queue behind, seemed, perhaps, relieved...

And maybe that intake nurse had seen a thing or two more than usual. Certainly she'd had the night cleaning staff wet-mopping around me pretty regularly....

Image: www.hungryhugo.co.uk

1 comment:

The Independent Observer said...

A laudable tale in the best tradition of canine assistance to humans (as in Lassie, Timmy, the well) but Coyote may be stretching the truth a little when he claims to have been reading The Times in that waiting room.