Sunday, 28 December 2008
I think it's time that I introduced you to Mark. Mark is a Paramedic in the LAS, and a lovely fella to boot.
As I've posted many times before, without the help of the Ambulance Service on many many occasions, or Hospital Staff we would be Donald Ducked, many times over.
I've known Mark for years - years ago we worked for the same company, fell out of touch when we left (me off to the Police, him off to the LAS) and then met whilst at an incident a couple of years ago.
Mark is the kind of person that causes a thoughtful pause whenever he has spoken, whilst people try to work out if he is amazingly deep or is genuinely as shallow as he appears.
He is genuinely as shallow as he appears.
Example: Whilst talking about winning the lottery, on a bored night shift outside the local hospital.
Mark: "Yeah, if I won I'd buy Buckingham Palace and move in to there."
Area: "So you think the Royal family would sell it to you Mark?"
Area: "They'd give away generations of tradition, Britain's top tourist spot, home of our Monarch - to you?"
Area: "Why would you want it anyway?"
Mark: "Cos then when it's raining I can ride my motorbikes inside."
Accompanied by the look of smug intelligence. Like I hadn't thought of that.
"Then I'd knock the corridor walls through so I could ride from one end to the other, like."
Anyway, one of his most endearing and frustrating qualities is his complete inability to master any kind of attention span. A couple of weeks ago, we were both at an incident where we were on 'standby,' a non-specific task that involves standing around for hours before being 'stood down.'
As the hours went by and I ran out of papers to read, I wondered towards Mark who was sitting in the driver's seat of his ambulance staring blankly out of the window. With no sign of his oppo, I tugged the door open and climbed in to the cab next to him. As I did I noticed his partner, crawled up in a foetal position and snoring gently on the stretcher in the back of the ambo.
"What's the matter Mark, did you try telling him a joke?"
Mark grinned and pulled a thermos flask out from beneath his seat. He poured a cup out for both of us, and I gripped on to the mug of hot chocolate trying to get some warmth into my fingers. I wasn't in the mood for chatting, staying awake was hard enough - but Mark of course had other ideas.
"So, right... I've been thinking."
No answer from me. I huddled up into the collar of my goretex jacket, praying for silence or oblivion.
"The thing is, right - have you ever seen an ugly Asian woman?"
Pause. My brain went into overdrive as I tried to work out where this conversation was heading. And failed of course. "Mark, what the Hell are you talking about?"
"I just mean. They're better looking than white women."
"Mark, what exactly do you mean by 'Asian Women?' I mean, which country or countries are you even talking about? Asia isn't one place. And besides..." I tailed off as I realised I had made the fatal error of trying to inject sense into a conversation with Mark.
He sighed. "I suppose you're right. Maybe I'll leave it then."
Thirty seconds of silence.
"Do you think cats are ambidextrous?" No answer from me. Mar tried again.
"More hot chocolate? I found it in the canteen, when I came back from rest days, but it heated up alright when I reboiled it." Cue sounds of a desperate uniformed copper trying to spit out any remnants of the warm liquid back into the cup.
"Mark, if you ever find a woman stupid enough to want to spend time with you, she'd better have appalling standards of personal hygiene or else the relationship is going nowhere."
A satisfied smile from Mark. "I heard woman can burp seven decibels louder than men. Do you reckon it's because they've got more body fat?"
There's no way to deal with this. "Mark. Shut. Up. Now. Or I will kill you."
"Only I've been thinking of going to Canada. I want to practise my French. Are there Italian Canadians as well?"
"Mark. Please. I'm begging you. Really. I will get out of the Ambulance and promise never to be a bad man again if you will please shut up."
"Nah. Tell you what though, there's a girl at the Royal London, I reckon she likes me. Not sure whether I should go out with her though. Not my type."
"Mark, you'd get up on a scabby cat going out of a skylight. Please, stop talking."
"True enough. Do you reckon Trumpton ever play rodeo type games with their hoses in their down periods? Those hoses pack a punch, I reckon if you tried to sit on one on a crash mat it'd be just like one of them electronic bucking rodeos, like."
And so on, and so on, until dawn.