The phenomenon of the “selfie” is sweeping the planet, and since i’m always eager to be au courant, i was just waiting for an appropriate opportunity. Well, it occurred.
Yesterday night i was segwaying home from a Friendly Visitor volunteer meeting and had got to the corner of Noe on Market Street. Unfortunately, a streetcar and two automobiles were ahead of me in the left turn lane, so i quickly assessed the oncoming traffic situation and realized that i could zip across Market Street and use the pedestrian crosswalk to get onto Noe rather than having to wait for two lights. I’ve done this before, and it’s legal since with the handicap permit i can use the crosswalks and sidewalks.
Alas i forgot i wasn’t in the crosswalk and that there was an elevated curb designed to prevent such shortcuts before the crosswalk. So i hit it and fell on my face. I’ve never been so embarrassed. Well, at least not since my last accident.
But grabbed my smashed glasses off the street and dragged the Segway out of the traffic lane to the lee of the elevated streetcar stop to take inventory. Ahhh, not so bad: both legs working, both arms and all fingers working. Whew, what luck. Better yet, it was dark enough that nobody seemed to even notice my pratfall.
But just as i was about to restart the Segway and make my escape, a twenty-something couple appeared, inquiring if i were OK. Of course, of course. No problem here, but many thanks for your concern. Just three blocks from home so i’ll just get up there and be fine.
Ummm, dude, you’re bleeding all over the street.
Put my hand to my face and yep, it came off wet and bright red, which was distracting enough that i let them lead me across the outbound lane to the curb. They procured wads of paper towels for me to hold against my forehead and upper lip, where most of the blood was coming from, and then began reasoning with me about the need for medical attention, repeatedly pointing out that when i removed one of the wads of towels to gesticulate, the bleeding resumed vigorously.
After some negotiation, i gave them my solemn promise that i would just turn right at the corner and go straight to the ER at Davies Hospital, three blocks north on Noe, but somehow they had figured me out and were not reassured. After much more negotiation we agreed that they’d walk alongside me to escort me to the ER.
Which we did. Luckily, i was able to conceal from them that a combination of blood in my eyes and mangled glasses had left me half blind, but i managed to lead them to the secret back entrance to the hospital, where i chained up the Segway and pointed out to them the big red arrow reading Emergency Room, saying if they’d just give me their contact information i could make it the rest of the way inside the hospital, neglecting to mention that we were still quite some distance, both horizontally and vertically, from the ER.
Alas, they suspected as much and insisted on accompanying me all the way. He stayed with me at my shuffling pace while she sprinted ahead for help, thinking she was going to trick me into getting into a wheelchair. Luckily, none was immediately available, and she met us at the first turn, having returned with a big black security guard. What’s the problem? he asked. For once, i had a ready answer:
They beat me up…but then had the decency to bring me to the hospital.
This is the city and stranger things have happened, so it’s probably good that after a brief pause while the guard seemed to be weighing this information and finding it plausible, i burst into laughter and admitted i’d fallen in the street and that they were my benefactors.
Finally they turned me over to the ER and gave me their contact information. They’re Charity and Ben, and i sure hope they’re a couple because they’re both really good looking, smart, quick thinkers, and generous….and that’s a winning combination.
The ER? Well, it was an ER. So they had me sit over there for quite a while until the shock had worn off and things were starting to hurt enough for me to fully appreciate the experience. Then one of the people who’d been milling around aimlessly came over and got my identification so they could check whether i had any insurance. And finally when i came up qualified i was put in a stall where a nurse eventually examined my wounds and said i definitely needed to be sewn up. And so finally a doctor came in and announced that he was here to make me handsome.
You’re decades too late, doc.
And so we established our rapport, and i got him to talk to me about what he was doing, which made it entertaining. When he was working on the stitches inside my mouth, i realized he was struggling and asked if i could hold my head in a better position for him.
What you could have done was lacerate yourself in a more accessible place.
It took him a full hour since my upper lip was so mangled that the stitching had to be convoluted to find spots that would hold a stitch.
Oh, and just in case anybody’s thinking i’m exaggerating, here’s a selfie i took while i was waiting for the doctor to sew me up.
And just to reassure everyone, before i rode home from the hospital, i cranked the caution level up to Orange.