I was a night shift nurse. However, when needed, my partner and I would double over and help cover the day shift, if they were especially short staffed. Working day shift made me understand why I worked night shift. Okay, so you are wondering what night shift has to offer that day shift doesn’t.‑ Well, for one thing, most grocery stores at that time were not open all night. Once I tell you about our encounter at the local Winn-Dixie you will understand.
It looked to be a fairly routine Saturday, although you never can tell. We had had a relatively easy night shift and deluded ourselves into thinking we were on a lucky streak.
The day shift dispatcher radioed us: “Med 31, make 42nd and Jefferson on a possible 10-46, 10-47, and possible 10-64. Make your run code 3.”‑‑I looked over at Mick and laughed.‑ Well, it seems to be a toss-up. We have a Disorderly Subject, an Intoxicated Subject, a Mental Patient, or all three.‑‑Mick laughed back, as I keyed the mike and said, “Radio can you advise further?” “That’s negative, Med 31. Approach with caution. LPD en route.”‑I reached under the dash, flipped the lights into motion and hit the siren. “Glad we don’t work day shift,” I told Mick.‑There’s too much traffic to deal with. Not only that, but the lights don’t bounce back, strobe-like, from the passing windows, stabbing through the darkness. Even the sirens, somehow, seemed weaker. They didn’t cut screaming through the black night, but seemed subdued in the light of day.‑But, that aside, I kicked it, with much more caution than we have to use on night shift.‑ I maneuvered through traffic to the Winn-Dixie Grocery Store.
We pulled up to the double doors, noting that LPD was not yet on the scene. Everything appeared normal, so, we picked up our jump kits and entered the store. The apologetic store manager met us with a hysterical woman in tow.‑ She obviously considered herself a woman of class. She was of late middle age and‑wore heavy makeup. Every finger‑flaunted an expensive looking ring. A strange hat sat askew on her head.‑She was carrying the ugliest purse I had ever seen. It was made out of some kind of animal hide with sequins all over it. She flung it around as fast as she talked. She was the type you wouldn’t run into on your normal grocery-shopping day.‑We asked her what the problem seemed to be. “WELL!”‑ She all but screamed at us…and then her horrible tale tumbled out of her, her high-class demeanor having abandoned her, in her state of angst.
“I left to come to the store!‑When I got here, there weren’t too many people. I don’t like too many people. They have germs, you know. Well, anyway, all of a sudden I smell this horrible smell. Smells like s_ _ _ !‑ I look up and see this fat slob waddling down the aisle.‑He has on Bermuda shorts and dingy knee socks. I thought to myself that he certainly has disgusting varicose veins that should be covered, not exposed with shorts! As I passed him and looked back, I realized those weren’t varicose veins. It was S_ _ _!‑It was oozing down his legs. With a big bulls eye of it right in the middle of his Bermuda shorts!‑I almost threw up! The stench was about to overcome me when a woman came around the aisle on the other end.‑Her cart slid into the whole mess running right down the middle of the aisle, causing her to fall sideways into the tomatoes!‑I screamed and ran the other way!‑ I don’t have to put up with this sort of thing!‑I saw the manager in the Deli section and, believe me, I went over immediately to file my complaint! I want you to know right here and now, that I am NOT going to be subjected to this sort of vulgar display.”‑It was obvious that Mrs. Uppercrust was not going to take this intolerable assault on her high-class expectations.‑ She shrieked‑ “Hells Bells!‑ I have not come this far up the ladder to be felled by a pile of POOP!!”‑Apparently the poor woman who fell into the tomatoes was the wife, or caretaker,‑ because we heard the double doors open, looked over,‑ and saw her shuffle him out to the parking lot, trailing a streak of excrement.‑
LPD arrived on the scene about that time, as someone had called in a holdup.‑Mrs. Uppercrust was now in a non-stop screaming fit, carrying on about how she was surprised she hadn’t been robbed of her diamonds and jewels in the Winn-Dixie, and she wanted her lawyer.‑I turned to the LPD officer and said, “ya want her?”‑He looked at her, and said, “nope you can have her.”‑We didn’t want her either, so we cleared the scene, radioed in that we were 10-8. Mick said, “You know, somebody ought to write a book.” I said, “And who would believe it?”
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