Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Mama and I Confront the Undead

I went to go visit my mama this weekend.  Hijinks ensued. 

We went to the Goodwill, where I tried on approximately umpteen million articles of clothing, but couldn't find what I wanted.  I was tempted to buy one item, but mama trash talked it so bad that I didn't.  The terms "Monica Lewinsky" and "street walker" were used.  When mama gets to trash talking, you might as well just turn whatever you had in mind loose.  I must admit that the dress was completely doused with.....stains of indeterminate origin.   

Next, we got in the car and rolled down the road.  We were rolling down the road just fine when I spied with my little eye a woman on the side of the road.

Let me describe this woman.

She was sitting, quite literally, on the side of the road, with the landscape of a vacant lot behind her.  She was flung back in her chair (she had a chair) in a manner that would invite Jesus to come on and ascend her. 

She was dead.

Mama and I both saw her.  Lots of other cars were just driving by.  That's not my and mama's style.  I grabbed my phone and started hurriedly zipping my finger across the screen to unlock it (fucking thieves, stealing every damn thing, you even have to have a password on your own phone now) so that I could call 9-1-1 (what if it were a real emergency and the person weren't already dead and I really had to dial 9-1-1 in a hurry? fucking thieves.).  Mama slowed the car down and pulled off to the side of the road.  I then immediately began intense supplications to mama NOT to turn the car around and go back, while I dialed 9-1-1.  I felt that this was a case for the authorities, not for mother-and-daughter-team-approach-a-dead-body.  Or, really, daughter shakes and snots and cries in the car while mother approaches dead body.  As much as I begged mama not to go back, it was all for naught in the end, because one such approach was in fact made, but I'm getting too far ahead of myself.

So, as mother usually does, she ignored me, and turned the car around to go approach the dead body.  She knew the woman, sort of, or at least had passed the woman before.  Mama comes up close with People Who Sit on the Side of the Road, Flailed Out to the Elements (also, dead vermin) in a way most other people do not, as she rides a bicycle back and forth to work, as well as any other places she may want or need to go.  You notice shit when you're going 30 mph, as opposed to 60 mph while enclosed in steel and glass. 

Anyway, mama turns around, despite my further and even more intensified supplications.  I do not want to see, again, and in any more intense ways, a dead body.  Driving by it was well enough, thank you.  Mama pulls over about fifty feet from the flailed woman, but there is some tall grass, so even though mama parks the car so that I, in the passenger side of the vehicle, am the one of us closest to the corpse, I don't have to see it. 

The operator picks up, and in my calmest, most polite way, I explain that there is a dead person on the side of the road across from the motel. 

Next, kiddies, is where your lesson comes in.

You know what the operator does?  The operator, in her calmest, most polite way, asks me to:

GO CHECK.

Well, needless to say, I made mama get out of the car and walk over to the dead body and wake it up.

What's that?

Oh, oh yes.  Turns out she was just sleeping.  She was flailed out, head and arms completely flung in all sorts of directions, looking as drastically dead as you can get, sleeping.  

So mama checked on her not being dead then walked back to the car still on the phone with the operator, who told her she did a good job and we drove on home.  Some other people stopped and gave the woman some food, we saw as we were driving off.  Mama told me that she told the woman to be careful, and to try to stay out of the heat.   

Why we left the house again after that I can't tell you, but we did, and that's how we ended up getting farted on in the Hobby Lobby.   It was a fart-and-run.   We were standing there alone in the fabrics section, then these two other people walked up, stuck around for a minute, then walked away quickly, then the next thing I know mama had a stricken look on her face, then started cursing up a blue streak right there in a very adamantly Christian-owned business.  I tried to hush her down but, like I said, once mama starts trash talking you might as well let loose whatever it is you had in mind, even if it is your own dignity as a hobbyist and a shopper. 

I'll tell you one thing, though; I shall never again call anyone to report anything about any dead body because they are going to make me go and check it out.  That is the lesson I learned.  I understand that the operator was trying to protect valuable and necessary community resources and funding for those resources by allowing us to wake up the woman we thought was dead instead of the police or the firefighters or the EMT's, but really.  I just cannot do it.  Should lay people be made to attempt to wake the undead?  Share your thoughts.

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