House? Check. Hardware? Check. The Baroness? Che—huh?

Brooke here.  The ivy is invading my dreams.

Now add thirty years and sixty pounds, shorten and frumpify the hair, and give her a butt crying out for Mom-jeans. Art by Michael Lopez

So the zombies were attacking, like they do, and the generator kicked on so I knew that society as a whole had collapsed and we were on our own.  The Baroness (now middle-aged and had really let herself go, but still wearing the same glasses and latex body armor) handed me a pump-action shotgun out of the back of her armored van.

“I don’t have time to teach you how to use this,” she said.

I loaded it, racked the shells into the chamber, and slung it over my back.  Then I handed her my second-best mattock.

“I don’t have time to teach you how to use this,” I replied.

The emergency lights began to flash and I knew they were at the gates.  This is around the time I sort of woke up to notice the fire truck and the ambulance  in the street.  I was still sort of dreaming so the Baroness and I walked over to the windows to check it out.

“I hate it when I can’t tell when I’m dreaming,” I said to the Baroness.

She twirled the mattock over her shoulder. “Consider it a reprieve,” she said.  She had crow’s feet.

Then I kicked the puppy’s box and he woke up, squalling, which woke me all the way up, which caused me to realize that there actually was a fire truck and an ambulance parked right outside.*  Greensboro has this semi-odd policy of sending out both emergency vehicles when a call goes out for one, so if your cat happens to get stuck up a tree it is assured of immediate medical attention or something.  My mattock disappeared along with the Baroness, and everyone who actually existed went back to sleep.

… where I spent the rest of the night dreaming that I was ripping out ivy from around the Japanese maples with my best mattock.

* I don’t know why they were there.  Nothing was on fire so it was Officially None Of My Business.

3 thoughts on “House? Check. Hardware? Check. The Baroness? Che—huh?

  1. New Years day in my neighborhood had a lot of speculation involved, as there were 6-8 different police vehicles outside a neighbor’s house. No Ambulance, however, so we were sure there weren’t any bodies. 6-8 police vehicles means pretty much the whole police force for the three county area, excluding a few little city/village police officers. There were three sheriff cars, three state cars, and a rotating selection of the city police cars. (perfect view through my kitchen window as I was making breakfast for everyone. I wasn’t just standing there, honest.) Checked the local paper on Monday, the only thing I think could have been related was the arrest of people involved in a string of break-ins lately…

  2. I once stepped off a step I didn’t know was there and sprained my ankle. The proprietor of the store to which the step was attached freaked out: not that I might be seriously injured, y’unnerstand, but that I might call for lawyers. So he called 911 and I was shortly visited by (1) police car, (2) fire trucks, one a full-sized hook-and-ladder, and (1) ambulance, the paramedics staffing which had the sense to send the other guys away and send me to the ER. It was quite a sprain, but not nearly worth the man-, woman-, and vehicle-power applied to it.

  3. I’m originally from Baton Rouge, LA (living in Charlotte, NC now) and they have a similar policy of sending multiple vehicles out for 911 calls. I asked a paramedic about it once and she said the reason is because if you call for a medical emergency, they want to get you help as fast as possible. However, what about when the nearest ambulance is already out on another call? Rather than leave you waiting for them to finish or wait for one from another district to arrive, they dispatch police and firefighters as well, both of which have some training to help you. So basically they send out the call to all three so that SOMEONE can help you. When I hurt myself with my own stupidity in middle school and my mom had to call 911, the firemen got there first and were able to assess the situation and start addressing the problem (a busted up leg) so that when the ambulance got there, all they had to do was wheel me out and take me to the ER, saving the ambulance time so they could help others. Of course, this plan would have been flawed if a house in my area caught fire or something… but maybe they have other policies to address that. I’m guessing from your story that North Carolina has a similar policy, but I don’t know to what extent they match.
    I know it seems silly for minor injuries and whatnot, but if someone has been seriously hurt I think its good that they don’t have to wait for some kind of help to arrive.

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