Ambulances, as they race and jostle through the pedestrians, knocking them off the footpath, are always on a headlong collision toward society's tolerance and continuity in how long you can play an injury, death or other serious illness in the deck of sympathy cards. It's a dicey slice between taking their time and giving you yours in order to call around and rally the pity troops.
The sirens are blaring and the ride through peak hour traffic is hard and well fought. And testing the aerodynamics of a block of metal hitting the intersection in midstream is only but a careen through headlights and horns. With all that, the time it takes between site to hospital plays heavily in charging the cloud that looms over your head. No sirens, and a general stroll through traffic, means your bill of sympathy cake drops with each traffic light they stop at.
The faster an ambulance can sherpa the prone patient and walking dead, the quicker you're then able to lay down the game mat and see how your table of social comfort will unfold. A clean deck of cards means you're playing a golden hand, you're riffing on riches with tears, soft shoulders and plenty of get well cards you'll need to recycle. Find rough edges and it's a different matter.
You're either breathing in swamp gas and your friends are clamouring to hand you their masks and wet towels or you're given a subscription to the military consignment store. The fatigues cannot hold and you'll need a new wardrobe for the rubbed gloss.
The more people drop dead and cark around you, the greater they warp your social fabric. They chip away at your pity party, smudging your presence as a harbinger of death and sadness. Until one day you're dead and there's no one left to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you're going through yet another hardship or suffering from another multi-thousand dollar receipt you'll hope you don't pass on when you do.
The trick in having people die around you is to make sure they either go all in and bunch it up like a bouquet or they time it around other major life moments. The former, despite ample opportunity for savings, will often see people repeat themselves and buy you flowers and suppositories as if everything was coming up Milhouse.
Unfortunately, nobody plays to your game. If you're going to rely on other people to help you out, you're already a lost cause.
Written on Friday, 9 March 2012