Thursday, August 19, 2010

Cliché alert - Cliché alert

You and I have seen it happen in countless movies while television has used and abused the scenario so many times, you know what is going to happen before the commercial break.

But it really doesn't happen in 'real life' – or does it?

I'm not an ambulance - but the baby just might not wait... Yes, it does happen and yes, it did happen... Well almost.

It is 3:20AM as I pull up to the address that lights up the dispatch screen. A party of two individuals waits curbside with the male waving his arms frantically from side to side signaling me.

He yells, "Taxi, Taxi, Taxi!"

The female stands with both hands cradling her over-sized bulging belly.

The back door started to open even before I had a chance to bring the taxi to a complete stop.

She climbed in first and told him to go around to the other door because she won't be able to slide across the seat.

I heard her say, "Don't forget the bag!" as she closed the door in his face.

He went back and grabbed the bright red and florescent orange bag that lay abandon on the sidewalk.

While he hustled around the car to the other door she said,
"California Hospital - you know where it is right?"

I repeated, "California Hospital?" to verify that I had heard her correctly.

She mistook the questioning tone and said, "Dear God, please – please tell me you know where California Hospital is!"

I said, “Sure, its downtown about 7 1/2 minutes from here." Then I asked,
"Are you okay? Do you need an ambulance?"

The male answered as he climbed in and closed the door, "She's in a bit of pain. We need to get to California Hospital as quickly as possible. Do you know where it is?"

"He knows, he knows - Hold my hand!" she said through tightly clenched teeth.

As I stopped at a red signal about a block away from the freeway, the police pulled up next to the cab. I rolled the window down and said, "I've got a pregnant lady in the back, I'm headed to California Hospital."

I heard the officer say, "Good luck!" as the patrol car took off with its overhead lights now flashing red and blue.

Good luck? I’m confused. Am I supposed to follow them? Did they understand me? I looked both ways and proceed through the still red signal.

The police didn't take the freeway entrance that I had planned to take. If the police were escorting us they should have gotten onto the freeway! Did the police have something else to deal with or did they know a different (or faster?) route?

I couldn't chance it -- I took the freeway.

I hear grunts and groans emitting from the backseat. The distinctive groans are obviously hers and the louder and louder grunts are his.

"Everyone okay back there?" I ask.

She's breathing heavy and doesn't answer. His suffering is either in sympathy or in reality (probably from a newly crushed hand) I'm not sure which it is...

He manages a, "We're okay!" before the next round of grunts and groans.

Within eight minutes of picking them up, all four of us arrived safely at California Hospital; Me, Mommy, Daddy, and the still unborn child.

That's right, the baby had the good instincts to wait and be born at California Hospital instead of the backseat of City7100.

It was close but no cigar - at least not for me...

“Hurry and pay the man!” she said before both rushed away and disappeared behind the sliding glass doors of the Emergency Room.

I quickly followed with the bright red and florescent orange bag that was, once again, momentarily abandoned...

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