Posts Tagged ‘Fat Tuesday’

Part 4 in the “Stories of the ER” Series.

 

 

emergency

Being an ER nurse in a Level 1 Trauma leaves little time to have a private or social life. It’s no surprise, therefore, that there isn’t a Mrs. Carson. Carson is my last name, by the way. I don’t think I’ve shared that with you before.

I certainly love the ladies, and I’ve had a few serious relationships over the last couple of years. But unfortunately, being on constant call and married to a pager does have its drawbacks, especially when a call comes in with high numbers of wounded. A few years ago, when 9-11 happened, nearly everyone who worked in my ER, whether on duty or not, was paged and told to report for shift work. I remember it very clearly – it was almost a 22-hour day that day. I had to have someone check in  on Buster – who was only a pup at the time. I was worried I’d come home to find a house filled with dog shit and piss. Now Buster is trained to hold it all day long – eighteen hours if he had to. Back then, not so much. Fortunately the old married couple who lived next to me (both dead now), offered to go next door and let him out every couple of hours. I figured it was best to ask them – they certainly didn’t go out beyond, say, 7 pm. That happens when people get old. I’m sure someday I’ll be in bed by 8 pm myself.

Anyways, back to the lack of a social life/love life. At one time, I was very close to getting engaged. We had met in nursing school. She was on track to become a NICU nurse. For those of you who don’t know what NICU stands for, it’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. This is the place where very ill, or very underdeveloped babies are put after they are delivered. They’re placed in warming incubators and monitored very closely until they are out of the danger zone.

Becca, the ex, had always loved holding and cuddling newborns. She was the oldest of five children — two girls and three boys – and was always helping her mom diaper and feed her younger siblings. She had very maternal instincts, which is why I fell hard for her at first. I thought of her as perfect wife and mother material. She was drop dead gorgeous too – long, lean legs, soft brown eyes and hair that reached all the way down to her alabaster ass. Am I getting too personal? I apologize for that–just lost in a reverie.

Unfortunately, she finished her nursing school internship and was offered a very lucrative, high paying job clear over on the other side of the country – California’s Cedar Sinai, to be precise. She also was a bit superficial and really delighted at the possibility of running into all the celebrities who end up there for their various ailments and baby births. The thought of being a nurse on the ward when a celebrity mom-to-be came sneaking through the back door to avoid the paparazzi was almost an aphrodisiac to her.  I wasn’t going to be the one keeping her from her dream job. Sadly, we said our goodbyes, promised we’d stay in touch, and all that happy horse shit couples promise each other but never deliver. Last I heard, she had married a doctor and the two of them had purchased a house in Burbank. Good for her.

Since Becca moved, I have only dated here and there — mainly because I seem to spend the majority of what little life I have here – among the living and the dead, just trying to keep as many people as possible comfortable and alive. I imagine some day, maybe if I get tired enough of this shit, I will move to a more stable 8-5 shift in a doctor’s office somewhere. Probably not though – the idea of that sounds mind-numbingly boring.

The story I wanted to share this time is about social life – rather, social lives. This is about being young and stupid all at the same time. It’s about those few years in college, when you know you should be studying in your dorm room, but the call of the wild comes to you instead. In this case, it has to do with what happens when young, undeveloped minds mix alcohol, gravity and Mardi Gras all in the same night.

We can almost bet our salaries on the nights when our ER beds are at capacity: New Year’s Eve, Memorial Day, 4th of July, and, not surprising – Fat Tuesday, the culminating night before the start of Lent. Each one of the aforementioned holidays always involves heavy drinking. However, Fat Tuesday also seems to bring out every drunken asshole within a 5-mile radius of the nearby college campuses here in DC. Why is Fat Tuesday such a draw? Well, other than the idea of being a night filled with overeating and over drinking, it’s also a night for dress up and general obnoxious behavior. This pretty much describes every college frat boy and sorority sister, everywhere. And I’ll get to the whole “getting of the beads” thing later, too. Yet another interesting sidebar to this story.

So it comes as no surprise then that this story is about an extremely loud and chaotic night in the ER when we were slammed by not one, but two Greek organizations that had experienced a high number of very poor consecutive choices, beginning early in the day that Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, and carried through until disaster struck, and twenty-five drunken, obnoxious and varying degrees of wounded came through our ambulance bays.

I should probably remind you that I work at George Washington Hospital. If you didn’t know already, it is a teaching hospital, so it is also part of a large university. The university enrolls a little over 20,000 students, with students from all fifty states and over 130 countries. With that many students comes a lot of potential for injuries and accidents. Which brings me back to Fat Tuesday.

I had been enjoying a quick bite in the hospital cafeteria (I eat around 9 pm every night, which for me is normal mid shift) when I was paged back to the ER. I shoved as much of my remaining dinner as possible in my mouth, grabbed my belongings and practically ran back — because of the Level 1 status, those of us in ER know that when our pagers go off during our break times, something very big was about to come through our doors. Moments like these were always adrenaline boosting, read and react moments. I shoved it into automatic gear, wondering for only a second or two what I was coming back to.

I wasn’t disappointed when I pushed through the swinging doors. Before me, gurney after gurney was loaded with, yes, college aged kids in various stages of inebriation. But, I also noticed many had their elbows in slings, legs in splints and a lot of blood mixed in with vomit that reeked of beer and barbecue. Instant read of the situation indicated some sort of party had gone terribly wrong somehow.

My eyes searched through the sea of young faces, trying to ascertain who was most critical and therefore needed immediate triage. It took merely a nanosecond to spot my first patient. What made him stand out over all the others weren’t his good looks (which something tells me have just become permanently marred), or the designer label, blood-stained polo with the turned up collar – a fashion trend remnant most likely passed down by his father’s alumni status as president of Beta Upsilon Chi, the prestigious “we come from money” #1 Greek, very traditional, very Caucasian, fraternity at GW. No, none of that mattered in comparison to the mystery burn marks covering most of his face. They were striped, and made Clay look like some sort of weird, cross-species: half-human, half zebra. He was screaming in pain at the top of his lungs, as one of the other nurses was trying to get him to lay down on the bed so she could apply a burn pack to his face. He suddenly stopped squirming, moaned “I gonna sick..” and leaned over the side of his bed, unloading the contents of his stomach all over Sara’s – another nurse in the department – clean scrub pants. Sara recoiled in  horror and disgust, and turned her nose away from the filth, which contained small chunks of reddish material. At first I thought it was blood, but the unpleasant smell of barbecue mixed with stomach bile quickly enveloped the room, and I realized Clay had just barfed up his Fat Tuesday feast. And from the looks of the burn marks on his face, he wasn’t likely going to be able to eat anything for a while.

Sara motioned me over – she was looking a little queasy herself, and I offered to step in and attend to Clay while she went  to find a fresh, clean pair of scrubs. She didn’t say anything out loud, but her eyes did. For a brief second, I thought maybe there was a spark of interest. The moment was shattered, however, when a now more sober Clay began screaming again – this time about his face. Apparently, the numbing effects of alcohol were wearing off. Perhaps I could finally figure out where the burn marks came from. I didn’t want to press him too hard for a lengthy discussion – his lips had swollen to three times their normal size, due to a well-placed (if I can call it that) burn strip in the center of  his face. I started with some friendly banter, just to get a measure of how drunk he still was.

“Hey, buddy. I’m Jeff, the head ER nurse here. Are you able to talk? You look pretty mashed up here.” I began gingerly dabbing up as much vomit and blood off his face as possible – the poor kid had enough to worry about, I didn’t want to add insult to injury. Upon closer inspection, I was able to tell that the burn marks on his face weren’t nearly as critical as I had initially thought. They were going to leave scars in some places no doubt, but for the most part, I was able to assure him that his face would eventually heal in about, oh two to three years. When the poor kid heard this, he started to weep. He obviously cared very much about  his appearance.  I listened quietly (and without judgment), as he began to fill in some of the details of what had happened at the Beta Upsilon Chi’s house during this year’s annual Fat Tuesday celebrations. And from what he was telling me, it’s no surprise we have a full house of drunken, obnoxious, injured party goers.

“Dude..” he drawled, still slurring some of his words together, “I was just tryn have a lil fun…know what mean?” I nodded silently, but didn’t say anything. I was trying my hardest not to chew his ass out. My tolerance for drunks was approaching zero.

“I’s up on the roof — zat’s where we were keepin’ the keg cold — and some chick dared me to do a keg stand. So, I did.” This explained his drunken state, but not the burn marks on  his face. Little did I realize at the time I was about to get the full-blown, no-holds barred, down and dirty details of the debauchery that unfolded. I had no choice but to listen – I think he was actually proud of himself and his frat house for having a party so “epic” (his words not mine) that it would go down in history for years to come as “the story most often retold over business dinners and high-priced martinis.” For you, dear readers, I’ve cleaned up his language and carefully edited out the obvious grammar mistakes caused by his slurred speech. What you see below is his story, but in my words.

(Pay especially close attention to how much of an asshole Clay turns out to be when he speaks of those less fortunate than he is, what with being a future recipient of what he mentioned was a “well-padded trust fund”.)

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We had been planning the party for months. This was the perfect opportunity for us to, you know, unwind and have a little fun. We’d already done the fundraising shit – had a few car washes, bake sales, and all that community bullshit we have to do but don’t really wanna do, know what I mean? Honestly, I don’t really give a fuck about the poor — it’s not my problem there are so many lazy people in this world. Maybe they should just get off their fat asses and get themselves a job – ya know? But, our charter requires it, so we get a bunch of guys together – coordinate it with the sorority sluts of Alpha Chi Omega, let them do the majority of the work since they give more of a shit– and then spend one or two weekends pretending to care about whatever the fuck it is – homeless orphans, hairless cats, wrinkled old people -who knows?

Anyway, enough of that bullshit. I wanna get to the good stuff, the party. As I said, we’d be planning it for months and was busy marketing the shit outta it.  I wanted the whole fucking campus to know who we were when it was over, see? We emailed and texted everyone and anyone we could. We started a Facebook page. We tweeted the shit out of it – 140 letters doesn’t leave much room for clarity, so we had a gifted writer come up with as many clever ways to say “PARTY AT OUR FRAT HOUSE, FAT TUESDAY, COME CELEBRATE WITH  US” as possible without us getting busted by the university. See, the problem was that it’s totally illegal to drink on campus, and none of us were 21 years old anyways – the oldest frat brother is only turning 20 next month so…you could see our dilemma here. We had to plan all this shit out 100% on the down low. Then. we had to find a couple of trustworthy frat alum bros to come back, buy us the alcohol and carry it into the house so we didn’t get caught. That’s why I was up on the roof – we stashed it up there to hide it from the university cops who patrol our neighborhood nightly, looking for porch parties with kegs out in the open. I’m not sure who came up with the idea to stash it on the roof, but it was pretty fucking clever.

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Clay seemed to really enjoy bragging about the collective stupidity of his fraternity brothers. He also seemed to be oblivious to how much of an insensitive prick he sounded. I just made sure not to show my growing contempt for the pompous asshole. He continued.

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The day of the party was a collective cluster fuck from the get-go. We had been up pre-gaming the night before, and stayed up til 4 am, playing an extra intense game of Strip beer pong with the Delta gals. Let me tell ya, those girls aint no angels – we call em our slut sisters for a reason – Jason, my best bud, ended up with three of em in his bed a couple of weeks ago. There was a lot of sucking and fucking go on that night, know what I mean, bro?

Anyways, we had all accidentally overslept, and a lot of us missed our morning classes – like anybody really gave a shit, ya know? We were too hung over and hungry to care about anything else. We just wanted to sleep in til we  had to get up and start prepping for the bash. The house was trashed – littered with late night pizza boxes and beer bottles everywhere. Throughout the day, we kept finding condoms, some used, some not, in a bunch of places. How they ended up there, I don’t wanna know. I didn’t get laid the night before, unfortunately. One of the bleached blond Amys had offered a blowjob, but I turned her down, I think. I dunno — one minute my pants were up, next they were down at my ankles. Maybe my big dick scared her off. Who knows?

We were all up by noon, which left us about five, maybe six hours, to clean our shit up and get it together for the Fat Tuesday bash. Based on our marketing the shit out of it, we were predicting a major turn out and turn up. I had gotten a hold of a local weed dealer and we had a baggie or two of the finest kush in the area. I know, cuz I blazed up a couple of days ago with a homemade bong I made from a couple beakers and piping I stole from the chem lab.

The Delta Chi’s came over around four, fivish, to help set up the spread. We had a lot of salads and side dishes, plus the typical crap like nachos, salsa, you know, that college kids devour after a heavy night of smoking weed and getting laid. Our main dish, however, was gonna be barbecue chicken…

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Aha,  I thought to myself. That explains the little chunks I saw swimming around in his vomit. It seems like we’re getting somewhere, just not sure where yet. This guy sure can talk.

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The party started off okay, of course. Most of us were still kinda hung over from the night before.We were only nursing our beers at first. But, as you know, nothing ever stays calm at a frat house. Especially when the Delta women arrive. Their whole sorority house came over, it seemed. I guess a couple of the bitches had been talking about us guys — comparing sizes of our dicks, how good we could eat them out – typical horny college girl talk. The rest of the girls came over just to see if any of it was true. Man, I couldn’t believe the amount of hot pussy that came over that night. I couldn’t keep my dick down, know what I mean?

Things were going along great. Someone had plugged their Iphone into the stereo speakers and we all migrated out to the huge, wrap around wooden porch on the second floor of our house. Well, it was a wrap around before the shit show started. We were just dancing, having a great time, when suddenly things went to total shit. Apparently, there had been some sort of jealousy thing between two of the Delta Chi’s. Bimbo #1 and Bimbo#2 – I don’t even recall their names — found out that each had been fucking Charley, one of my fraternity bros. He had managed to keep both of them from finding out about each other. We all knew what was going on – he would bring em both here, usually one in the morning, the other one at night, and bang em in one of the back bedrooms. He had been fucking em both for about three months. Why he didn’t even consider the possibility they’d find out tonight, I dunno. But, what happened next was probably why so many of us ended up here.

Charley, being the total dick he was, was hitting on another girl -Slut #3, when not one, but both of the girls saw him out of the corners of their eyes. As bitches get, they decided to confront him, at exactly the same time, which of course blew his cover and exposed  him as the sneaky, two timing rat bastard they kept calling  him. Trying to do his best to keep from getting bitch slapped by them both at the same time, he headed over to the railing of the porch, while both girls started pushing and shoving each other – apparently jealous and now on the verge of a cat fight.

Unfortunately, the commotion caught the attention of the rest of the party goers, except for the few couples who were now hooking up in various places around the house, and even a few on the lawn furniture out back. As everyone streamed outside and onto the porch to watch the chick fight, none of us had noticed that the creaking wooden floor was starting to wobble. A few sharp cracks later, and everyone found themselves falling two stories to the ground, where body upon body of people in various stages of undress and drunkenness, landed in a huge pile of bruised, bloodied and battered flesh. I thought I had heard a few bones snap and crunch in the process. 

Fortunately, I hadn’t been on the porch at the time it collapsed, so I was able to call 911 and get help. It wasn’t an easy call to make, I was pretty high and drunk by then, and I was up on the roof of the house, pouring myself another beer. And of course I was horny so I had a woman with me I was trying to get to blow me. She wasn’t very willing, until I offered to do a keg stand – right there on the roof – as she watched. She agreed immediately…

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I was sensing he was coming to the end of his story, and why he had striped burn marks on his face. As appalled as I was by this story, I wasn’t going to let him leave out the best part. I needed to know how far the party antics went.

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Grill 7

So, here I was, on the top of the two-story house, getting ready to do a keg stand, while my girl was just seconds away from blowing me right there. I reached to put my hands on the keg handles, raised my back-end and legs, and was almost entirely vertical to the keg when the porch’s rumbling started, throwing me forwards and over the side of the roof, heading straight down to the yard below, and the glowing embers of the barbecue grill plate, staring back at me.

Yes, I face planted right into the still smoking, sizzling Weber, which had just been emptied of the stickiest, sauciest chicken wings and drumsticks we’d ever had. 

And that, nurse, is how we all ended up here – after one of the most epic party fails ever known in GW’s history.

One more thing before I pass out from the pain — you might examine Ashley – that brunette over there across from me. She was leading the contest for the most beads earned by the most shows of her tits. Rumor has it she has a string or two of the bright purple ones shoved up her pussy. 

Mardi-Gras-Beads-Credit-iStock-146720325-630x419

 

 

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