So, last Saturday evening was the first Christmas party of the season at Chez Boyer. This was a fun group, which loosely consisted of local writer friends. I need to say up front that NO OFFICAL ORGANIZATION SPONSORED THIS EVENT, and each and every writers’ group that grants me membership is blameless.
It was early in the evening–guests were still arriving. Groups of future literary luminaries chatted about all manner of highbrow matters in the kitchen and keeping room, while sipping festive drinks and nibbling on canapés–okay, it was Southwestern eggrolls, vegetarian meatloaf on crackers, and mini cheeseburgers. Hey, that meatloaf was good. I’m just saying…
Anyway, I was lounging on the sofa yakking with a couple of friends, when something went BOOM! in the kitchen.
I jumped up and looked across the bar, but all I could see was the backsides of everyone who had dashed to the middle of the kitchen.
My husband shouted, “CALL 911! NOW!!”
Clueless, but responding automatically to the tone in The Husband’s voice I grabbed the phone and made the call.
“What’s the nature of your emergency?” the voice on the phone asked.
I had nothing. I shook my head, gestured wildly, and gave my name and address. I peered over someone’s shoulder. A friend we’ll call Ginger because that is SO not her name sprawled in the kitchen floor on her back looking at the ceiling.
“What happened?” I asked.
Realizing my dilemma, everyone answered at once. I picked out a few things and told the operator, “My friend got dizzy and fell out of a bar-height chair onto the hardwood floor and hit her head.”
The operator asked the standard questions, is she breathing, conscious, able to speak, etc. (All yes at that point, but at least one person said she’d lost consciousness for a moment.) I gave directions–oddly we weren’t “in the system.” The 911 operator assured me help was on the way.
By this time, The Husband had Ginger’s head and feet on pillows, and had tried to cover her with a blanket, but she declined as she was too hot already. Ginger seemed a bit confused herself, as to how she came to be flat on the floor, but poll results indicated that 70% of the people who’d seen what happened thought that she’d leaned back in the chair, not realizing she was seated sideways, and toppled to the floor, where she was at least dazed, and possibly momentarily unconscious.
One resourceful soul asked for a flashlight and went outside to wave down the EMS team. Moments later, the firetruck arrived and parked in front of the house. I greeted the team at the door–I think there were three of them–and directed them to the kitchen. The writers backed off, allowing the professionals to form a circle around Ginger and ask her the same round of questions.
Then, the doorbell rang.
For the next thirty minutes, I alternated greeting arriving guests and additional EMT’s. To each group of party guests I explained the firetruck and ambulance, then told them where to put food (and the best route into the kitchen under the circumstances) and coats, and offered them a drink. Periodically I popped by to check on Ginger, who seemed increasingly normal.
After everyone realized Ginger was okay, they went back to nibbling and socializing.
For a surreal while–I really couldn’t say how long–the group chatting around Ginger was just one more conversation clutch at the party, only they didn’t have drinks. After a bit, the EMT’s got Ginger up off the floor. She declined to go to the hospital. The EMT’s left, and Ginger stayed at the party and later sang a Karaoke duet with the gentleman who’d flagged down EMS with the flashlight.
It was a great party…