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Saturday, March 01, 2008

Death Defying Moments


So, have you heard the one about the closeted homosexual who nearly dropped the dead lady on the floor of the morgue? Or how about the skinny white dude who saved the other dead lady from being upended in the elevator while trying to get her up to the waiting van? My, I do have a sorted past. For some reason, back in my earlier quite tender and impressionable years, I ended up having three pretty close friends who all just happened to be undertakers. It's definitely a 24-hour-a-day job. So, if I ever wanted to spend any time with them, I'd have to go with them on "calls" to pick up a body from a house/hospital/nursing home, take it to the funeral home, sometimes sit around making small talk while the embalming was done, and then we'd go have a taco or Big Gulp to round out the evening.

One evening, I was helping a male nurse's aide take an older woman who had died from the emergency room down to the morgue. We were then suppose to transfer her from the emergency room gurney onto the table in the morgue. I'm not sure how many of you have been in a morgue, but there are large stainless steel trays that the bodies rest on. They are not fixed to the tables but are designed to be moved. So, we were lifting up the lady who was wrapped up in a sheet and gave the "1-2-3 Lift!" count. The only problem is that we didn't lift her up quite high enough to clear the edge of the stainless steel tray and knocked that sucker to the ground. I don't know how much the trays weigh, but it's definitely enough to make one of the loudest crashes in history. Meanwhile, we've got said woman wrapped in the sheet and suspended in midair waiting...waiting....waiting..... and then we start laughing. Which does nothing to help concentrate our efforts to get her back to the starting position. It was terrible. Terribly funny, I'm afraid. In a pretty twisted sort of way.

Another evening, we were in the basement morgue of a different hospital and ready to take this dead woman up the elevator to the waiting van for transporting. We roll the gurney into the elevator and I run upstairs to the floor above and press the "up" button to bring her up. Meanwhile, my undertaker friend is down below closing the door behind her and then suppose to come upstairs. The elevator starts moving up and things were progressing nicely until we discovered that the gurney has been pushed just a little too far into the elevator and the end of it has caught on a non-movable, permanent piece of metal. So, one end of the gurney is continuing its upward climb while the opposite end of the gurney is stationary and not moving at all. The poor woman was being upended into a vertical position! So, I yell "Hey, we've got a problem....stop!" An understatement, I know. We lower it back down, fix the issue, and proceed as schedule. And guess who couldn't stop laughing again?

I guess I could continue into Embalming 101 here, but I think we'll save that exciting episode for another time.

17 comments:

bardelf said...

I love the new vintage photo of you from 1987. What a hottie you were ... and still are!

emeraldcityguy said...

I knew there was something terribly wrong with you! :) Love the shorts!

Spamouflage said...

Dead people are fun only when they come back to life during a "Six Feet Under" episode.

Lemuel said...

Remind me never to be dead around you! :)

You are/were/will be a studly dude! Life is SO unfair!

Laurie said...

And you wonder why you have such
weird dreams.

HUGS!

Steven said...

Those shorts in your new blog photo are to die for. Talk about a busy pattern!

Trailhead said...

Nice Indiana shirt.

My dad used to be an old-style criminal defense lawyer. He has all sorts of stories about autopsies and recovering long-dead bodies from houses. This post reminded me of that. :)

tornwordo said...

I would definitely have been laughing too.

Wayne said...

That is a little twisted!

christopherc said...

I did autopsies for a very short time; had a 500+lb man that broke one power lift, got stuck half way on the exam table, fell on the floor. The pathologist i worked for was busy at break, told me not to worry, he wasn't going anywhere.

I hated those few months of rotation... was glad to get back to the living.



As for your new photo, as I said before it make me hot and bothered!! Beauty emanates from one's soul; you'll always be a stud!

-C

savante said...

Never knew the morgue was so happening! Must call up my forensic buddies :)

Gregorio said...

Nice short shorts!! Ah, the signs of the time!! :) Ha ha!!!

Gregooooo

D-Man said...

Oh, I DO love gallows humor... So, goin' after the hot undertaker boys, huh? How 6ft Under of you! You were trendy before you even knew it..

Palm Springs Savant said...

yowzer, that's quite a colorful past!!!

I agree wuth bardelf, that is a nifty photo of u Lewis

travelling, but not in love said...

Well I guess in those situations you either laugh or go crazy...I'm just not sure I have the stomach for that kind of work...

And the strangest things do happen in hospital elevators. I was born in one. It all happened so quickly that my mother didn't have chance to get her underwear off.

Yep, I came straight out and into my Mom's knickers.

It's not right.

Durand said...

Every post reveals just a little bit more, doesn't it?

"Just David!" said...

you and i have too much in common! i've got morgue stories too!!