Disclaimer: Just having a good time with the Emergency! guys. They certainly don’t belong to me.
A Little Lunch Trouble
By: Vanessa Sgroi
“Man, I’m hungry.”
“Yeah, me too,” Roy answered, “Shoulda guessed we’d get toned out just as Mike put lunch on the table.”
“I bet there isn’t gonna be anything left at the station either,” Johnny stomach made a loud rumbling noise as if to punctuate his point, “Let’s stop somewhere.”
“All right. What sounds good?”
Gage thought for a second before saying, “I wouldn’t mind a good chili-cheese dog right now.”
“Why don’t we try that new place over on Crescent? Dog Days?”
“Sounds great!” The dark-haired paramedic rubbed his hands together in anticipation.
Roy drove the two blocks to Crescent and pulled into the nearly deserted parking lot of Dog Days. The little restaurant was painted white with brightly colored renditions of various condiments painted haphazardly about.
Inside, a teenaged boy was indifferently manning the counter.
“Can I help you?”
Scanning the light menu on the wall, Johnny said, “Yeah, I’ll have two chili-cheese dogs and a soda.”
The boy entered Johnny’s order and looked expectantly at Roy.
“I’ll have a Cheesy Challenge Dog, a small fry, and a water.”
Gage generously offered to pick up the tab for a change, and Roy wisely didn’t argue. While waiting for their order to be filled, Johnny filled his partner in on the newest nurse at Rampart he wanted to date.
Roy was relieved when the teenager placed their order on the counter. Grabbing his food, he headed for the condiment counter. His partner followed closely behind. They both paused behind a restaurant worker who was filling condiment containers and wiping off the Formica counter.
“Wow, these look really good! We’re eating here, right?”
“Yeah, why not.”
While Roy squirted a little catsup and mustard on his Cheesy Challenge, Johnny loaded his chili-cheese dogs with relish and onions. “Hope you’re planning on a little mouthwash when we get back,” DeSoto teased when he saw the quantity of onion. Turning, he picked a table near the door and sat down.
Johnny plopped down in the seat across from him and took a long drink of his soda. Picking up the first hot dog, he took a big bite and began to chew.
“Ow!” he bit down once more before suddenly leaning his head forward and spitting out the mouthful of food. With it came blood. “What the . . .”
Roy looked up at his partner’s exclamation and was shocked to see him spitting out his food. What shocked him even more was the blood running from his mouth.
Jumping up, he moved to Johnny’s side. “What happened? Is it a tooth? Did you break a tooth?”
Grabbing a napkin, Gage dabbed at the blood that continued to dribble from his mouth.
“Don’t know. Felt p-pain. Then . . . this.”
“Open your mouth. Let me see.” Roy examined his mouth as best he could though the blood was making it difficult to see much. Johnny’s mouth looked like it had been cut in several places. A couple of them looked deep.
“Your mouth’s all cut up. We need to get over to Rampart.”
“Shi- Hurts. Let’s go.”
“All right. Hang on just a sec.” Suspicious as to the cause of his partner’s injury, Roy looked closer at Johnny’s lunch. He poked around the hot dogs with a fork.
“Damn it. Johnny, there’s glass all mixed in here. Did you swallow any?”
The younger paramedic shook his head no.
Roy sighed in relief. “I have to tell someone and then we’ll go.”
Gage nodded in understanding and continued to press napkins against his mouth to absorb the blood.
DeSoto quickly notified the manager of what had happened. The horrified man immediately confiscated the condiment containers and warned the other two customers of the possible hazard. The fair-haired paramedic returned to his partner.
“Let’s go, Junior.”
It was a quick ride to Rampart Emergency. Guiding Johnny inside and down the hall, Roy was happy to see Dixie sitting at the nurses’ station.
“Dix? Can someone help us out here?”
The head nurse looked up and gasped when she caught sight of Johnny Gage’s bloody face.
“Treatment One is free. What happened?” She followed the two paramedics into the room.
“He cut his mouth on some glass.”
“I’ll go get, Kel.”
A few minutes later, Dr. Brackett entered the room. His eyebrows rose in question when he saw the young paramedic.
“We were eating lunch and there was glass in the food. He cut his mouth.”
“Glass in the food?” With a concerned look, Brackett queried, “Did he swallow any?”
“No. He spit it all out.”
“Okay. Let me take a look.”
“Johnny, I’ll be back. I’m gonna let Cap know what happened.”
Gage grunted an acknowledgement as Brackett began his exam.
* * *
Twenty minutes later, Roy re-entered Treatment Room One to see his partner jumping down of the examination table. Dixie had been kind enjoy to clean the blood off his face so he looked better than he had before.
“So, Doc, he’ll live?” Roy joked.
“I’d say so,” Brackett smiled, “I did have to put in a couple of stitches. His mouth will be sore.”
“Ahh, so I get a break, huh?” This earned him a glare from his partner. “Ready to go, Johnny?”
“Yah.” Johnny mumbled.
The senior paramedic waved a hand in Brackett’s direction. “Bye, Doc. Thanks. See ya, Dix.”
On the way back out to the squad, Roy looked over at his partner who was looking glum. “Sorry. I shouldn’t have joked around like that.”
“ ‘s oh-kay.”
After getting in and closing the doors, Roy turned the key. He heard Johnny groan and looked over. “You sure you’re okay to go back to work?”
“Yah,” Johnny answered and then sighed. “But Ah’m s-still starvin’.”
Roy smiled. “So am I. Tell you what—we’ll stop and get milkshakes. That should fix you right up.”
Giving his sore mouth a rest, Johnny gave him the thumbs up sign.
* * * The End * * *
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Stories by Vanessa Guest Dispatchers