Disclaimer: The characters from Emergency don’t belong to me, of course. I’m just borrowing them for some continuing adventures.
By Vanessa Sgroi
“Did you enjoy dinner last night?”
“Yeah. Yeah, I did. What was that stuff that Joanne made again? The one with the bacon and cabbage.”
“That was colcannon. An Irish tradition on Joanne’s dad’s side of the family.”
Johnny nodded. “Man, that was great stuff. Wish I had some for today.”
DeSoto finished tying his boot. “I’ll call Joanne. Maybe she can bring some leftovers by.”
“Sounds good to me. It’s sure to be better than whatever Chet’s plannin’ on making for St. Patrick’s Day.”
The two paramedics left the locker room and headed for the kitchen.
“Hey, what’s that?” Johnny asked when he spotted some food on the table.
“THAT,” started Chet, “is Irish Soda Bread. My mom made it and told me to bring it in.”
Captain Stanley smiled in appreciation. “That was nice of her.”
As Roy and Johnny filled their coffee cups and sat down at the table, Chet cut the bread into hearty pieces.
“She says it’s good luck to eat a piece first thing on St. Patrick’s Day.”
Before Chet even finished cutting, Johnny’s hand darted out and snagged a piece of the bread.
After taking a huge bite, he mumbled, “This is good.”
“Hey, Gage, maybe you should eat two pieces. You need all the luck you can get.”
Johnny scowled at the mustached Irishman and sipped his coffee.
The rest of the crew helped themselves to some of Mrs. Kelly’s treat. The dark-haired paramedic grabbed a second piece. When they all finished, Captain Stanley announced roll call.
For the squad, the runs started at the end of roll call and were continuous. By noon, the paramedics had been on five minor calls. None had required a trip to the hospital.
“Hey, Roy, let’s stop for lunch.”
“Sure. Why wouldn’t I be?”
DeSoto glanced over at his partner. “Maybe because we’ve been offered food on every run we’ve been on today. And you’ve said yes to it all!”
“So? What’s a few cookies?”
Roy shook his head. “More than a few cookies, Junior. On the first call, it was green cupcakes. At the second, green pudding. OH, and then that old woman with green deviled eggs!”
“Ahh, Roy, she was such a sweet old lady. I couldn’t say no!”
“And what was that green goo at the fourth call?”
“I dunno. Something made with Jell-O™.”
“And then you just ate three cookies.”
Johnny sighed long and loud. “I didn’t know you were so interested in my eating habits. Forget it. We don’t hafta stop.”
“No. We’ll stop. What sounds good?”
“Let’s go to Dairy Daze. I want a milkshake.”
Roy turned left at the next light and pulled into Dairy Daze a few minutes later. The two of them walked inside and were greeted by blaring Irish music.
“Welcome to Dairy Daze, what can I get for you?” grumbled a bored Leprechaun from behind the counter.
“I’ll have the Double Thick Monster Burger and a Green Glob milkshake. Roy?”
“I’ll have a regular cheeseburger and a small coffee.” Roy reached for his wallet and was pleasantly surprised when his partner beat him to the punch.
“My treat today, Pally.”
* * *
It was nice to sit and eat lunch without another call. Twenty minutes later, the paramedics slipped into the squad.
“Here, hold this.” The blond-haired paramedic handed Johnny a bag containing milkshakes for the others on A-shift. They’d decided to chip in and get the rest of the guys a treat.
Silence reigned for the short drive back to the station. After backing in and parking, Roy grabbed the white paper sack and jumped out. Johnny was much slower to follow.
In the kitchen, Roy approached Mike Stoker. The tones sounded before he had a chance to speak. It was another call for the squad.
Shoving the bag into Mike’s hands, Roy pivoted and ran for the apparatus bay.
“Milkshakes for you guys,” he called over his shoulder.
The call was for a young man injured at a construction site. The long, deep cut on his left thigh required a trip to the hospital. Gage soon found himself in the back of the ambulance journeying to Rampart with the patient.
And it was then that his stomach began to protest its gastronomic abuse throughout the day. Johnny was more than pleased when the ambulance finally came to a stop. Escorting the gurney into Treatment Room Two, he took several deep breaths to quell the lingering nausea.
Minutes later, after leaving the patient in Dr. Early’s competent hands, Johnny approached Dixie McCall at the Nurses’ Station. He smiled at her green nurse’s cap sporting a shamrock on the front.
“Hey, Dix, have you seen Roy?”
“As a matter of fact, I have. He went to the lounge to get a piece of my patented Mint Green Fudge. You’re going to have a piece or two, right?”
Just the thought made Gage’s stomach twinge. “Uh, sure. Sure. I’ll go right now.” **She won’t know if I really don’t eat any.**
“I’ll go with you. There’s a whole table of goodies in there. I know I shouldn’t have any, but it’s St. Patrick’s Day. Who can resist?”
The paramedic barely bit back a groan and followed the head nurse to the lounge. Sure enough, one of the side tables was full of green goodies in honor of the holiday. Roy was standing at the end of the table finishing off a cookie.
“That’s my plate right there, Johnny. The white one with shamrocks on it.”
Gage dutifully took a piece of the green fudge from the plate. The powerful minty smell immediately began playing havoc with his stomach. Hoping to ditch it while Dixie wasn’t looking, Johnny glanced around to locate the garbage can. His hopes were dashed when Dixie spoke.
“Well, aren’t you going to try it?”
With a resigned smile that belied his present state of nauseousness, he popped the candy into his mouth. He quickly chewed and swallowed.
“Man, that’s really good stuff, Dix.”
“You certainly ate it fast enough. Want another piece?”
“NO! Uh, I mean, no we have a big dinner waiting for us back at the station. Right, Roy?”
DeSoto eyed his partner in confusion. “We do?”
“Yeah, remember? Chet’s making his famous Corned Beef and Cabbage.”
Knowing that Chet’s corned beef and cabbage was more infamous than famous, Roy wondered what was ailing his partner. But, rather than argue, he nodded and said, “Oh, right. It should be ready when we get back.”
“So we should get going then, huh?”
To Johnny’s relief, Roy nodded and picked the HT up off the table. He said goodbye to Dixie and headed for the door. Luck wasn’t with him, however, and new pediatric nurse, MaryAnne Trill, came through the door. She was Johnny’s most recent infatuation, and he’d been hoping to get a date with her for weeks.
“Miss McCall, Dr. Brackett wants you in Treatment Room One. Johnny! How are you?”
“Hi, MaryAnne. I’m good.”
“Hey, try my Rice KrispieÔ Treats,” she giggled, “They’re green for St. Patrick’s Day!”
Not wanting to ruin any chance he may have for a future date with the blonde-haired nurse, Gage walked back over to the table and grabbed a Rice KrispieÔ Treat and a napkin. Seeing the expectant look on MaryAnne’s face, he took a big bite.
“Good,” he mumbled around the food, “hey, sorry, but we gotta run. I’ll . . . uh . . . talk to you later.” Johnny swallowed his bite of food and wrapped the rest in the napkin. “I’ll eat the rest on the way.”
With a wave, Johnny hurried from the lounge. By the time Roy caught up to him, he’d ditched the treat-filled napkin in the nearest trashcan. The two men walked to the squad in silence.
Halfway back to Station 51, Roy noticed the decidedly green tinge to Johnny’s face, and he finally understood what was happening. Biting his cheek to keep from saying I-told-you-so, he settled for, “Not feeling so hot, huh?”
Johnny grunted in agreement and closed his eyes to shut out the passing scenery.
When they finally pulled into the station, the dark-haired man walked slowly toward the day room, rubbing his stomach. He stopped short when he spied Joanne DeSoto sitting at the kitchen table.
“Hi, Johnny,” Joanne looked behind Johnny to her husband, “Roy, honey, I brought that colcannon like you asked. Chet was just telling me how great it will go with the feast he’s making.”
Gage caught a whiff of the corned beef and cabbage that was cooking on the stove. The scent was too much for his roiling stomach. Clapping a hand over his mouth, Johnny raced for the bathroom.
Joanne looked at Roy in puzzlement. “I thought you said he liked my colcannon.”
Roy chuckled. “Oh, he does. But Johnny’s been seeing—and eating—a little too much green today. I think the only thing he’ll be having for dinner tonight is a good dose of antacids.”
* * The End * *
Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig oraibh
(St. Patrick's Day blessing upon you)
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Stories by Vanessa Saint Patrick's Day Stories