But before we get to the main poetic course, we have to set this fascinating story up with a reasonably prosaic appetizer. So here goes nuthin’!
I have a very good friend who, as George Carlin would say, “happens to have” an Hispanic sounding last name. Though the truth is, If you gaze upon his gleaming visage in the full light of day, the depth of his Italian heritage is pretty obvious. Ah! But when viewed under the vagaries of florescent lighting, I suppose he could be mistaken for someone of Spanish-Mexican descent.
It’s also important to note that this friend regularly has to cope with some of the most interesting three day weekends ever endured by any human being. So taking a schadenfraude page from my German ancestry, I look forward to those forthcoming Tuesdays when I can inevitably ask him, “Alright! What happened this time?”
And his Labor Day experience did not disappoint.
The sad thing is, he’d nearly made it through this one intact. But just when he thought he was out of the woods, distracted by her children while dicing some Monday dinner vegetables, his wife took a chunk out of one of her left-hand fingers.
So instead of dinner, it was off to the Delnor Emergency Room where they found themselves fourth in line.
Being an astute observer of the human condition, my friend noted that, though it wasn’t required of the three antecedents, the intake worker specifically asked him for identification. He thought it was a little odd, but it didn’t rise to the level of a pointed response.
But after a second ER employee made the same request in the waiting room, he began to wonder what the heck was going on. When they went back to be treated, it became a bit more clear.
He wasn’t exactly sure who the revolving group of staffers were – they could have been social workers, patient advocates, or simply nurses – but the first one asked his wife if she was right-handed.
Upon an affirmative reply, she quickly retreated.
After a brief interval, a second one appeared to ask his wife if she was scared. Now my friend, who’s capacity to suffer fools is even more limited than mine, was getting a little ticked. But he realized that if he responded too negatively, he might just prove their point, so he let that go too.
Then the original interviewer returned to inquire as to whether his wife was feeling suicidal.
Now, I don’t know about you, but folks who plan on doing themselves in with a kitchen knife generally aim a little bit higher than their fingertip. It wasn’t as if the wound wasn’t consistent with a very plausible story.
And just when he thought it couldn’t get any worse, a male employee approached his wife and quietly asked, “Are you afraid to go home with him?”
Finally fed up with the third degree, my friend replied, “Look buddy!, If I was going to bleeping stab my wife it wouldn’t be in the bleeping finger.” And that promptly ended the inquisition. Three hours later, her finger was sewn up and they on their way back home.
Please don’t get me wrong, I understand that hospital staff are mandated reporters who are trained to be on the lookout for this kind of thing and we should be grateful for their vigilance. But as sure as I’m sitting here, I know that if my friend’s last name was “Ward,” that conversation would have never taken place.
How do I know this? Because my wife did the very same thing, and while she’s no longer allowed to go anywhere near my Wusthofs, when we ended up in the ER (Not Delnor), they didn’t say boo.
C’mon! Domestic violence is one of those rare non-partisan acts that knows no racial, economic, or ethnic boundaries. And even though I’m sure their intentions were good, this is clearly a case of a hospital staff trying to save the poor white woman from her nefarious Hispanic husband despite an utter lack of any real evidence to support their theory.
Shame on them.