I know on Thursday I told you about having a rapid wager with my crewmate about which way a drunk would fall, but I don’t want to give you the wrong idea.
I think betting is silly.
I have no idea how to work out any odds other than ‘X to 1’ (where the larger ‘X’ gets the more unlikely something is going to happen). ‘Odds of 11/7’, ‘each way’, ‘accumulators’ and ‘handicap’ make no sense to me at all. Since childhood the betting shop has always seemed to me to be a seedy place where hard drinking, and hard smoking, men flush their money down the toilet. Not somewhere I would ever visit. In fact I’d rather visit a sex-shop, which as at least one of my readers will know, is a tricky proposition.
Occasionally I do find myself, due to the duties of my job, frequenting these dens of vice. And to be honest most of them aren’t that bad. The most common reason why I am sent to these places is because someone has passed out in the toilets due to drugs, or less commonly, drink. For some reason betting shop toilets seem to be really popular places to take drugs.
Don’t ask me why.
These jobs are fairly rare, so I was surprised to find myself called to betting shops on two separate jobs in one day. Even more surprising was that neither of these jobs were junkie related.
The first job was to a fifty year old male who had collapsed, and when we arrived the FRU driver was looking a bit concerned. The patient was as white as a sheet and not talking, we were all worried that he was going to die while in the shop, so we quickly loaded him into our chair and removed him to the ambulance.
While trying to do this, every other user of the betting shop continued around us without batting an eyelid. Normally we’d get a bit of an audience, but not so in this case. At one point a man ‘tutted’ me because I was standing between him and some vitally important bit of paper on the wall.
I’ll leave it to you, dear reader, to guess my reply to that.
As soon as the patient was in the ambulance he started to come around. All of our investigations showed nothing unusual, so we concluded that it was just a ‘simple’ faint, if a slightly prolonged one. Once he had fully recovered he was a fairly nice man to talk to, and we took him to hospital for a few more tests.
The second job to a betting shop was for a sixty year old male who was having a critically low blood sugar. He was a diabetic, and when we arrived was rooted to his stool watching the horses racing on the TV screens. His wife was starting to get frantic at his refusal to talk.
We checked his blood sugar (it was very low at 2.2 mmols), and this explained his strange behaviour.
We tried to persuade him to drink a can of coke but he refused, so we made the decision to give him an injection of Glucagon. This drug, when injected into a muscle is often good enough to reverse a low blood sugar for a short period of time. The plan was to get his blood sugar high enough that he would come out of his confusion for long enough that we could get some sugar in him.
That was the plan at least.
Instead, we just gave him enough strength to start fighting us, his wife and the nice betting shop lady who threatened to ban him if he didn't do ‘what the nice ambulance people told him to do’.
In an effort to get him into the ambulance, we ended up wrestling with him in the street. It’s a bit strange to be physically restraining a pensioner while trying to (a) not hurt him, and (b) not look like a bully, even though he is a good couple of inches taller than me.
Then a police car drove past us.
They did a U-turn in the middle of the road and pulled up in front of our ambulance.
A couple of police officers got out and helped us persuade the patient to get into the ambulance where we could finally get the patient to drink the can of coke we gave him. Sometimes it just needs a couple of big men in black and white uniforms to get a patient to do what you want.
This is one of many reasons why we like the police.
What didn’t help was the wife who would alternately berate her husband for poorly controlling his diabetes, and then spend time telling us that she was a devout Christian.
Thankfully the coke did the trick and the patient made a full recovery – we left him and his wife in the nearby cafe getting something more substantial than a can of coke and a Mars bar.
Two ‘good jobs’, and not a trace of drink or drugs on them.
Makes a nice change.