One car slammed into the rear end of another just 30 yards away from the three of us - Buck, the doctor, and myself - minutes after we had run ourselves frazzled trying to help an absolutely uncooperative stroke victim. With a shrug and incredulous laugh, we ran over to help. I dialed 911 on the way, but was immediately stuck on hold.
In just the few seconds it took us to react and get over there, the entire situation had gone to hell. A college-age girl had crashed her car in to the one ahead of her, and was wracked with hysterical sobs over her steering wheel. The car in front was driven by an elderly man who was sitting unmoving in his seat, while his incredibly ancient mother had got out of the car and was wandering in the street. When I approached her, she told me, "I think my son is hurt."
I called to the doctor and asked her to check on the elderly driver. I turned to Buck and said, "Make sure the girl in the back car is okay and doesn't go anywhere." I had the most important job: get the eleventy-year-old woman to stop wandering in the middle of the street.
So, Buck talked the college girl out of her hysterics, explaining to her that this was simply a case of two insurance companies talking to each other and swapping checks, and that the police would not be taking her away to live in indentured servitude. I explained to the mother that the nice lady over there was a doctor and that we were calling an ambulance and the police, but in the meantime would she like to wait over on the curb, and not in the center lane of a busy street? Lastly, the driver of the other car told the doctor that he felt like he wrenched his neck when he was hit, so she told him to stay still till an ambulance arrived.
Speaking of the ambulance, I was getting very frustrated with 911 when an operator finally picked up. I explained the whole situation, especially the driver with the hurt neck, and she said they would dispatch an ambulance immediately.
At which point, a garage door on the small, unobtrusive building right next to us rolled up, an ambulance emerged, drove all of 100 feet to us and stopped.
"You have got to be fucking kidding me," I said to no one at all.
At this point, I was actively looking for the hidden cameras, which was the only possible explanation for how mind-bendingly bizarre this day had become. I'm still fairly certain we all unwittingly starred in a reality practical-joke show for which we were never compensated.
In any case, the paramedics put the injured man in the ambulance, his mother went with him, police showed up and took information, and eventually everything was sorted out and all of the players had left the stage, except for our little trio.
"Well, it's been interesting," we said. "Have a nice day. Bye." We all froze, muscles tensed, slightly crouched, waiting for the next goddamn bizarre-ass ridicu-fucking-lous thing that was going to happen!
And without another word, we all just turned away and never saw each other again.