We’ve been having a cold snap here in Ontario, and the other day EMS brings in Buddy A, a 15 year-old boy who decided downing a bottle of Bacardi Dark in an hour was a good way to kick off the holiday season. Buddy B, his friend, can’t quite comprehend that leaving drunk, obtunded Buddy A in a snowbank when the ambient temperature was -10c (that’s 14F for you nonmetric types) was maybe not in the best interest of his friend (or himself, for that matter).
A neighbour had the sense to call 911, before hypothermia became a major issue. After we get Buddy A sorted out, Buddy B arrives with his father and the very angry father of Buddy A.
Therefore big scene, lots of theatre. Weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. Buddy B is insouciant, of course, full of teenage bravado and indifference. He’s not grasping the seriousness of the situation. I desperately want to slap him, except the College of Nurses really frowns upon physical violence, even if it’s well deserved.
“You know,” I say after the tumult, “he could have died.” I really mean it. He could have. It happens every winter. Someone gets drunk, falls in a snowbank and freezes. Human popsicles.
“Uh,” says Buddy B. He’s not impressed, and doesn’t care.
And all the while he’s texting this adventure, which judging from from the half-smirk on his face, he clearly finds amusing.
Amazing. Were we all so slack-jawed stupid when we were 15?