Fairly busy at the FD today. I worked with Mrs. Turquoise. We had a good time. In addition to responding to calls, we attended a refresher training program, a class required to recertify our EMT licenses.

The most interesting call was for someone who had mislaid one of their knitting needles. They eventually found it, but by sitting on it and driving the top four inches into their buttocks.

A friend of the knitter had pulled out the needle before we arrived – and just as well; we would have had to transport the patient with the thing stuck in them if it had not been previously removed. There was surprisingly little blood.

We were good and didn’t laugh. We didn’t make any jokes until the patient did. But Mrs. Turquoise spent the rest of the day saying things like, “that person was really attached to their knitting!”

At the class, among other things, we discussed behavioral emergencies. A major component of this kind of call is making sure that the care providers stay safe. During the presentation, the instructor put up a slide listing behaviors or traits that might provide a clue to the EMT that the possibility of imminent violence exists or help predict the potential for violence on the part of an individual.

One of these traits, according to the slide, is having tattoos.

The public safety world doesn’t really understand countercultural issues even when they rub right up against the mainstream. Having spent a minute or two in the counterculture many years ago, I am often amused by the gross misconceptions that ‘the man’ entertains concerning what really goes on. Usually, of course, I bite my tongue and snicker a bit. Today I couldn’t hold back.

I raised my hand. The instructor called on me.

“So, if she…” Pointing to Mrs. Turquoise. “Has a Tinkerbell tattooed on her ankle, I need to watch out?”

Mrs. Turquoise took my remark well and did not strike me though I was momentarily worried.

The instructor looked really uncomfortable for a moment, then started to explain how society had changed and that lots of people had tattoos now, and that they weren’t necessarily indicative of a proclivity towards violence, especially in women, and that it was really barbed-wire tattoos that we should watch out for. And tears. But that a Tinkerbell on the ankle was probably just fine and that, if I had been working with Mrs. Turquoise for a while, I could probably trust her.

It was awesome.

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