74 - A Confusing Line of Thought

Submitted by Ken Watts on Fri, 05/04/2007 - 07:58

It turned out that Al, the ambulance driver, was not a man of deep thoughts.

He liked driving the ambulance. He liked driving in general. It was straight-forward and uncomplicated work. You got the thing from point A to point B. Sometimes you got to use the siren and drive fast. Any problem you ran into was solvable, and the few times it wasn't, it really wasn't, and nobody blamed you.

He didn't mind working with Jonesy. Jonesy was basically a good sort—even if he was hard to understand. He seemed to be pretty bright most of the time, brighter than Al was. But then, sometimes, he would say really stupid things.

Like this morning, when they got the call on this Smith guy—the crazy in the back.

Jonesy said, "Did you know that some angels are dolphins, Al?"

What do you say to something like that? He didn't want to hurt Jonesy's feelings, so he just shrugged.

"No, I didn't."

Jonesy had laughed. That was another thing about Jonesy. He was always laughing for no reason.

Then he said, "Well, you're going to meet one today."

Al had just shrugged again. There was no point in talking about it, or trying to get Jonesy to see it was nonsense—he'd learned that long ago.

Later, when they had picked the guy up, Jonesy had tried to talk about it again, and even the Crazy had told him it was only a game. He guessed that was probably it. The Crazy had played this game with Jonesy, only Jonesy had thought it was for real.

He wondered, for a second, why Jonesy was in a white coat and the Crazy was the one in the straight jacket, if the Crazy knew it was a game, and Jonesy thought it was real. But that was a confusing line of thought, and he gave it up to concentrate on his driving.

Jonesy pointed to a hamburger stand in the middle of the village. Al nodded and pulled in.

Jonesy turned around in his seat, so he could see the Crazy. Al adjusted his mirror, to watch. The guy was staring into space, not moving a muscle. He'd seen them like that before, plenty of times. They'd probably have to carry him in, when they got to the hospital.

But Jonesy just waved his hand in front of the Crazy's face, and yelled over the radio.

"I'm going to stop for lunch. You want a burger or something?"

The Crazy kind of shook his head, then looked right at Jonesy and smiled.

That was the thing, just when you thought Jonesy wasn't so bright after all, he surprised you.

"Hmm?" the Crazy said.

Jonesy repeated himself.

"You want a hamburger?"

"Oh. No, Jonesy. Thanks anyway, but I hate being hand fed."

Jonesy thought about that for a moment, then swiveled his whole seat around and unfastened the jacket, so the guy could eat. That was the other thing about Jonesy. Sometimes, he was nice.

The Crazy gave them a big grin.

"Cheeseburger and a coke. Thanks."

Jonesy jumped out of the ambulance.

"The usual for you, Al?"

Al nodded.

"Just don't forget the fries, okay?"

He really liked his fries.