The two dudes

Last New Year's Eve, our ER was, like most ERs on NYE, busy. This year I'm off for Christmas Eve, Christmas, and New Year's Eve, which made me so happy I read back to see what I was doing last year on those days. And I remembered one of the funniest things that's happened to me as a nurse thus far (there are a lot of contenders). New Year's Eve is amateur night, which meant that by midnight or so we were inundated with teenagers not used to drinking so much and with people who were injured from fights (again because people drink more than they usually do and get aggressive). I discharged an unprecedented number of patients into cruisers, which were lined up in the ambulance bay. Most had been playing handcuff hooky (were not seriously injured and were trying to stave off jail). Corresponding to the handcuff hooky, none knew who had beaten them up. It was the classic "some dude syndrome." It goes like this:

RN: How did this happen?

Pt: I don't know, man! I was just sitting there minding my own business, and two dudes just came up from nowhere and starting whaling on me.

This deviated from normal because usually it's just ONE dude. Perhaps the holiday caused our patients to put forth a little extra effort. At any rate, the entire ER was crammed full of people who'd been minding their own business and been worked over by two dudes, unknown to them previously.

Our charge nurse, who has been an ER nurse for a century or so and who has the driest and loveliest sense of gallows humor I've seen before or since, sidled up to one of the officers and said, deadpan, "Are you guys going to do something about those two dudes?" Cop: "Eh?" Charge nurse: "Those two dudes, the ones working over all of our patients." Then she just sort of strolled off, still deadpan. The officer watched her walk away, slack jawed. You could see the thought bubble above his head ("is she serious?").

I thought I was going to pee my pants from laughing. There is zero chance I could say something like that and keep a straight face. That charge nurse is my hero.