I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe
The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken
Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me — that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter — except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell
March 20, 2018 - 1:43 p.m.
I had to call 911 yesterday and then had a bootie call. How is that for not burying the lede? I kept off leaving the house yesterday and it finally reached the point where I just missed the last bus that could get me to Columbus Circle before the post office closed so I couldn't pick up mail at my PO box. That changed my entire plans; I decided to just go to Aldi. When I just miss a bus, I had been either not leaving the house it I could see there was no chance of catching it or going back to the house if I made it to the bus stop. There have been times that I've missed the next bus too. I decided that if the weather permitted I'd take a walk. I walked all the way to the north end of the island; that's where the bridge to the mainland is. It's not that far, 0.6 miles but moderate exercise is better than none.
To get to Aldi it takes me two buses and a walk. On the walk is when I called 911. On Bartow Ave there was a man lying on ground in a pool of urine rocking back and forth and oblivious to the world. He was obviously a homeless person and you can't call 911 every time you see one, but he wasn't resting comfortably, he looked like he was in trouble. When I called I was told I was the third person to call about him, and that an ambulance was on the way. I saw one of the other callers at the bus shelter. Not where my bus stops. We talked for a bit; when his bus came he boarded it. I was taught to never leave the patient when you call 911, so I stayed. Two young women got off the bus; they looked like they were in high school. They looked at the homeless gentleman and felt the need to call 911 too. I told them that I already did but thanked them for caring. They went on their way. Then another man walked up and tried to rouse the patient. I didn't think that was a good idea, but I didn't know. He then called 911 and I told him he didn't need to. After waiting 15 minutes I called 911 again. They told me there were a lot of calls and that an ambulance would come as soon as possible. I told the guy who I stopped from calling to call. I figured more calls might increase the priority. He did and was told the same thing I was. Then a man and a woman came separately and started to call, and we told them we had already called. They stuck around too. There were four of us waiting for the ambulance.
The cliché is that people don't care, and nobody tries to help. That is counter to my experience. Nine people were willing to take the time to call this one homeless gentleman, the least cared for of people. In the days before I had a cell I witnessed a cyclist hit by a van. I had to run to a phone book to call 911. When I did I was told I was the third or fourth caller. I know there are cases where people don't call but that's because they assume somebody else did. It's not because they don't care. People are better than they are given credit for.
The ambulance arrived half an hour after I called. You're first thought is probably, that's terrible, what if he had a heart attack? The answer is, that if had had a heart attack they'd have gotten their sooner. They had reports from all of us on his condition and realized it was most likely someone in a drunken stupor and could wait; not because he didn't matter but because there are limited resources and they must prioritize. They were rushing to the people that had heart attacks first. What I question is how many resources are devoted to a not so well-off area of the Bronx. I suspect, but don't know, that if this were in Bayside it would have been handled quicker.
All the good Samaritans waited around while the EMS guys put the patient on the stretcher. Then they strongly hinted that we should go. I don't blame them; do you want to work in front of a crowd? More importantly someone trying to be helpful can get in the way. I thanked everyone that had stuck around and headed on my way.
When I got home there was a second emergency, Jane called. Her car had been booted. Do people not in New York know what that means? If you owe money on tickets they put a device on your car that won't allow you to drive it. You pay your bill and then they send you a code to unlock it. Jane had accidentally left her insurance card at home. She needed to email that to the Booting People. That's why I got the Bootie Call. I found the insurance card, scanned it, and sent it along with a photo of her registration that Jane sent me to the Boot Patrol and they sent her the unlocking code. She needed help getting it off but finally the deed was done. Today we had to return the boot. That's part of why I'm posting late. The other part is my computer froze. I had to turn it off and decided to eat before I finished writing and then found out I had to help Jane give the City the Boot.
I'm going to have a busy day today, I'll have lots to write about tomorrow none of which will have to do with New York City government.
I signed the Pro-Truth Pledge:
please hold me accountable.
Meet the Mets - March 27, 2018
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