At one time or another, we’ve all probably been unlucky enough to have to make a visit to the emergency room. It could be that you had to accompany a friend because you were the only person sober enough to drive him or because you were in need of medical attention yourself. And if you’re a complete klutz like me, it may be so often that you’re on a first-name basis with the lady at the check-in desk. (What’s up, Rita? I’m sure I’ll see you soon!) The funny thing about the emergency room is that even though the faces may change, the cast of characters in the waiting room is always pretty much the same.
The Drunk Lady
She might be here because she herself is in need of attention or she’s there with a friend. Either way, though, she’s definitely not sober. She speaks at a volume that can be heard three towns over, she almost misses the chair in the waiting room when she goes to sit down, and you are pretty sure that water bottle doesn’t actually contain H2O. At least she’s entertaining, but if she’s not going to share that booze with you, her shtick gets real old, real fast.
The Old Hippie Rocker
From his straggly hair to his holey t-shirt to the “OZZY” tattoo across his knuckles, everything about him screams “Had a bad trip in the 70s I still haven’t recovered from.” The bad news: he smells like he hasn’t showered since then, either. The good news: if they don’t give you the right drugs here, you can probably buy them off him in the parking lot.
The Only Person Here
There’s a whole waiting room full of humans with varying degrees of medical issues, but in her mind, she’s the only one here. She goes up to the desk eighteen times to see when her turn is, she audibly sighs each time a name is called that’s not hers, and she keeps changing the waiting room TV to “Judge Judy.” Bitch, don’t you know I’m trying to watch “The Price Is Right” over here?
“What The Hell Is Wrong With Him” Dude
He’s rocking the super cool orange admission bracelet, so he’s definitely a patient, yet you can’t for the life of you figure out what the hell is wrong with him. He’s walking around, laughing and chatting like he doesn’t have a care in the world. If you’re anything like me, you make up a narrative in your mind for this guy since you can’t figure out what is actually wrong with him. The last time this happened, I decided the guy had multiple personality disorder and it was “Injured Ian” that came to the hospital, while it’s “Jovial Joe” working his charms in the waiting room.
The Drama Queen
She’s moaning, she’s groaning, and you assume she got hit by a bus Regina George-style. But it turns out she’s only there for an infected ingrown toenail which in her mind means she is obviously dying and is unquestionably the worst injury in the entire place. Her ailment should definitely take precedent over that guy with the gaping head wound they just wheeled in. Much like Gloria Gaynor, she will survive.
A little kid that shoved a Lego up his nose because his best friend Danny dared him? A childish mistake. The bro that has a dart in his cheek because he bet his buddy that he couldn’t hit the apple on his head with it? A moron. The difference between the two is a fine line, but the emergency room waiting room is an excellent place to see it on display.
As for me? Well, I’m the lady with her nose in a book, trying to avoid eye contact. I’m just here to get a few stitches from that unfortunate accident with the office scissors, not to make new friends…particularly not with these crazies..
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