Courtesy call

Code 3 for the fall.

A Chinese-speaking elderly woman is with her Chinese-speaking daughter and her bilingual grandson, who’s in his 20s. Nothing serious. We put her in the ambulance, and my partner, M, and I spend a few minutes in the patient compartment talking about race issues, especially as they pertain to working in a poor neighborhood. The woman sits there impassively.

M hops in the driver seat, and her grandson apparently was patiently standing at the curb the whole time, waiting to see if he can ride with us. Of course he can; nice folks are always welcome. He gets in the front.

On the way to the hospital, I ask him for some of his grandmother’s info. He doesn’t know too much, saying his mother takes care of his grandmother. However, he doesn’t know her phone number.

“I see someone doesn’t call his grandmother at all.” I tease. He shrugs, sheepishly.

“It’s not like you call your grandmother.” M jumps to his defence.

“I’ve been ordered to call her every now and then.”

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