“I was taught there that you should always make the other people look good.”
To: Chicago Cubs Fans
From: A Local Paramedic
Wow, can you believe it? Triple digit wins and the division title! What a great time to be a Chicago sports fan. This is it (probably). This is finally the year (maybe). The Cubs are far and away the best team in baseball, and as we approach October, World Series Fever is spreading throughout the city.
When the Cubs win it all this year (dear God, please let it be), we will be the first generation of Cubs fans in over a hundred years to hoist a World Series pennant.
As amazing and historic as this is, it is my ethical responsibility to remind you that when you *do* party, particularly in Wrigleyville–which will almost certainly burn to the ground–remember not only to party safely, but to remember these helpful tips to avoid acting like a dick to the paramedics who truly, passionately, do not want to deal with your shit.
Watching ER Does Not Make You a Medical Professional
I understand the patient currently passed out on my cot is your best friend, or your drinking buddy, or just some guy that has the same Cubs tattoo on his calf, but trust me that my training consists of more than just binge-watching shows with “rescue” and “watch” in the title.
Shouting out things like, “He needs a tracheotomy” or “It might be Crohn’s Disease,” or “That’s not how Rocket Romano did it” won’t get him out of the back of my ambulance and the two of you back to demeaning the waitresses at the Cubby Bear any faster.
Don’t Offer Us a Beer
Look around you: It’s Project X meets The Walking Dead out here, I’m currently wearing every bodily substance there is besides amniotic fluid, and a group of frat boys from Iowa City is trying to use my ambulance as a Porta-John.
Of course I want to drink.
I want to drink until my liver is calling 911. Right now I’d suck the alcohol-soaked blood out of your carotid just to get a contact high. Even so, please don’t offer us alcohol. I’m on duty, and somewhere in the midst of all the bloody noses and ankle sprains and unconscious drunks, one of you numbnuts is bound to do some serious damage to someone, and as always, it’s up to us to fix your mess.
Employ Proper Lifting Technique
Sure, compared to the fire engines and SWAT vans lining Addison, that Volkswagen Jetta under the El stop may not look imposing, but it’s still over a ton. When you and your bros stumble out of Murphy’s Bleachers or John Barleycorn and decide that the only way to recognize the historic, curse-busting achievement of Joe Madden and the Boys in Blue is to overturn what is probably somebody’s Uber, remember to lift with your legs, not with your back.
Back injuries are nasty, and the last thing either of us wants is your dumb ass strapped to a spine board in my ambulance while you’re spewing up your last twelve beers like Buckingham Fountain.
Keep the Safety On
What are you even doing with a gun, anyway? I understand the cops are even more overworked than we are, but… you know what, never mind. Just keep it in your pants–figuratively and literally.
Speaking of, I know you’re “sure” the safety’s on, but sweet Jesus please, just double check. For the love of God, I’ve had a rough day, and the last thing I want to do is chase your testicles down Waveland because you shot them off.
Leave Grandpa at Home
I understand that your great-great-grandfather, Walter, has been a Cubs fan for 102 years. I understand this is his first pennant. But do not bring him to Wrigleyville. Old people break, don’t you understand that? I’m frightened just for the statue of Harry Caray, and you want to bring an actual senior citizen?
A Final Request
This year alone, I’ve already covered Lollapalooza, the Taste and Pitchfork. As much as I enjoy wearing things meant to stay inside other people’s bodies, having guns drawn on me by people whose loved ones I’m trying to save, and doing the work of a fully-staffed emergency department in the back of a cramped metal box trying to plow its way through post-game traffic like Matt Forte’s replacement through a weak offensive line, sometimes you just need a break.
I mean, come on. The Cubs winning the World Series! As a great man said: Holy Cow! This is for all of Chicago. Why not let everyone enjoy this, paramedics included? Remember the twisted ankle I patched up when you tried to climb the Bean? Or the panic attack I helped you through after you got lost in Eataly? Or when I helped deliver your niece on the Dan Ryan during rush hour? Now I’m not saying you owe me, but maybe–just this once–you all can try the O’Doul’s.
Tell you what. Play nice, just for tonight, and I’ll help you tip over a Mini Cooper next time the Hawks win it all.
Go, Cubs, Go!
Dan Klinefelter is a humor writer and author of the YA adventure The Wind Maiden. When he isn’t busy saving lives with his writing, he also works as a paramedic. Visit him at www.danklinefelter.com or on Instagram, @damikli.