How To Even…Do Basic First Aid

By CL Bledsoe & Michael Gushue

Folks die. It’s a thing. And then other folks find them, usually by the smell, sometimes by following the trail of blood. Either way, they’re not always dead when you find them. This leads to our dreaded friend: moral responsibility. But don’t worry! We’re here to walk you through what you need to maybe save a life, or at least have a convincing alibi.

Basically, people are a lot like cars. Both dislike it if you touch their bumpers unexpectedly. Both look better with racing stripes. One is fueled by gas and the other produces gas, but close enough. Anyway, the thing about a car, is if it isn’t getting fuel, power, or Chocodiles, it won’t run. Just like people. And, if a car is injured, you can take steps to fix it, or, if it’s beyond hope, sell it for parts. Unfortunately, people tend to have a much lower resale value, so it’s probably best to try to save them.

The thing about first aid is that it really depends on the situation and what is needed. If you’ve had extensive training using a defibrillator, that’s great, if you happen to be near one when you need it. Similarly, reanimating dead bodies is great, but what if you don’t have a lightning storm handy? Luckily, there are some basic first aid techniques that apply to almost any situation, and those are what we’d like to focus on today.

Here’s a common scenario: you’ve decided that heteronormative, patriarchal capitalism is too much of a drag, so you go live in the trees outside your apartment with the squirrels. And who can blame you? Once you get to the top of the old oak with your pop tarts and pillow, you find this guy Timmy already living there. Timmy has claimed the old oak as his own by urinating on a branch to mark it. Squirrel law now demands that you Squirrel-Fu fight to decide whether you can stay. As you circle each other, Timmy slips on his own urine and falls to the ground below. You are torn. Do you let him die or help him?

Only a novice would even consider this a question. Squirrel law demands that you help Timmy, unless he was injured trying to steal your acorns. Then, all bets are off. You climb down to the hard ground to find Timmy, lying still and not breathing. What do you do?

Luckily, before you quit your job to live in the old oak tree, you were forced to take basic first aid training. Unfortunately, you totally spaced and can only sort of remember a couple things. But your new squirrel friends, whom you’ve gained by vanquishing the much disliked Timmy, have offered some advice.

  • First, sniff him. Does he smell weird? If so, run away.
  • Is there weird stuff coming out of his mouth? What does it taste like? If it’s good, lick it all out. If it’s not good, maybe still lick it all out cause it might start tasting good in a bit.
  • Bite his face or testicles lightly. If this rouses him, demand a nut or berry as payment for saving his life. If this doesn’t rouse him, bite him again.
  • If he’s still unresponsive, he’s dead. Or maybe asleep. Or hibernating. You gave it your best but it was just his time. And now you’ve gained his territory!

Here’s another common scenario: You are taking a one-week staycation. On the way home, you stopped at your favorite fast food restaurant and bought the Family Pack, which contains enough to last you at least a week. (In other countries, it would be enough for a month.) You get home, lock the door, take off all your clothes, and proceed to eat the entire six bags of food in one sitting. You fall asleep, possibly into a coma, on the couch with the gnawed bones of your meal literally strewn around you. You dream of Charo.

The morning comes. You are massively sick in the bathroom. You emerge, collapse onto the couch, and stay there all day. Around 8 p.m. you start feeling peckish, but there is no food in the house. You sleep on the couch, tossing and turning fitfully, and wake up early on Sunday morning. Now, you’re really hungry, but getting food would require putting clothes on, and maybe bathing. Even ordering delivery would require at least wrapping yourself in a towel.

Sunday passes, then Monday — the first day of your actual staycation. You feel weak with hunger. You begin a frantic search of the apartment. Couch cushions, cabinets, you find nothing, except a can of lima beans, which is gross. You put it back in the cabinet.

Back on the couch, you can barely sit up, you’re so weak from hunger. You fantasize about food and remember how you had this massive bag of flavored puffed corn product (Cornos! Now acetylene free!) on top of the fridge. When you opened it, you realized it was actually several small bags because the bag exploded and they went everywhere. You’re pretty sure there were six individual bags. You can recall having eaten five of them (and the empty bags you found in the couch confirm this) but the sixth is a mystery. You race to the kitchen and search everywhere, to no avail. You begin to suspect it fell behind the fridge.

The fridge is heavy, since it’s full of pots, boxes of moldy food (They’re in the fridge because if you put them in the trash, they’d smell bad), and stacks of fashion magazines you’re storing there to preserve the scent of the scratch and sniff perfume ads you use as deodorant. In your weakened condition, it feels even heavier. You struggle to move it to look behind it, but it won’t budge. Finally, you marshall the last of your waning energy and jerk the thing away from the wall. Unfortunately, it immediately falls onto you, pinning you to the kitchen floor.

You’re pretty sure you’ve broken a rib and possibly ruptured your spleen, though if someone were to ask you, you wouldn’t be able to point out your spleen at all and only a rib on the second try. You’re not sure what the spleen is for. Literary criticism, maybe? Even if your strength wasn’t already diminished from hunger, you’d still be trapped in such a way that you can’t move the fridge without putting forth a real, major effort. And this is your staycation, dammit.

As you lie on the floor, drifting in and out of conscious over the next few days until finally, your time on this planet mercifully ends due to dehydration and sheer boredom, one thing becomes clear to you: those puffed corn things come with five bags, not six. You’re almost sure of it.

Eventually, you lose all track of time. The room becomes darker and dimmer. You black out. Then, suddenly, you’re wide awake, in some sort of tunnel. It seems to be infinitely long. The walls are covered in graffiti, but you can’t decipher it. Puzzled and disoriented, you start walking. From somewhere far, far ahead, you hear faint music. It’s a guitar playing some sort of Spanish melody. It grows louder and in the far distance you see a spark of light. You remember all the stories about people having out of body experiences, dying momentarily. They would hear a voice saying, “Go toward the light. Go toward the light.” Anxious, you keep walking. Finally you reach the end of the tunnel. There’s a door with a large doorbell. You press it. A voluptuous blond woman opens the door. Shocked, you realize it’s Charo. In her charming Spanish accent she says, “Welcome to Branson, Missouri, the family friendly Las Vegas that draws people far and wide.” You try to say something but she continues, “In addition to our fifty live entertainment theaters, we have the largest Titanic museum in the world. If you’re interested in outdoor activities, we have hiking, sightseeing, hunting, skin diving, fishing, and water sports such as swimming, boating, and water skiing.” Finally, you get a chance to say something, “I, I thought I was dead. How did I get here?” Charo looks at you, perhaps a little pityingly, “Oh, Johnny, you *are* dead. This is the afterlife, which is exactly like Branson, Missouri.” This should be reassuring, except your name’s not Johnny.

***

Okay, time for a test. Which of the things in the list below are essential first aid items?

· Bandages

· Tape

· Chocolate eclairs

· Acorns

· Surgical scissors

· Malt liquor

· Autographed photo of Steven Seagal on the set of Sheep Impact

· Squirrel mask

· Peyote

· Gauze

· Magical Elixir of Health

The answer is of course all of the above.

***

Moral: We hope you understand the importance of learning first aid skills and techniques. You never know when you’ll be called on to save a life, your own or one you actually care about. The most important thing to remember about first aid is that, yes, people are gross, with the weird stuff bubbling out of their mouths, and the twitching and everything, but you have to consider how you’d like someone to behave if they discovered you in this precarious position, in need of help. Would you want them to walk away, after first making fun of your shoes? Or would you want them to help you? Then, be the person you’d like others to be. Also, remember that if you save a person’s life, they now owe you a life-debt. That means they totally have to do whatever you say until you declare the life-debt paid. LOL no take-backs.