Thursday, February 15, 2007

Freak Bait

Freak Bait

Is it just my imagination, or are the wierdos of the world specifically attracted to my presence, like so many deranged moths to a candle that is just minding its own business? The particular episode that sparks this observation involves our subject (me) attempting to quietly procure a simple cup of coffee to see me through the afternoon while working on the ambulance. There I am, enjoying the aroma of coffee brewing, trying to decide whether I want a regular old cup of joe or a cafe au lait, when I felt a clap on my back. Foolishly thinking it is someone of my acquaintance, I turn to see a complete stranger.

"I just want to thank you for all the good work you do," he says.

"Thank you very much. We try to do our best," I reply. I assume he means the work we do for the community as EMS workers. Or at last I hope that's what he means.

He continues, striking up a pleasant enough conversation about the usual things one would converse about with an EMS worker. Then he says, "So you're getting your water, are you?"

Odd, I think to myself. I'm sure he just heard me order a cup of coffee; not water. I unintentionally give him a puzzled look. Mulling his phraseology briefly, I decide he means that he expects emergency workers to survive on a steady infusion of caffeine, nicotine, sugar and grease. "Oh, yes, my water! Mm-hmm," I patronize.

It was then that a warp in the fabric of space-time occurred, I found myself drawn into the unique dimension occupied by this individual.

"The water in the coffee is what re-orients the chi force in your body. It allows your electrical energy to be magnetically aligned and centered."

I gawk. I'm usually good at understanding both physics and biology, but my new little friend has me at a loss.

Undeterred by my open jaw, he presses on: "The alignment of the energy is what causes your body and mind to function. It needs to be replenished frequently and grounded through the earth. That's why people always want to touch the ground in a trauma situation. Haven't you noticed people in a trauma situation always want to touch the ground?"

Trauma! I knew about trauma. I pondered his meaning. Why, fifteen minutes prior to this encounter I had been on the scene of a double shooting. He was right! Both my patients were indeed lying on the ground! And here I was thinking it was because they were dying of gunshot wounds. Silly me. They were just trying to realign their electrical chi, or whatever it was.

I didn't have a clue what to say to Magnetic Man. So I remained completely honest. "Hm. I never thought of it that way," was my true reply. I paid for my coffee and walked over to the fixin's area for my milk and sugar to work my way out of this wormhole in the continuum.

What the heck? I thought to myself. This is certainly the most interesting conversation I've had all day. Let's hear him out. I thought to myself. The guy was probably accustomed to seeing raised eyebrows and piteous looks when he tries to proselytize his ideas. I wonder what he would do if someone offered to indulge him? He approached the fixin's area with his own coffee.

"I can see how that would occur," I offered. "Why is that?" What was he going to do, give me a lie detector test?

He continued, "The body produces about 1/60 of an amp of energy. This is negative-polarity energy. And the earth produces positive-polarity energy..." And so on.

My mind boggled as he went through a detailed explanation about cellular electrical production, amperes, ohms and voltages. He also had a ready sermon about geophysical electrical properties and their interaction with the living being. I wondered if he had actually measured all these energies himself. He spoke with the enthusiasm of one who had personally discovered these quantifications, though most of it was a crock.

I was plucked from my dimensional rift by my dispatcher who had another call for me to respond to. I thanked my new acquaintance for a very entertaining five minutes and proceeded on to my next trauma situation. I reflected on my odd conversation with Magnetic Man. It does seem as if the "fringe" people gravitate toward me. Maybe it's the way my electrical alignment interacts with them. As I anticipated what sort of injuries my forthcoming patients might have, I was gratified by one fact. At least now I knew how to splint a sprained chi.

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