Sunday, January 15, 2012

Getting Out From Under

After washing my hands (yes, were are still at the apartment with the guy with a discolored grapefruit sized ball sack) my Sergeant explained to me the rest of the process for dealing with the recently deceased.

The deceased's family had arrived (they were waiting in the living room) and I was to bring one into the deceased's bedroom to remove his ring (because we knew where his hands had been, but they didn't need to know).  After the family left, and if they didn't leave fairly promptly I was to encourage them to do so, I was to await the "Meat Wagon".  The guy from the Medical Examiner's Office that takes away the recently deceased.  That wait could be hours, as in a city of over 8 million people, folks are constantly dying and the "Meat Wagons" rolls 24/7.

The Sergeant mentioned on his way out that one of the CPOP Cops (a Police Officer that walks a Community Beat) was going to drop off the "Toe Tag".  That's the piece of paper you see in movies and the occasional cop show, tied to some dead guy in the morgue's big toe.  The body can't be moved without a "Toes Tag", and after filling it and having the guy from the "Meat Wagon" sign it, I was to tear off the end and return it to the desk officer at the station house upon my return.  Oh, and he'd also be bringing me a door seal, which I would attach to the door frame and door after the body was removed from the bedroom.

I was beginning to learn that dead folks were a heck of a lot of work.

The family ushered  themselves out fairly quickly.  They were pleasant and apologetic, which made me feel guilty, as it wasn't really anyones fault that the guy had died.  I told them the EMTs had unclothed him in an attempt to save him, but he was already gone.  The sheet was to ensure his modesty.  They didn't need the image of his self gratification as their last sight of him.  Come to think of it, neither did I, but at least he wasn't a relative of mine.

I settled in on the couch, watching TV.  As South Bronx apartments went, it was fairly clean and wasn't totally roach infested.  Not to say there weren't roaches, but unlike the worst offending apartments, whatever roaches there were avoided light and open spaces.

About an hour or so the cop came with the "Toe Tag" and the door seal arrived.  He had about 10 years on and genuinely enjoyed his job.  He also had no problem giving a rookie free advice, and I am ever glad that he did.

"Just to let you know, he's gonna ask you to take the bottom.  Don't!"  he told me.

I made a face, not quite sure what he was referring to.

"When the ghoul from the M.E.'s Office gets here, he's going to tell you he needs help carrying the body out.  Don't  worry, he'll body bag it on his own, but he'll ask for help carrying.  He'll suggest you take the bottom, as it's lighter.  Don't do it."

"But if it's lighter, he's doing me a favor..." I let myself trail off, as I observed a head shaking no.

"If you take the bottom, he's going to let the body slip and the shit's gonna take you down a flight of stairs and he'll just laugh his ass off as you try and crawl out from under."

I thought this was probably bullshit just to get the rookie paranoid.  But then maybe not.  I figured I'd await the M.E.'s Office and decide then.

The "Meat Wagon" actually came about 15 minutes after the other cop left.  I guess not too many folks were dying in The Bronx that day.

The ghoul (and he was a ghoul if you ask me) was about 5' 5" and all neck.  Seriously, he reminded me of a wide fire plug.  All business as he came in, I showed him the bedroom and he quickly went to bagging the deceased.  It seems like he was done in less then 2 minutes.  It really was that fast.

He wheeled him out of the bedroom on one of those collapsible gurneys you see on ambulances.  I sealed the door with the seal and gave the ghoul the "Toe Tag", which he stuck into a pocket on the body bag and gave me my receipt.  Then the moment came.

"Listen, I can't use the gurney to take this guy down the stairs, so we are going to have to carry him.  You can take the bottom, it's lighter."

Holy shit!  The CPOP guy was right!  This fucker wanted to see me go backwards down a flight of stairs with "Mr I Jerked Myself to Death" on top of me!  Wasn't going to happen.

"It's okay, I've been sitting around for hours, I'm pretty rested.  I'll take the top."

"You sure?  The top can get kind of tricky.  The bottoms better."  If he was a cat, he'd have had that "I just ate the canary" kinda sheepish look.

"I've got the top.  Just don't go too fast, I wouldn't want to drop him."

More Posts Forthcoming

Yeah, I was kinda laid out since the 5th.  Not totally, tho I did take 3 days off from work (and the weekend in between).  It's just that you need to be in the right mindset to write these pieces, and being on antibiotics and fighting off an illness certainly isn't the right mindset.

I'm feeling more like myself, so hopefully later today or tomorrow I'll have another piece up.  The Tavern might also get a new Dragon video today.   I'll see how far I can push myself ;)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Pleased to Death

I remember well my first DOA in a home of natural causes.   In some ways, it was more disturbing then my first DOA who was shot in the head.

The apartment was on the 4th floor of a six story walk up.  It was late spring, so when I arrived at the location with the Sergeant, there was still sunlight (as my hours were from 530 PM untill 2 AM - otherwise known as Six to Twos).  EMS had already arrived and left when we got there.  The sector car on the scene left when we arrived, as I had to learn the process of processing the deceased.

The deceased died in his bedroom, in bed, on his back.  He was in his mid fifties, light skinned hispanic and he had what appeared to be a single black / blue ball sack the size of a fairly large grapfruit.  There was no way to miss it - he was totally naked.  It appeared that he had passed from a heart attack while pleasuring himself.

Both myself and the Sergeant looked at the body for an uncomfortable moment.  It might have been natural causes, but this just wasn't natural.

"Right.  Time to look for valuables.  Cash, jewelry, checks, etc.  Whatever we find has to be vouchered back at the command.  Think you can handle that?" I was asked.

Before I even had a chance to answer he continued: "Start with the closet, I'll work on the dresser. "

We only had to search this one room, as the apartment was shared and this was his bedroom, so really, how hard could it be?

The first valuable I found was one of those Home Delivery Water Jugs, the type that hold like 5 gallons of water.  This one was full of change.

"Sarge?" I asked.  "What do we do with this?"

"Shit!  Looks like you'll be counting change for the rest of the tour!"  He smirked when he said it.  I foresaw a long night ahead of me.

Digging deeper into the closet, I pulled out a large plastic bag, which seemed to hold multiple items.  I reached in and pulled out… I pulled out something that still makes me want to cring.  I dropped it to the floor and it landed with a light thump.

"Whats that?"

"I'ts a fucking greasy dildo that looks like a 12" penis!" I exclaimed.

The sarge looked at me, then at it, then at the bag I was still holding.  "More of the same in the bag?" he asked.

I nodded.

"Right, put all that shit back in the closet.  We're done.  Almost done."  He paused.  "You still need to remove the ring from his finger."

I could feel the bile building in my throat at the thought of it.

"Sarge, we KNOW where his hands have been.  I have to wait for the family anyway.  Why don't I have them take it off him?"

"I guess that could work.  Hey, where are you going?"

"The bathroom, because I know where my hands have been and I'm none too happy."