(WARNING: Gross generalizations and gender stereotyping may follow. Read no further if you may be offended. In addition, rest assured that all emergency personnel are appreciated and valued for the work they do, and it is no laughing matter when people suffer from real emergencies.)
Maybe I’m just easily amused, or maybe it’s due to a lack of entertainment sources readily at hand in the heart of a chill Minnesota winter, but on several occasions in recent weeks, items from the Daily Globe’s police and ambulance blotter have stopped me in my tracks on gray, bleak mornings.
While I take no great pleasure in visualizing other people’s pain and discomfort, there is definitely humor to be found in the multiple reports of: “A female was complaining of dizziness” (including, occasionally, “while shopping”).
Well, duh! What female out there hasn’t shopped until she nearly dropped, perhaps fueled only by caffeine and sugar, determined to find just the right shade of curtain or gift for little Susie or ingredients for that certain dessert, and persisted in her marketing until–she’s gripping the cart (or her oversized handbag) with sweaty palms and a sudden realization she can’t remember what she was looking for as her head starts spinning and she needs to sit down, fast, or risk falling to the ground.
Crash dieting, or an inattentiveness to one’s own nutritional needs (possibly because a woman is already juggling a job, children, a husband or boyfriend and housework), can also be causes of female “dizziness.”
Or, a man (with less appreciation for female judgment and/or common sense) might point out, why is it news at all that a woman is “dizzy”?
From a woman’s perspective, however, it may be equally unnewsworthy that a “male was unresponsive” or “a male was unable to move,” as a couple of Worthington Ambulance notations recently reported.
Ever try to get a man’s attention during the middle of a Sunday afternoon or Monday night football game? You don’t know the definition of “unresponsive male” until you’ve tried that.
Or a “male unable to move?” Hmmm, it seems I’ve witnessed that phenomenon plenty of times when a yard needs mowing, a sidewalk needs shoveling or some other unpleasant and relatively time-consuming task beckons. Calling an ambulance hardly seems necessary to remedy the problem, though–just dangle the promise of a dark European ale, special meal or extra “free” time in the ice house at the task’s end and be prepared to watch his legs move, almost as if propelled by magic.
And endless “Hi and Lois” and “Blondie” cartoon frames over the decades have addressed the cartoon wives’ ongoing efforts to enlist their evasive, “unresponsive” husbands, Hi and Dagwood, to tackle “job jar” duties rather than indulge in bowling, golf or naps.
Of course, gender stereotypes do not universally apply, whether they arrive in the form of ambulance logs or via other means. Still, consider one man who, while attending a business conference in early December (Hello! “Only 17 shopping days ’til Christmas!”), stayed four nights at a hotel a mere stone’s throw from the Mall of America and never once ventured over to that shopper’s paradise–because “There wasn’t anything I needed to buy.” (He later protested, “It’s also because I did all my shopping locally.”)
Amazing! But if turnabout is fair play, what will men think of the wife who spent more than 90 minutes in the waiting room at a large car dealership as her vehicle was being serviced–only to be asked by her husband later in the day what cars she had scouted.
“Cars?” she innocently replied. “I didn’t notice any.”
Speaking of cars, another local incident report mentioned that police were called to investigate an accident in the Burger King parking lot at 2:37 p.m. one afternoon.
“I never want to have an accident in a fast food parking lot,” shuddered my practical husband. “And it wasn’t even lunchtime.”
Dizzy females, unresponsive males and even Lady Mary of “Downton Abbey” fame can unite in approving of this popular (though unattributed) slogan: “Never do anything you wouldn’t want to explain to the paramedics.”
Think about it.