I doubt it is healthy to have this perspective, but as I was racing down a road near our house at 1:30 am Friday night, a green frog sippy cup clenched in one hand, a tall prostitute in 3” stiletto heels chasing close behind, yelling, “Friend, Friend!”, I thought, this one may be worth writing about.
The evening began normally enough – Bodie and I picked up Hillary at work. Bodie, as he does most nights, raced around Hillary’s office doling out paperclips one at a time to her colleagues. When we got home, he seemed hot, but it could have been from the frenetic paperclip relay race just completed. We realized he was running a bit of a fever, so dosed him with some liquid ibuprofen.
While not listed on the bottle, I would testify in court that the medicine contained significant amounts of methamphetamines. Bodie revved to a hyped-up, limbs flailing, Barney in minutes – “come run with me sing this song I am a dog I am a dog woof woof woof the wheels on the bus go round and round…”
At around 1 am, he started coughing and gagging. As first time parents, any deeply held common sense approach vanishes in a flash. We pulled the lever for the ambulance, a service provided by our security company, convinced something serious was wrong.
A security car, siren wailing, was here within minutes. We raced into it and sped away to intercept the ambulance. When Bodie was pointing at the security guards and counting “one, two, three policeman. Look papa, three!” Hillary and I looked at each other wondering if we should just go home. But we were in it too deeply at this point.
We intercepted the ambulance a few blocks away and transferred over. Bodie was marveling at being in the ambulance and talking with the ambulance driver. Hillary and I looked at each other again – maybe he’ll have another real fit so we don’t look like we’re starting to feel right now…
En route to the clinic, they dropped me off a few blocks from our house so I could run home and get our car. For some reason, Ghuba Road, the street leading to our road, is a red light zone at night. Every night, especially on weekends, a dozen hookers stand by the side of the road wearing skimpy clothing and sashaying whenever a car goes down the street.
I hopped out of the ambulance – lights flashing, siren going, Bodie in awe – and jogged up Ghuba Road. Not many mzungus are out jogging with a sippy cup at 1:30 am, so I got a few looks as I passed by the posing women. One, tall in a red mini dress and 3” heels, seemed to think I was testing them to see who could keep up with me. She shouted “rafiki, rafiki…” and started racing after me at a pretty good clip. I picked up the pace and lost her.
I opened the gate to our yard and ran up. Sebastian our night guard, who had been awakened earlier by the arrival of the siren-blaring security car, was still up and ran over to see if everything was ok. Dexter was barking furiously inside the house.
A quick aside – Dexter doesn’t like Sebastian. He barks at him ferociously every night. Thursday, the previous night, as Dexter, growling with ridge raised, positioned himself between Sebastian and us to protect us, Sebastian kept approaching. Dexter lunged and bit him in the leg. Not badly, but drawing a little blood.
So Dexter is barking inside the house, when he somehow noses open the screen and starts racing around barking. Sebastian screams in fear and cowers behind me, which I knew Dexter would view as more of a threat. I imagine Dexter looking at Sebastian as a menacing shish kabob. I race down the driveway to intercept our lunging Ridgeback, thinking that since I am going to the clinic, I might get a two-fer.
Dog safely ensconced in the house, Sebastian safely back at his guard post, I head off to the clinic.
The IST Clinic is open around the clock, but is only marginally staffed after hours. The nurse told us that they had two serious cases in the exam rooms – evidenced by low moaning and wailing – so asked us to stay in the waiting area. By this point, Bodie is warm, but if he knew how to tap dance, he probably would have. Our instinct was to exaggerate the story somewhat so as not to look like exactly what we were – over-reacting, nervous, new Africa parents.
They send us home with some more ibuprofen. They also gave us a valium-suppository, ostensibly in case he had another set of convulsions, but I think they might have intended it for us.