10:52 p.m. Well, I brought in my first body on Saturday. I'll tell you all about it when the case is closed and the information becomes public.
What I can tell you is how interesting it is for a 118 pound woman to move a 275 pound man from the ground to a cot, into a big ol' van, and then from the van to a tray at the morgue. All by myself. Well, sort of. I have some nice cops that help me get the guy on the cot in the first place. But after that it's all me.
This is the only thing about my new ME gig that I've worried about. I have never had to transport bodies before and I'm kind of a small woman.
I am doing alright until I get back to the morgue and try to pull the cot out of the truck. It won't even budge. Figures. I start to panic a little. I would rather do just about anything than suffer the humiliation of calling in another investigator to help me.
So, anyway, I'm outside the bay doors at the morgue and I quickly realize this is not a "lift with your knees" situation. I have to pull straight out. So I brace my left foot on the bumper of the van and try again. Still no love.
Finally, I get up on the bumper and use both feet and arms to bring the stretcher's wheels to the edge of the doors. Then I jump down, grab the cot, and depress the lever to extend the legs. There are a few "Oh, fudge, I'm gonna drop him" seconds there when all of the body weight is on me. I am about to drop the guy but then hear the "click" of the back legs just in time.
I continue to pull out as the front legs extend. I have to push down so that Dead Guy is up on two wheels and sort of jerk the cot up and down a few times before the front legs lock. I wipe my brow with my forearm. Phew. So far so good.
But I'm not out of the woods yet. The genius who designed this facility decided it would be a really good idea to build a steep RAMP from the receiving area to the cooler/autopsy suite below. So here I am, pulling back on the cot and hoping to hell that my feet don't slip or I accidentally lose my grip because if I do, Dead Guy will end up speeding down the ramp and flying through the plate-glass window that is located directly in front of me. Which I would like to avoid even though, admittedly, it would be pretty funny in a twisted "Weekend At Bernie's" kind of way.
So, Dead Guy and I get to the bottom of the ramp and I am feeling pretty smug. Now all I have to do is get him on a tray. I try the cooler door. It's locked. Huh. I press a button by the cooler door and a red light goes on. I try the door again. Still locked. I quickly press the button again and the red light goes off. I look around to see if my random button pushing didn't trigger a silent alarm or turn off the cooler or something. Looks okay.
Then I remember that the cooler key is hidden along the frame of the door. I feel along the top of the metal lip until I snag the key. This reminds me of trying to break into my house when I lock myself out. We should get one of those fake hollow landscape rocks and put it by the cooler so we can hide the key there. I giggle at the thought as I open the cooler and grab a low tray, figuring that it'll be easier to get Dead Guy on that than a big one with a rim.
Hmm. This will be tricky. I look at the cot and back at the tray. Then I move Dead Guy up against the wall and put the tray right up parallel to the cot. I reach across the tray, grab a handful of body bag, and pull. Nothing.
I must think this through. I can't get leverage from this angle. I am obviously too low. And the only way that I can think of to get higher is to climb onto the tray and pull from there. So, I climb up and just as I begin pulling on the bag again I realize I forgot a very important step. That would be locking the wheels.
As I pull, the tray starts to move toward the cot. Which obviously surprises me so my automatic reaction is to push away. Only then the tray moves away from the cot and I am left straddling both...with the lower half of my body on the tray that is now four feet away and the upper half sharing the cot with Dead Guy.
So, the cot starts to wobble toward me and I have to do something fast or I will find myself in a pile up. I let go of Dead Guy's body bag and roll onto the floor in a most graceful manner. (Trust me.) I lay there on my back for a minute...a little stunned. But only for a minute because we're having a little maggot problem and I'd rather not be fishing them out of my hair.
After some trial and error, I finally get Dead Guy on the tray and into the cooler. I take off my latex gloves and turn off the lights as I walk back up to the receiving bay.
Boy, do I miss Dwight.