Sunday, October 02, 2005


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.


jane said...


Polly P.I. said...

It's JANE!!!

How are things going in Mutha Russia?

Tamara said...

That's what I LOVE about you and your blog, Polly; you're so NORMAL! You make me feel like I could be an M.E. too! (Well, sorta--I'm not nearly as *graceful* as you.) ;)

insomniac said...

remember it's 'lift with your legs', not with his legs

Sarcasmo said...

Awesome Polly. All you need is Bob Sagat narrating and you could have your own America's Funniest Home Videos reel.

motw said...

*singing, South Pacific style*
I'm gonna wash the maggots right outta my hair
I'm gonna wash the maggots right outta my hair ...

Yeah, I can see why those lyrics were scrapped by Rogers & Hammerstein.

kibby F5 said...

Well, I brought in my first body on Saturday.

Interesting way to start off a conversation. MUST get more interesting after this lead-in!

Kibby F5 said...

YEP! Got better!

Jeff Meyerson said...

"Maggots. Why did it have to be maggots!"

Olga said...

Nice adaptation of the classic line Harrison Ford says in "Raiders of the Lost Ark," Jeff!

Another hilarious entry, Polly!

Polly P.I. said...

I think I'll keep this little incident hush-hush around the office until I've had a chance to prove myself competent.

Mike Weasel said...

*snork* Only you could make handling corpses funny.

Anonymous-2 said...

Until you've proved yourself compentent as what, a 500lb lummox?

That kind of lifting is simple math. You weigh (I know this is risky here), but about 110?

Dead guy weighs close to 300. When you do the math, you come up "short".

Snork .

Besides, its what's skill, personality and all that stuff that they want. But just in case they are a little slow, check your turnk and make sure that they left the jack in. They might want you to change a flat one handed.


Kafaleni said...

As long as the security cams weren't running while you were doing all of this, I'd say you never have to tell anyone in RL what happened.

Dwight's really do come in handy at times like that, though, don't they?

Anonymous said...

Molly Mardette up and running (literally)

Have you ever heard of...........Grease? Perhaps your Dad would say "Grease that puppy" Then a 110 pound woman could move that sucker. It's a thought.

Higgy said...

Wasn't this an episode of "I Love Lucy"?

Well, without the corpses, maybe....

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