My Orange isn’t the new black

I had a long phone call the other night. The person whom I was talking with, we always have long conversations. They brought up the show “Orange is the New Black.” They aren’t into these types of shows and they know I’m not either. Yet they asked if I’d watched it and I said no to “Orange” and “Breaking Bad” when it was on as well.

Okay, I saw five minutes of “Breaking Bad” while waiting for another program I like. Do I ever watch to watch this and “Orange”? No, I don’t. I don’t like the violence and the killing. I don’t like the way these shows make being bad a good thing and something you would actually want to do. If I want “Breaking Bad”, all I have to do is look out my front window and see if any drug deals are going down next door.

The color for my EMS is orange. The patches are orange and navy blue. It is hard to miss us. I don’t know why but I have the feeling it is because the local police departments all seem to have yellow patches. Our uniforms are navy blue with the option of light blue shirts and the most of the police departments are full black. I like my light blue shirt. There have been a few times I’ve had to point out to wily patients that I’m EMS: see, look at the orange patch, and they usually stop.

Between EMS and about six years of living next to people who have decided to live the criminal life, I see no reason or have any want or desire to be bad. Why would you want to live your life with the police chasing you? Why would you want to be in prison? Why would you want to do things that may land you in prison?

The person I was talking to was saying “Orange” makes the prison life look almost good. I don’t get it. Your freedom is gone. I’ve had patients who have been handcuffed and had leg chains and Tyvek suits. It’s not fun sitting in the back of an ambulance with a police officer with their hand on a gun the whole ride and a patient who can’t make up their mind as to what is ailing them except they would rather be poked and prodded instead of sitting in a cell. Then they have a really pissed off officer with them for their whole time at the hospital and beyond. The last time this happened the officer grabbed my cell phone when I left it out (I used the clock to count pulse) on the ambulance bench. It’s a flip phone and I thought it was a goner. I knew he didn’t realize right away what it was but he put it back.

As Cage the Elephant puts it so well: “What makes you want to live this kind of life?”


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