Well... I don’t know if things went exactly as Case planned– but they turned out rather well. His partner met us for brunch and we started over.
Case stood up and was every bit the gentleman as he introduced us. "Patrick, this is my wife Jess... Jess... this is my new partner Patrick O’Hare."
"We met," I reminded him with a hint of sarcasm than he didn’t miss.
Neither did Patrick. He hesitated slightly as he took my hand and started to apologize. I waved it off. It wasn’t his fault– not really. He had no way of knowing about me or the program. He’d just transferred in– new area, new partner, it was bound to happen.
He was trying to do his best to not talk shop when the rest of Case’s crew showed up and took a table next to ours. That didn’t last too long. They quickly moved their table next to ours asking if we minded and then ignoring anything anybody said.
I think they found out that I was Case’s new wife and wanted to make sure I didn’t think they were a bunch of cretins. Or... maybe they were trying to cement that opinion... I don’t know. I do know that they managed to clear a fifteen foot radius around our table as they talked shop.
Patrick started to look a little queasy as he followed me to the buffet line.
“Don’t let them get to you,” I told him as I explained the ritual of grossing out the new guy.
He looked at me for a minute. “So... you’ve been through this before?”
I grinned. “Not exactly, but we do something similar to our new guys. Its mostly good natured. The key is to not really think about it.”
I could understand his objection– they were going out of their way in the graphic detail department.
“Take your cues from me,” I told him. “Remember– they’re trying to gross me out on this too...”
I had to smile as I came up with an idea and explained it to Patrick– my new co-hort in crime.
The guys didn’t know what hit them. They were talking about crime scenes and the people they’d seen hauled away. I waited until Patrick was ready and then started talking about accident scenes. As I described the situation– Patrick supplied the visuals with what he was eating. I don’t know how he managed to keep a straight face, but he did.
I think it was the fact that we were taking control of the situation. By the end– we’d made our point: ‘Ya don’t mess with the medic– or her friends.’
Having been both a medic and a federal officer– Case had no problems negotiating our games of gross out.
On the down side– the seven of us are not allowed to dine there together.