Bad Call: A Summer Job on a New York Ambulance

Bad Call: A Summer Job on a New York Ambulance

by Mike Scardino


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An adrenaline-fueled read that will stay with you long after you turn the final page, Bad Call is a "compulsively readable, totally unforgettable" memoir about working on a New York City ambulance in the 1960s (James Patterson).

Bad Call is Mike Scardino's visceral, fast-moving, and mordantly funny account of the summers he spent working as an "ambulance attendant" on the mean streets of late-1960s New York.

Fueled by adrenaline and Sabrett's hot dogs, young Mike spends his days speeding from one chaotic emergency to another. His adventures take him into the middle of incipient race riots, to the scene of a plane crash at JFK airport and into private lives all over Queens, where New Yorkers are suffering, and dying, in unimaginable ways. Learning on the job, Mike encounters all manner of freakish accidents (the man who drank Drano, the woman attacked by rats, the man who inflated like a balloon), meets countless unforgettable New York characters, falls in love, is nearly murdered, and gets an early and indelible education in the impermanence of life and the cruelty of chance.

Action-packed, poignant, and rich with details that bring Mike's world to technicolor life, Bad Call is a gritty portrait of a bygone era as well as a bracing reminder that, though "life itself is a fatal condition," it's worth pausing to notice the moments of beauty, hope, and everyday heroism along the way.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316469616
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 07/17/2018
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 622,872
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Mike Scardino is a native of Elmhurst, Queens. In order to pay for college, he worked on a New York City ambulance as a teenager, which led to his decision not to pursue medicine as a career. Mike eventually found his way into advertising, where his ambulance experience proved to be an unexpectedly useful fit. He is married to the woman he met on his third day at college and has three daughters. He currently resides in South Carolina.

Table of Contents

How Bad Could It Be 3

First Day on the Job 7

The Rule of Nines 13

The Napoleon 18

Mr. Bubble 22

On a Wine-Dark Sea 27

Beer 31

Breakfast of Champions 38

Boudicca Goes Soft 45

Death of a Cynic 51

A Date for the Prom 56

The Whirlpool 61

Jesus Speaks 70

The Least We Can Do 78

Silence Is Golden 89

Those Guys 94

A House Like Mine 99

I'm a Daddy 105

Suppertime 114

At! it Takes 123

What Friends Are For 129

To All a Good Night 135

The Worst Thing You've Ever Seen 144

Spare Change 151

Candy 156

Don't Blink 160

Somebody Else's Shoes 165

Erosion 170

Sure Fooled Me 177

Omaha Beach 183

The Sight of Blood 191

Done 198

Paperwork 205

Two Prisoners 212

A Visit from a Friend 218

Bon Voyage, Scumbag 230

Go Figure 236

The Bear 242

The Park Is Good 250

Still Life with Prostitute 262

JFK 269

On a Day Like Today 277

A Cold Day in Hell 282

Acknowledgments 291

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