2007-08-31: I Learned CPR From George Clooney



Summary: Thanks to the cast of ER, Monica unexpectedly saves a life. (And NBC gets to do promotional placement!)

Date It Happened: August 31st, 2007

I Learned CPR From George Clooney

Madison Ave Bistro

Lunch break at the Madison Ave. Bistro is not exactly like lunch break at somewhere like, say, the Burger Bonanza. The small break room across from the kitchen is too close to the owner/manager's office for employees to really goof off, and besides, the small room is decorated almost as nicely as the rest of the restaurant. Everyone is meant to behave respectably while on break. A fridge, a table, counters, a sink, and a small-screened television is permitted to them. With the volume low, of course. Currently, during a slow time between lunch and supper, one of the greeters, a lanky young man named Luke made more handsome by his Bistro attire, is seated at one end of the table eating a bowl of cereal. His eyes are glued to the TV, which is showing a rerun of a popular primetime medical drama. "Sweet."

Monica's last table was pretty sweet. A nice couple having a little romantic tete a tete before the major dinner rush. One of them had brought a little Cartier bag. Monica hadn't even had to try upselling a bottle of champagne, and she was willing to bet that before the night was out, the purchaser would not doubt get a yes from his boyfriend. It's put her in a pretty good mood, and she's grinning as she walks into the break room, rolling back her white shirt sleeves. "Hey, Luke." she greets as she heads for the fridge. Opening the bottom half, she looks up over the fridge door. "Is that the one with George Clooney?" Hey, tv was not one of her priorities in the last few years.

"… Uh, welcome to 2007, Monica, where George Clooney is too old to be on TV," Luke teases good-naturedly, scooping a spoonful of his sugary lunch cereal into his mouth. In contrast, he dapperly dabs a napkin to his face for the droplets of milk. Luke's a little fussy that way. "What're you so sunshiney about now?" A beat later: "Oh, God. I can't look. Tell me when the hot doctors stop cutting open that dude's heart. Oh God, I'm going to lose Lucky Charms. How do they make that stuff look so real?"

Monica pulls a styrofoam box out of the fridge, the top scrawled with her name in swirly cursive sharpie. Closing the door of the fridge, she continues to watch the screen in fascination, crossing over to the counter. "I just had a real nice couple, and they tipped good." She lets out a chuckle. "Boy, I thought you were all 'New York tough'. You gonna keel over from a little fake blood?" A hand rests on the drawer as she continues to watch the medical emergency on screen, her brows creasing together briefly. "Don't worry, I'll tell you when it's over."

New York tough, apparently, this boy is not. He twists his neck away from the TV while the heart surgery goes on. "Fake blood! Sometimes they use animal blood and like, pig hearts. Totally voodoo if you ask me." Luke opens one eye and peers at Monica. "…sorry. I forgot you were from New Orleans." Maybe he's a little New York callous. Meanwhile, the television drama switches from heart surgery to a scene of a man collapsing and a hot young intern giving him CPR.

Monica rolls her eyes. She might have taken offense if it was, oh, /clever/. "Yeah, don't worry, I left my doll and pins at home." she says. "Scene's done." With that, she tugs open the drawer, taking some of the plastic silverware stored there for employees and moves over to the table to take a seat as well. Opening her lunch, she digs in and returns her gaze to the screen.

Alas, Luke is not clever today, and so, with the disappearance of the fake (or possibly animal) blood, he goes back to watching TV. "You ever see any of that stuff-" Whatever he's about to ask is cut off by a commotion out in the bistro proper, a terrible clamouring of falling silverware, thudding and frightened tittering. "What the—?" Lucky Charms forgotten, Luke launches up.

"Someone call 911!" "My phone's dead!" "Get a waiter!" "Aunt Linda—?!" "She's not breathin'!" Amidst the lovely outdoor seating, a middle-aged woman has collapsed. The crowd is sparse, but frantic. Oh no!

Monica drops her fork and gets up out of her chair. "What happened?" she asks reflexively, but she's already pushing her way out to the dining area to see for herself. Angling herself passed some of the gathered even as one of the waiters is urging people to step back, she pauses, going still as she looks at the supine woman. What happens next could hardly be called conscious, but something…clicks, in the back of Monica's brain. It's not that she doesn't know what she's doing, because she does - very well, in fact. But she's not really thinking in the moment, she's just doing. And what she does is push forward, drop to her knees, and begin the motions of CPR. Just like Hope was giving to Morris not three minutes ago on ER.

Wait for it… wait for it… wait… with a strained, sudden gasp, the woman eventually comes to life, her heart pumping, air in her lungs. Everyone lets out a sigh of relief. The lady is not out of the woods yet, but she's alive. A cold hand grasps Monica's arm tightly. "Oh… my dear… thank you. I… oh, my…"

Luke stands bewilderedly on the sidelines with a cell phone hanging limply in one hand. 911's been called. EMS won't take long to respond in a location like this. You know, if they can defeat New York traffic. "…dude, Monica. That was like, totally insta-nurse. Way to rock the first aid."

Monica blinks, almost like, 'did I do that?'. "Oh," she says hesitantly as people start applauding, "It's alright, ma'am, you just keep laid down and the paramedics will be here soon…" She offers Luke a weak smile, her mind racing. She didn't take first aid, not even after Katrina. She has no idea how she did that. God, she was lucky she didn't break that woman's ribs. She tries to rise, but the clutching hand keeps her there. "I'll uh, sit with you 'til they get here, ma'am." She looks around to see who the woman was with, looking a bit furtive as her fellow employees and the manager on the floor, and tries not to look as furtive as she feels.

"Thank you, thank you, dear. Oh. I feel so faint…" Sirens sound down the street already. A younger woman than the poor lady who fell on the floor touches Monica's shoulder. "Aunt Linda has heart trouble. I've been meaning to take First Aid, you know, in case something like this happened— I feel like such a— I'm just glad you were there. You're a real angel. I know what I'm signing up for this week."

"It's - it's really no problem." Monica says, patting the elderly woman gently as she speaks to her niece. It's hard not to smile at being called an angel, but she's relieved when the paramedics finally do arrive. "I'm sure you'll be just fine, ma'am." she adds. And once they do, she steps back and away to give them room to work, somewhat self-consciously running her hands along her black slacks and trying to stay out of the way.

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