Back when I started my career, I lived with a friend from back home and the piece he was dating for a couple of years. At some point, my friend got a job working for a very interesting woman and her ex-husband turned boyfriend. His boss, I’ll call her Lulabella was very much like Kim Zolciak of the Real Housewives of Atlanta: big hair, big boobs, rarely seen without a drink and a cigarette in her hand, and a penchant for designer labels. She was entertaining to be around.
My friend had only been working for her for a few months, and I had met Lulabelle once or twice when our phone rang one night around 10:30 PM.
It was Lulabelle…sounding like she was either in pain or drunk. She asked for my friend, who had gone home for the weekend.
“He isn’t here.” I said.
“God can you help me!!” she moaned.
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
“I’ve fallen and I think I broke my back!”
I wasn’t sure what help I was supposed to offer.
“Where is Max? (her ex-hubby/boyfriend)”
“At the Turks and Cacaos!” (or some other exotic locale)
“Darlin’, do you need an ambulance?” I still wasn’t sure if she had just tied one on, or if she was legitimately hurting.
“Yes! But I don’t want to be here alone! Can you come over and then call them?”
I guess I could understand not wanting to be there alone, so I got in my car and rushed to her townhome, which was about 15 miles away. I got there and knocked on the front door. No answer. I called her and got a busy signal. I went to the backdoor. No answer there either. I peered through the kitchen window, and saw the phone lying on the floor, and a leg splayed out from the edge of the cabinets.
I was a little worried for her at that point…had she passed out? Had she really broken her back and just couldn’t move?
I called 911. Moments later, a fire truck, an ambulance, and a city police officer arrived. They broke down the front door, and a half dozen rescuers went inside. I couldn’t see Lulabelle because the firefighters, EMTs, and police officer were clogging the foyer. I heard her call my name.
“I’m here! Are you ok?” I stepped into the kitchen. There she was…laid out on the tile, wedged between the cabinets, with the phone cord tangled around her feet.
“Oh thank God you came!” she said. I still wasn’t sure if she had broken her back, but she cried out in pain everytime one of the EMTs touched her. What WAS clear was that my first suspicion–that she might have had a few too many glasses of wine–was right on. An empty bottle sat on the counter, two more on the coffee table in the living room.
One EMT started asking me for her information. What was her name? Was this her address? Who was her emergency contact? Was she on any medication? Who owned the townhouse so that a report could be made regarding the busted down door?
I barely knew this woman! I wasn’t even sure of the spelling of her last name, I sure as hell didn’t know what sort of medication she was taking! The others had gotten her onto a stretcher and were wheeling her through the foyer when she screamed my name.
“Come here!!” she said.
“I’m right here,” I assured her. “What is it?”
“Can you get me…” she started to ask for something. Get her what? Her purse? Her cell phone? Oh, but no…
“Get me my tiara!!”
The drunk bitch was being hauled out in a back brace and she wanted a friggin’ tiara?? Who even has a tiara??
A small gathering of neighbors was on the sidewalk as we stepped out of the townhouse. Lulabelle shouted that she was cold and pulled the blankets up over her head. Gasps went up from the neighbors as the EMTs wheeled out what now appeared to be a dead body.
When my friend got home a few days later, the story came out. Lulabelle had downed a few bottles of “Stumble Home” , and while drunk dialing someone, wrapped the phone cord around her ankles, tripping herself. When she hit the kitchen floor, she had wedged herself just so between the cabinets and in her inibriated state couldn’t get up.
No word what happened to her tiara.