November 9, 2007

What The Heck? Salt Lake Nights And The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby Jeon Hong

wjord_ogden_map.jpgA Utah policeman pulled over a speeding car, found a guy driving his wife to the hospital, snapped on the rubber gloves, and delivered the kid himself. Fine. But this makes no sense at all:

Young Jeon and his wife, Yeojn Hong, left their West Jordan apartment about 3:30 a.m. Monday for the 50-mile drive to a hospital in Ogden. On the way, Hong's water broke.
"Then I started 100, almost 110 (mph) on this small road," Jeon said. "Honestly, I was lucky because all the lights were green on Highway 89."
To get to Ogden from West Jordan, you drive through Salt Lake City. West Jordan is smack in the middle of Salt Lake Valley. There are like half a dozen giant hospitals within 10 miles, including the massive, brand new Intermountain Medical Center, which is right next to West Jordan and glows and towers over the freeway to Ogden.

Need for speed: Deputy delivers baby [ap/sltrib via jalopnik]


Perhaps the destination hospital was somehow different than all those other ones? Favorite doctor? Religion?

[the only explanation I can think of is that they'd just moved from Ogden, and their OB was there. Still. -ed.]

Perhaps the wife worked at that hospital, and free/cheaper deliveries are an employee benefit?

You are spookily well-informed about the geographical minutiae of Salt Lake City and environs.

[Grandma lives in SLC, and by brother and his family just moved there to do a residency at that sweet new hospital five minutes from the Billy Ricky's house. That's also the freeway you take to the Spiral Jetty. -ed.]

As someone who has tried to find an unfamiliar hospital in a city I didn't know well, I can almost see this.

It doesn't really matter how many hospitals there are if you have no clue how to get to one -- driving around in an unfamiliar city's traffic might look a whole lot worse than the straight shot to the hospital you know you can find. Too, panicking is likely to leave you feeling that the sure bet beats a try at an unknown hospital lottery.

Where we live, we have bright blue directional H signs by the side of the road to guide people to hospitals -- which tend to drop off the face of the earth long before you actually get to the facility. A nice try, but not really much help.

[true enough, but that's pretty close to the same delusional sense of making progress that driving 105mph gives you. In the last few weeks before the kid was born, I made sure to map out the fastest routes to Philadelphia or NYC hospitals from each exit of the New Jersey Turnpike. Then we'd just leadfoot it. Still, it was informed leadfooting. -ed.]

What's the baby's name? I know someone's got a Bountiful Hong Cox joke...

Maybe the hospital in Ogden was 'in network'.

[when I asked my SLC-dwelling mom if she'd heard of the story, the first thing she said was, "insurance." to which I replied, "you're kidding." -ed.]

Yeah, it's like bailing on AltaBird to go ski Basin/Powder.

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