I was about to enter Madison Square Garden when a policeman held me back and said, "Let the ambulance through -- let the ambulance through."
"What happened?" I asked a man in a white coat carrying a black bag.
"We got a call to come over and bind the wounds of the Democratic Party."
"Are they bad?
"I don't know. We were told to bring all the bandages we had. There's a lot of bleeding of Kennedy delegates, and we have to close up the cuts before any of them catch Anderson fever."
I followed him into the Garden. "Help me with the stretcher," he said. "Ever since the city cut back on its budget I have to do everything myself."
We went in. "What's the first thing you're going to do?" I asked.
"Look for shock. Every time the Democrats have a convention, the delegates whose man has lost go into shock." We found several Kennedy delegates sitting in their seats staring at the floor, not paying any attention to what was going on at the podium. "There they are," the man said as he opened up his black bag. "Here -- pass these out to anyone who looks as if he or she is in a daze."
"What are they?"
"You've give out jellybeans for shock?" I said.
"Ever since they cut the budget that's all we can afford."
I passed out jellybeans to the Kennedy delegates. They accepted them listlessly.
When I ran out, I found the hospital man putting a tourniquet around Gov. Hugh Carey of New York.
"Is he hurt bad?" I asked.
"He'll live. I have to sew up this open convention in his head. I think if he can get a money transfusion from Washington he'll be all right."
"Do you think Carter will give him one after he tried to run the president down?"
"I imagine so. Carter needs New York and wants Carey to get well."
"A lot of the Pennsylvania delegates look sick," I said.
"I know. We have to give them anti-Regan vaccine."
"It's a new patented Democratic medicine which says on the bottle, 'No matter how bad you feel about supporting Carter, you'll feel worse if you get Regan.' Here's a bottle and a tablespoon. Go over and start administeriing it to the Pennsylvania delegates. If they complain it isn't working tell them it takes about a month to be effective."
I followed his instructions. Many delegates, thinking it was liquor, drank straight from the bottle.
I found the man with the black bag up on the podium examining Ted Kennedy.
"Do you think he'll ever be able to work for Jimmy Carter again?" I asked.
"It's hard to say. He keeps claiming he wants to go to work for Carter as soon as possible, but his back hurts."
"He looked pretty healthy when he was campaigning for president."
"He said his back went out on him afte the rules vote, when he tried to lift his spirits. Well there's nothing more I can do," the man said as he put everything back in his black bag. "Thanks for helping me."
"One more question," I said. "Since you've bound up all the wounds at the convention, do you think the party will be healthy enough to win the election?"
"How should I know? I'm not a doctor."
"What are you?" I asked.
"A faith healer. Why do you think I was called?"