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Tiger King, the Home Quarantine Game

Who is your EMS agency’s Joe Exotic?


Tiger King, the Home Quarantine Game, is good for hours of fun and enjoyment.

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If you’re like the rest of the country, you’ve seen Netflix’s “Tiger King,” a fascinating, albeit unsavory mix of documentary and tabloid news show. It’s part professional wrestling, part true-crime series, part reality show and part soap opera, wrapped in seven Jerry Springer-esque episodes. It’s a runaway success, the kind that has Netflix executives no longer worried about the toilet paper shortage, because they can now afford to wipe their backsides with $100 bills.

If you’re an EMT inadvertently exposed to a COVID-19 patient and sitting out your 14 days of quarantine, you’re working from home or you’re merely a good citizen observing your state’s stay-at-home orders, you’ll still need something to occupy your time off.

Well, never fear, Tiger King, the Home Quarantine Game, is good for hours of fun and enjoyment. Here is a collection of ways to occupy your mind and time during those interminable hours of social distancing.

One word of caution, though: Don’t make this a drinking game. If you take a shot every time something weird or outrageous happens on “Tiger King,” you’re likely to die of alcohol toxicity. At the very least, you’re going to weaken your immune system, and you’ll need it to fight off the ’rona.

Tiger King, the Home Quarantine Game

Here’s how to play.

1. Make a list of “Tiger King” characters, and compare them to coworkers at your agency. Who is your EMS agency’s Joe Exotic, Travis, Eric, Jeff or Kelci? The only rule is, if you assign “that b*tch, Carole Baskin” to more than one hated supervisor, coworker or dispatcher, you’re Joe Exotic by default.

2. Plan your EMS Week appreciation dinner menu with a “Tiger King” theme. Serve Recently Expired Steaks, Slightly Used Pepperoni Pizza and Mystery Walmart Meat sandwiches. Take the leftover hamburger from Nurse’s Week and the leftover chili from Hospital Week, and make Carole Baskin Surprise Sloppy Joes. Make sure there’s a small bone chip in each sandwich for extra authenticity.

3. Have a “Tiger King” meme contest with your Facebook friends. Award prizes for Funniest Meme, Most Creative Meme, Best Meme Mashup, Most Tasteless Meme … the sky’s the limit, really. One of my current favorites compares a shirtless, tattooed John Finlay to Adam Levine ordered off online retailer Wish.

4. Organize a Find Carole’s Husband scavenger hunt for your next shift. Turns out it took a global pandemic to convince people not to call an ambulance or visit the ED unnecessarily. Many agencies and hospitals have experienced a dramatic reduction in run volume, but we still have to occupy our time between COVID-19 cases. Plant clues around town, like a set of van keys, “tickets” to Costa Rica, an item of clothing, an advertisement for industrial meat grinders, and so on. Each clue has a segment of a map on it, ultimately leading to the location of Don Lewis, Carole Baskin’s missing husband. First crew to find the body wins.

5. Hold a “Tiger King”-themed game of Clue with your online community. Your goal is to find out who killed Don Lewis, where and how: “It was Carole Baskin, with the meat grinder, under the septic tank at Big Cat Rescue.”

6. Hold a Joe Exotic lip-syncing contest on Facebook Live. Any “Tiger King” song is fair game, although you can use other songs … provided you’re wearing a cowboy hat, bleached mullet wig, preacher’s collar or similar costume. The more outlandish, the better.

7. Play Meth or Bad Dentistry? This one is self-explanatory. Half the cast of Tiger King looks like the live-action version of Gollum from “Lord of the Rings.” Post a poll on whether a character’s dentition is the result or meth mouth, or lack of access to qualified dentistry. Goodness knows you’ll not want for material.

8. Have a Jeff Lowe lookalike contest. Browse the Tapout and Affliction catalogs, put on your bandana and a flat brim baseball cap, complete the look with a leather jacket – fringe preferred – and channel your inner shady businessman.

9. Have an EMS bomber jacket contest. Post your photos and have your leadership team judge the best. Winner gets to wear their jacket, or alternatively, winner gets to make the Operations Manager wear it, complete with white jeans and blonde mullet wig, for your EMS Week banquet.

10. Host the “Tiger King” EMS Week Awards. Present the following:

  • Best Social Distancing Haircut (James Garretson, Eric Cowie, Doc Antle or John Finlay)
  • Carole Baskin Award for person most likely to have an ex ground up and buried below a septic tank
  • Secret EMS Closet Award for the coworker most likely to have an EMS bomber jacket, Affliction shirts or white jeans in their closet
  • Kelci Saffery Award for the employee who took the fewest sick days
  • Rick Kirkham Award for the employee who takes the most smoke breaks or is never seen without a cup of coffee
  • Don Lewis Award for the employee who misses the most shifts

Have fun with it! columnist Kelly Grayson, is a paramedic ER tech in Louisiana. He has spent the past 14 years as a field paramedic, critical care transport paramedic, field supervisor and educator. Kelly is the author of the book Life, Death and Everything In Between, and the popular blog A Day in the Life of An Ambulance Driver.