Even in this age of countless emergency room TV shows, both fictional and real, there is a distinct lack of street-smart, cynical paramedics who aren't afraid to tell it like it is. Fortunately, the void was filled somewhat by the real-life stories of Tae-Hyong Kim, The Paramedic From Hell, who posted under his real name to alt.tasteless in the mid 1990s. His graphic, well-written accounts of memorable patient encounters earned him the coveted "Mr Alt.Tasteless" award in 1994. Those who weren't lucky enough to read his posts during their original run on alt.tasteless will have to settle for searching for half-assed websites where his stories are archived with varying degrees of completeness. If anyone out there actually stumbles across a site that holds what looks like his entire body of work, please /msg me.

Mr. Kim appears to have started posting from an account at Brandeis and continued after taking a teaching position at Northeastern University. The few posts I could find were either from 1994 or 1995, when he worked for a paramedic company in the Boston area.

While many of his stories are pretty gross, he always makes an effort to elevate his writing beyond mere gore, exposing the heart-rending stupidity or insanity of the people he helps, from the morbidly obese man who practically ate himself to death at an all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet to the frighteningly drunk woman who snagged her scalp on a nail in a telephone pole, which pushed the flesh of her forehead down past her eyeballs and made her wander around screaming that she was blind. You get the idea. Look him up, and you won't be disappointed.

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