IHOP HEROES. What Would You Do?


This morning I took my motorcycle up the street to get the inspection current.

My eldest son Austin followed me in the car. I asked him to assist me since I wasn’t sure how long the wait would be to get everything done, plus he just completed the MSF motorcycle course at CPCC and likes to drool over the crotch rockets at the dealership.

On the way back, we stopped by IHOP to grab a quick bite of breakfast.

About the time the waitress came to get our drinks we heard a loud exclamation and the sound of crashing plates and utensils.

The elderly lady across the room to my 2 o’clock, suddenly got concerned. She stood and shouted a young man’s name. She shouted his name again as if to scold him for his uncharacteristic display. She was the only one in the booth I could see. He had slipped down out of sight.

I mumbled to myself, “call 911”. Austin said something about a seizure.

The patrons seated around her began to stand and go to her.  She looked up across the room and shouted, “Somebody help me, call 911!”.

I saw the manager with a portable phone in his hand scurrying from the front desk to the scene.

I saw a guy with tats get up from his table and family one aisle over to assess if he could help. He saw that the table needed to be moved to help the victim lay down.

Another lady to my back right 5 o’clock took charge of calming and comforting the old lady.

A couple other female leaders made their way to the center of the action to physically assess the victim’s condition and help him. They took charge like mothers or nurses would.

Within what seemed 10 minutes, the ambulance came. They took the young man out. He appeared to be aware and cognizant, just a bit glassy eyed from the experience.

“What Would You Do?” with John Quiñones on ABC popped into my head at least once. As I watched from across the room, and now in retrospect, I wondered what I could or could’ve done myself. From my vantage point the situation in the tiny little aisle way was well controlled and tended to by a worthy crew. I believe I would’ve been in the way.

My social media mind wondered should I pull out my phone and record something? A video or a picture? Is there something to document? My conscious decided it would’ve been a violation of the moment.

I kept looking at the elderly lady. My heart ached for her as she stood sobbing, helpless and distressed. I thought of my Mother. Austin said he thought of his Grandma Holland who suffered a massive heart attack while dining in a restaurant a couple years ago.

At the same time I was touched and impressed by the six or so bystanders that didn’t hesitate to act…without prejudice, without knowing. They just acted…in all the right ways, for all the right reasons.