Friday, June 8, 2012

Six Stories for Six Years: The Interpreter.

The first year we were married was spent in a little apartment in a less-than-ideal neighborhood of South Salt Lake. The apartment itself was clean and in reasonably good repair, but shortly after we were chosen as managers of the apartment building, we discovered this was the exception rather than the norm in the building. Most of the apartments on the front side of the building had been occupied for quite some time, and the management company did not find it necessary to complete any sort of upgrades to those units, or really even fix things that broke over time. Many of the residents were Spanish-speaking families with low incomes, and I won't even bother to hide my opinion that their background played a role in how poorly the management company cared for them. 

(Although, to be fair, Vince and Mary lived there as managers after we did, and the management company didn't give a crap about their sagging ceiling until the entire piece of sheet rock collapsed on their bedroom, so maybe the company believed in equal opportunity neglecting more than I give them credit for. You should probably check out the pictures on that link to fully experience the idiocy we were all dealing with.)

Anyway, so my point was that the neighborhood was a little shady. Which was why I was more than a little terrified when the pounding on our door began one night at two in the morning. I was sure we were about to be butchered in our beds by a band of trouble makers. After a minute or two of incessant banging on the door, it was clear whoever was there wasn't going away, and Paddy threw on some sweatpants and opened the door.

Almost before I knew it, he was running out the door with one of our Spanish speaking residents who needed him to translate for the paramedics, leaving his new bride sitting on the bed in the dark, filling what was sure to be her last hours of life with visions of what in the world could be going on out there.

Fifteen or so minutes later, Paddy returned (safe and sound, he'd like me to point out) wide-eyed and still mildly confused. It seemed that one of our residents had returned from a night of drinking with friends, passed out on the couch, and began having a seizure. His well-intentioned but horribly ill-informed girlfriend had attempted to pour rubbing alcohol in his mouth (wha...?!?) to induce vomitting (while he was seizing, you'll remember) because apparently this had worked to stop the seizures in the past. (Note: I am not a physician or a nurse, but I'm going to go ahead and assert that this is a very bad idea.) 

The poor man's girlfriend was having trouble explaining this series of events to the paramedics, and somehow in her panic she remembered that Paddy was fluent in Spanish. 

In the end, everyone-- party boy, girlfriend, scared bride, and kind interpreter-- survived the night just fine, with nothing more than a great story for the blog for our troubles.

1 comment:

katelinklug said...

That was a lovely area to live as newlyweds. My two favorite stories from there... Bryant's car being stolen, and the time the man escaped from the mental hospital and taped on our window to have us call someone for him.

Oh actually my all time favorite was when I laid with my feet hanging out the door when Bryant was parking after work and came yelling my name and I didn't move :) Sorry Bry!