Sunday, May 27, 2012

Joe the Landlord and His Hysterical Wife

 A few nights ago there was a car accident   on our street well after midnight.  A woman ran her car into a truck parked at the curb, which then in turn hit another car parked at the same curb in front of the next house.  The second vehicle was bounced off the street and up into the yard.  The speeding car and the two other cars were completely demolished and hauled away.  The woman driver was intoxicated, and also hauled away.

We went by to check out the incident the next afternoon because we had only heard the commotion of the emergency vehicles, but didn't know what actually happened.  We talked with neighbors we had never met, and though the event was unfortunate, it was nice to meet those people.

It reminded me of a similar incident years ago.  Then, it was a young man driving.  He plowed over a mailbox and rammed into a parked car which smacked domino style into another.  No cars were that badly damaged, though the mailbox was a goner.

When we heard the crash, we ran outside along with the people next door, who were a bunch of student roommates.  We called the police and talked to the drunk young driver who tried to get out of the car and walk away, but we convinced him not to, so he laid his head down on the steering wheel.

As we stood around waiting for the police and then watching them take away the driver who refused to take a breath test, a guy from down the street struck up a conversation with me.  When I told him I was married, he ambled over and struck up a conversation with one of the roommate neighbors (actually the girl who owned the house).  She and I always laugh about this story: the night we both me Joe the Landlord.  We think of him as a true opportunist who apparently found any time the right time to meet girls.

She did go out with him a few times though she found him rather too mellow.  A few years later, he got married to a girl who was not long out of high school.  I think she had one or two college semesters when she met Joe.  She was a pretty, skinny girl with short, short hair, a wide mouth and big eyes.  She also had a baby, conceived in high school and who was about a year old when I met her.  Here is where I met her:
This is a workshop attached to a garage at the back of the house with the roommates.  The roommates were gone by this time, and my friend who owned the house was out of town.  The young wife had been hired to feed the small dogs who used to have a little dog house here to the right of the white door.  Well, I was in my house when I heard this screaming--like emergency, bloody murder kind of screaming--which caused me to dash outside.  I saw the young wife and her baby by this door and the little dog house, and she was hopping around screaming and carrying on.  I ran to them and took the baby in my arms.  The baby looked at me rather blandly, while the young wife snatched at her hair and ran her fingers hysterically over her body.  She had been stung by a bee, a big black bumble bee.  She was allergic she said and could die.  She may have only moments to live.

Still flailing her arms, she left this yard and headed two houses away to where she lived with Joe the Landlord.  I carried the baby on my hip, trying to keep the child calm, though she just looked at me and sucked her finger, so I think the one I was trying to calm was myself.  The young wife walked ahead of me in her short shorts and flip flops, exclaiming all the way.

We went into her house and she got the telephone out of another room and brought it into the dining room where I sat with the baby.  I may have said something about calling the doctor, or maybe she said that, but the person she called was her mother.  She cried into the phone, saying that she had been stung or thought she had been stung, and I sat with the baby looking around at this house (which had a huge painting of a tennis ball on one wall) and wondering at my odd circumstance.

The phone call seemed to calm the young wife and she stopped crying and decided she was not going to die.  Eventually she hung up and took the baby from me and said she thought she would be okay, she was just maybe going to take some Benadryl.

And that was my introduction to the rather hysterical young wife of the super mellow Joe the Landlord.
It's funny how all of this came back to me when we were talking to the people about the accident in front of their house.

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