Emergencia! Urgente!

Fredy has a couple of favorite words. Unfortunately, they are words that tend to raise my blood pressure. It's not just the words themselves, although they do have significant cortizone-inducing properties. No, it is more with how he says them. Never are the words stand-alone. They always immediately accompany my name, and a situation that I am perceived to be capable of remedying.

Emergencia: Emergency
"Emergencia! Kaleb, el carro esta en fuego!
Emergency Kaleb, the car is on fire!

Urgente: Urgent
"Kaleb, tenemos que entregar este reporte maƱana. Es urgente!"
Kaleb it is urgent that we turn in this report tomorrow!

If Fredy actually used these words in these contexts, it would be very understandable. However, Fredy's emergencies tend to be a little more subtle.

"Kaleb, it is an emergency! You need to get out of bed and drive down here, right now! We cannot wait, please, please come now!"

As you can imagine, this level of franticness tends to grab your full attention, and learning to live alongside a man with what must be the equivalent of a fire-alarm in his head is difficult. With the first dozen-or-so emergencies, I leapt into action like the good friend that I am and raced down the road to save Fredy... from slow internet.... in Honduras or his dog's exceptionally-bad gas. You would think I would learn after a few such emergencies, but the man's concern is so real that you can literally hear the sweat popping out his pores over the phone. You feel like your heart is going to stop when he says these words. You do soon learn that if you're going to say no, you had better have the mental fortitude of Abraham Lincoln or else you will be signing your own Declaration of Surrender. You will be battered, and probably broken.

However, as time has progressed, I have become perhaps more heartless and learned to deny many of these emergencies. I know the drill now. I am prepared.

1. Phone rings.
2. I answer.
3. Fredy breathes in deeply.
4. Fredy says 'Emergencia/Urgente.'
5. Kaleb begins walking the path of inner-peace.
6. Fredy explains the world's current Armageddon scenario.
7. Kaleb says no.
8. Long silence on the phone.
9. Fredy begins to fire cannons upon my will's fortress.

However, every once and a while, Fredy's favorite words do apply. One day I received this ear-blistering call at 3:15PM.

"Kaleb, it is an emergency! You need to come here RIGHT NOW! I have an appointment for a US Visa TOMORROW in Tegucigalpa at 7AM for my trip to a conference in California next week and I just saw that my passport expired yesterday! My car is broken-down and the ministry's vehicles are all in use! The Immigration office in San Pedro Sula closes at 5PM!"

Off to the launch pad. It's go time.


In this instance, the drill looks a little more like this.

1. Flip-flops on.
2. Kiss Stacey on cheek.
3. Get into truck.
4. Push big red mental "Go Baby Go" button (the one you're never supposed to push).
5. Fly 2 feet above the road all the way down the mountain.
6. Slow down for Fredy to jump in car.
7. Point car towards San Pedro.
8. Position one hand over horn.
9. Find out how fast an old diesel Pathfinder goes.

As it turns out, pretty fast is the answer to Step 9. Horn blaring, Fredy sweating, and white man most certainly sweating. We wove through and around sugar cane trucks, cattle, homemade motorcycles, some potholes that were recently awarded National Historic Monument status, and several thousand Honduran traffic cones, also known as vultures. We drove the 1hr 30min drive from our house to San Pedro in record time; the only trick was to get to the other side, to immigration where Fredy...

"Oh sure, sure, I can get my passport in 30 minutes. Don't worry about that. Sure, sure, sure. If you can get me to the door in time. I can get my passport."

My surroundings proved that Fredy could convince anyone of just about anything. When it came to San Pedro though, it was a situation of can't go around it, can't go over it, gotta go through it. And through it we went, with the same gas, horn, swerve (order is important here) strategy that had gotten us this far. We plowed our way through San Pedro, its theoretical traffic laws, and a couple of medians and miraculously arrived at Immigration at 4:58PM. In went Fredy. Skeptical, I found a nearby KFC to wait for the "30" minutes.

An hour and a half later, Fredy emerged victorious. I don't know why I ever doubted him. Arm that man with two little words, wind him up and watch him go. He could (and will) change the world.

1 comment:

  1. This made me laugh hysterically. Chispa team love :)