I know how UFO abduction stories get started.
Back a few years ago, when I was a humble EMT working the ambulance in the very Puerto Rican city of Lawrence, we responded to a call for a man down on the side of the road.
We arrived to find an approximately 40 year old Latino man sitting on the side of the road, bleeding heavily from a bad laceration to his scalp. He was babbling nonsensical Spanish. I spoke enough Spanish at the time to ask a medical history, but not carry on a conversation, but my Puerto Rican partner agreed with me that this guy was making no sense in any language. He seemed homeless as he was wearing about six shirts and three pair of pants. This is not unusual behavior for the homeless in cooler weather, which it was.
So, not knowing if he was confused because of the head injury, or because of booze or drugs or just because that's his baseline, we called for the Paramedics, and meanwhile fitted him with a cervical spine collar and strapped him to a backboard, (in case he had been hit by a car or taken a serious blow that could have damaged his spine. He couldn't tell us, so we assumed the worst) put him on some oxygen and had him in the truck and were checking him for further injuries during transport when the Paramedics showed up.
Now, I'm a short, fair skinned blond. The Paramedic who hopped into my ambulance to help treat him was a short, fair skinned blond (although it looks better on her.) Neither of us spoke much Spanish, but it wouldn't have done any good, and I spoke enough to communicate, had he been coherent, so it really didn't matter.
Since we didn't know what was wrong, we pretty much checked everything. We had to cut his clothes off to look for more injuries. We took his blood pressure, pulse, listened to his lungs, the Medic started an IV, checked his blood sugar, we did an EKG, drew blood for lab work, the whole shebang. We had to tie his wrists down to keep him from pulling out his IV, taking off the collar which may have been the only thing keeping his broken neck stable, and other fun stuff.
I do realize that I get paid to tie people up and cut their clothes off, where as I would get fired for doing that at most jobs.
During this whole experience, which the patient no doubt found frightening, I tried to reassure him in pidgin Spanish and he kept saying "Oh God, Help, My keys! My keys!" (in Spanish. Dios Mio! Ayudame! Mi Jabes! for those keeping score at home) he kept repeating this even after I found his keys in one of his many pairs of pants and handed them to him, so I don't think he was even making sense to himself.
About that time, as we had done pretty much everything we could while bouncing around in a moving truck treating a flailing patient and in the process banging our heads together and elbowing one another. The whole thing struck me as something that would be very funny to an outside observer.
Then I thought how it must seem to the patient, and I started choking back laughter.
"What's so funny?" the Medic asked me.
"This guy's being abducted by Aliens."
"He said that? You even know the words for that in Spanish?" she asked.
"No, no," I replied."But think about it. A big white craft, with flashing lights shows up. Two pale, little people speaking a strange language grab him, strap him to a board, cut off his clothes, tie him down, poke, prod and test him. What does that sound like?"
She paused for a minute, then began to shake with stifled giggles as the image sank in.
"Oh, man," I looked at her with pleading eyes."Do a rectal temp! Let's go for the Anal Probe!"
At that point we both convulsed into helpless laughter. Fortunately, the treatment was all done by then and we managed to compose ourselves by the time we reached the hospital.
So, next time you hear about a UFO abduction, think about it. Is the abductee a redneck who was driving late at night with a few too many PBR's on board, who rolled his pickup, got picked up by the local EMS and woke up in a hospital with a sore butt?
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