Wednesday, May 22, 2024 May 22, 2024
84° F Dallas, TX



strange World Newly weds Tom Motley and trudi Swedlund, instructors at Richland Community College,
thought they’d be spending a pleasant honeymoon year in England as part of an international faculty exchange program.
Little did Motley know that he’d be trading jobs-and homes-with a 37-year-old Dennis the Menace.

For starters, Motley and Swedlund found that the Brit’s house was a disaster The cat flap had been left unsecured, and
the carpets and drapes were full of male spray, cat urine, and fleas. “Trudi was in the house 30 minutes and had 10
flea bites, ” says Motley. “You could have grown corn in the carpets, they had so much dirt. ” Then came a man from
the gas company, threatening to cut off service due to unpaid bills, Same story with the electric bill, phone bill,
and water bill. The town constable came looking for the Englander because he owed “everyone in town, ” according to
Motley. Ditto with the Inland Revenue, England’s version of the IRS.

Back in Dallas, things were no better. The Englishman, Motley learned, was borrowing money from the division
chairperson (Motley’s boss) and letting Motley’s phone bill (swollen with the visitor’s 1-900 charges) go unpaid for
six months. “I wound up with four collection agencies after me, ” Motley says. “My car taxes were delinquent, a
hospital was after me, the phone company had cut off my phone and was after me. And the electric company had
terminated service and was demanding back payment. “

After Motley flew home to work some damage control, an ll-point agreement that would “embarrass Attila the Hun, ” in
Motley’s words, was drawn up with the help of Richland President Steve mittelstet. The teacher stays in
Motley’s apartment, but under strict rules. One slip, and he’s out of a job as well as a home. Motley says. The worst
appears to be over, but Motley admits to some lingering bitterness. “The sour taste comes from the fact that they used
the exchange to get rid of this guy for a year. Now I’m being used as their vehicle to dump the guy.”