A person at work told a story earlier this week, about coming home in the middle of the night and noticing a neighbor’s house on fire(!). He called 911, and I guess it was quite an ordeal. Within minutes the neighborhood was simply lousy with fire trucks, police cars, ambulances, etc. Everyone was safe, he said, but the house suffered Big Damage.
And I started thinking about 911… In my entire life I believe I’ve only called it three times.
In Atlanta Toney and I were sitting at a red light one afternoon, and watched in disbelief as a car came screaming through the intersection, clipped the rear bumper of another vehicle, and went airborne. It was an amazing thing to behold; that hick-wagon was corkscrewing like something off The Dukes of Hazzard.
I instantly called 911 on my comically oversized “car phone,” and they said they already knew about it, but thanks. Shit, man… only ten seconds had passed. Wotta ripoff.
Also in Atlanta someone knocked the driver’s window out of my car one night, and helped themselves to my in-dash stereo, as well as the coins on the console. Grrr….
I called 911 when I first realized what happened, and was still charged-up and frantic. But they weren’t impressed. I was transferred to some kind of hall-of-mirrors voicemail system, and prompted to “press one for breaking and entering, two for assault, three for car theft,” etc. And if you think I’m joking, you would be sadly mistaken.
I also had a basket of laundry stolen off the backseat of my car in Atlanta. But I didn’t call the cops for that one. Why bother? That city is a swirling cesspool of crime. They couldn’t give a single dingle about the theft of my perfectly faded jean jacket. You know, since somebody probably had their skin flayed-off, a few doors down. But I cared, and it still pisses me off.
And a couple of years ago I went into our basement here, and it smelled strongly of lighter fluid. Or something along those lines. I thought there was a leak of some sort, and the whole place was about to go up in a big mushroom cloud.
I didn’t want to call 911, so I took time to find the non-emergency number at the fire department (not an easy task). But they still answered, “Emergency services! What is your emergency?”
I tried to downplay it, and tell them it was probably nothing. But they sent a whole team of fire trucks, sirens a-blaring. This, of course, brought all our neighbors out, and triggered much neck-stretching.
It was a crazy scene. One of the firemen jumped off the truck with an axe in his hand! If the front door had been closed, I think he would’ve knocked it down. He looked like he was just itching to knock something down.
It turned out someone had illegally dumped some sort of chemical down the sewer, and the smell was coming up in our basement. I didn’t care for it, not one tiny bit.
So, those are the three times I’ve called 911. What about you? Have you ever had to call those folks? What were the circumstances? And how did it turn out?
Use the comments link below to tell us all about it.
And I’ll be back soon.