911I called 911 twice last week. I've lived ... ummm ... a lot of years ... and have never called 911. First at school, I dialed an 1-800 number for a business call. But to get an outside line, I always dial "9" and then "1". When I looked at the paper the number was written 1-800-555-1212 so I dialed it. The second "1" turned the first three digits into 911 (Just in case you didn't catch that, I'm spelling it out!) and the local police emergency number answered. I didn't know that dialing the "9" would ever register like that. If I tried dialing 911 from my office I would have dialed 9-1-911. Now I know. Just 911 does it. I apologized profusely to the young lady who took it in stride.
THEN... Saturday, I was cleaning my office at home (instead of reading blogs!!!) and kept hearing these dogs yapping. I wasn't concerned since a few doors down across the street, two miniature Collies rule the neighborhood from their fenced-in run at the side of the house. My granddaughters are afraid of them and walk on the opposite side of me whenever we pass that house. The dogs are a bit aggressive and anti-social, much like their owners who are resentful at the browning of our neighborhood. But today, they (the dogs, not their owners) are on the sidewalk fending off the neighborhood kids. Then they take to the street to chase some people on the other side of the street. Literally, they're blockadeing the neighborhood. In the absence of their owners, the dogs are protecting the house, the sidewalk and the street. I see a couple of adolescent boys head toward the dogs, but they too retreat in defeat. I'm thinking if I can get to the gate of the dog run, they might go back inside. So I grab by camera tripod for a weapon (Tough tripod warrior, that's me!) and head that way but I can't get within a New York mile of the dogs either.
In order to avoid a Watts-style riot and a return to the clothing styles of the 70's, I resort to the telephone. 911. The operator was interested, getting details and promising to send "someone" when, voila' the owners pull into the driveway. So the dogs follow their not-so-neighborly neighbors into the house and peace reigns supreme.
Times I should Have Called 911 and Didn't
My BIL had an insulin reaction. When I came home, he was disoriented and hallucinating, so I got him in the car, a little yellow Toyota Corolla, and drove him to the emergency room. About halfway there on a Saturday morning I got caught in traffic at a stoplight. Michael's eyes were rolling back in his head, and I started worrying about him dying in the car. With my help that little yellow Corolla took the sidewalk around the corner. Still honking incessantly, I drove the rest of the way in controlled disobedience of traffic laws wishing a cop would come and give me a siren-screaming light-flashing escort. Of course, they might have whipped out the straight jacket instead and I could be writing this from the State Mental Institution. (Conveniently located here in our little town!!) I took that little joyride in 1990; I should have just called 911.
Any other 911 quality emergency would be even longer ago than 1990! Unless, of course, you count our near-E.T. experience yesterday. The girls and I wanted to go for a bike ride. Hubby warned us that there could be strong winds, but since he is somewhat of a Careful Carla (Carlos?), we listened and then continued. Within two minutes the cold front moved in with a vengeance. Trees were bent in the howling wind. We were on our way, but decided to cut our ride short and just finish our circuit around the block. By the time we were back on our street, the wind was blowing in our faces at a steady 40 miles an hour. Little M was directly in front of me and struggling to keep her bike moving. I felt like I was riding up the Rocky Mountains, my legs trembling with the effort. I could envision her, bicycle and all taking flight in the wind and wondered if I'd be able to grab the wheel of her bicycle as she flew past me overhead. Almost, but not quite, 911 quality.