911 What is Your Emergency?

I was cleaning my pantry this afternoon, looking for a bag of potatoes that had been in there at least two or three months, maybe even years.  I was desperately hoping the potatoes had not evolved into some sort of multi-eyed, multi-legged potato monster, lurking in the depths, waiting to rip my throat out when I dug too close to its lair.  Anyway, I was deep inside the pantry when the phone rang.

It had rung repeatedly in the last several minutes, but every time I tried to answer it, no one was there.  And the phone display said “conference” which usually means someone else in the house is on the phone.  But the phones were all downstairs and it was just Abby and I in the family room.  Anna was playing upstairs with her friend.  No one else could be on the phone.  Or so I thought.

So there I am, head and shoulders in the pantry, excavating down through layers of empty boxes, bags of chips with only crumbs left in them and 2000 different boxes of cereal when Abby brings me the phone.

“Hold on, she’s right here,” she said and handed me the phone with a puzzled look on her face.

“Hell0,” I muttered, trying to extricate myself from the pantry. 

“Hello, is this….” and she rattled off my address.

“What?” I asked in confusion.

“Is this the homeowner at……” she asked again.

“Yes it is,” I answered, completely bewildered.

“This is the Hoover police department,” she said, “and we received 911 call from some children at your residence and we are calling to make sure there’s no emergency.”

Readers, I nearly swallowed my tongue right then and there.  The bag of potatoes dropped from my suddenly numb fingers and I squeaked “Whaaaaaaaaaattttt?”

“Some children called from your residence,” she repeated patiently, “and we just want to make sure everything is ok.”  It clicked:  the goddess and her buddy (Nancy’s son) were dialing 911 for kicks and giggles.

Mentally I reviewed the state of my home.  No flames shooting out of the roof.  No armed, homicidal maniac in the house brandishing automatic weapons.  No ear piercing shrieks indicating that a child had just been maimed by a stray lite brite peg.  No, everything seemed pretty status quo.

“No ma’am,” I told her.  “There’s no emergency and I am so sorry.  I’m going to kill those children”

She laughed and I suddenly realized I had just verbalized intent to harm the children.  And I had verbalized it to an official of the police department.  Who would have no trouble testifying against me when the case went to trial.

“I mean, uh….uh….I don’t mean I’m actually going to kill them,” I stammered.  “But I promise they will never call you again.”  Cause I’m gonna kill ’em, I mentally added.

She assured me it was fine and hung up the phone.  I stood looking at it for a minute, wondering how these things happened to me.  They never called 911 from Nancy’s house, only mine.  I walked out of the kitchen, bellowing their names.  No answer.  I bellowed again, as I headed up the stairs.  No answer.

I went into the goddess’s room and there stood Abby, smirking guiltily.  Apparently she could not stand it and had to rush upstairs to tell the kids how much trouble they had caused and how Mommy was now going to chop them up into little tiny pieces.  Or something like that.  It must have been bad, because both children were inside of the closet with the door shut.

“I’m not mad at you,” I snarled quietly, “but you need to come out RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!” 

They emerged from the closet sheepishly, looks of terror on their angelic faces.  “Did you call 911?” I asked quietly.

They denied it of course.  But there on the floor was the incriminating cordless phone.  I snatched it up and scrolled through redial and there it was, plain as day, 911!!  I asked again and they denied it, but they knew I knew they knew it had happened.  I got down in their faces, never breaking eye contact and said “DO NOT EVER DIAL 911 AGAIN, UNDERSTAND??????”

“Yes ma’am,” they both said, eyes downcast.  I walked out of the room and did some breathing exercises.  I am sure my house is now going to be under constant surveillance from the police department.  And if I dial 911, they’ll probably think I’m kidding.  So how’s your afternoon going?



  1. Bill
    Posted August 21, 2007 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    Don’t blame the kids. The squirrels did it.

  2. Posted August 21, 2007 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    They called instead of just sending a cop car over because it was just too damn hot today to be out! 104 degrees – I thought I was in Alabama, not the Sahara. Geeezzz.

  3. Posted August 21, 2007 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    I hit post on my comment and at the same time got the notification that you’d left me one. Like minds, huh?

    I’ve been through the leukemia before and thought we were all good now. Seems my cats like to test false negative. I’m not testing the other three as since they can’t treat it anyway and I don’t want to know!! I went to Metro Cat Clinic on Valleydale. Loved the vet and the staff.

    (I’d email this but can’t seem to locate your addy!)

  4. Kiki
    Posted August 22, 2007 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    Funny, I was just having a converstion about 911 with my 6 year old the other day. I said, “Now, you know what to do if mommy is ever lying there and you can’t wake her up, right?” No answer. Daddy piped up–“Sure he does–you dial 991, right buddy.” I just stared at his father, completely shocked that we were even from the same planet, much less the same country! So don’t worry about that ever happening when we’re over. Those three numbers are just too hard to remember! By the way, the 6 year old’s response to this conversation was, “I’ll just use the button on the cell phone.” Typical!

  5. Renee
    Posted August 22, 2007 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    We have had the men in blue to our house, oh, about FIVE times because my children mistakenly called 911. Yes, my cell phone number is very close to 911, and each time they do this, it’s because they’re trying to call me. However, when the 911 operator answers, they are too embarressed to admit their mistake, so the police have to come to my sedate street to check on us! The last time one came over, I was nonchalantly taking the groceries out of my car. “Is everything alright, m’am?” “Wha…?” “We got a 911 call to this address.” Great, time to kill the children again. So I instructed them to tell the operator that they dialed it by mistake. Did that help? NO! They still have to send out a car because a perp might say it’s a mistake just to keep away the cops. Jeesh! Wish my precinct would neglect me like yours did.

  6. Kiki
    Posted August 22, 2007 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    They have discontinued use of the 991 prefix in this part of town for that very reason. Probably people like my husband getting confused…

  7. Posted August 22, 2007 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

    No one called 911 from my house today, but I did find out that Panera Bread has blocked access to my blog because it’s classified as pornography.

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