Wednesday, February 02, 2005
Faux 911House looking untidy? Need a kick-start to get the place looking presentable? Try accidentally dialing 911.
I did this a year ago when I was preparing for a conference call. I was cleaning the buttons and must have pressed a speed-dial button I'd forgotten I'd even set.
Although I heard the police despatcher's voice, I hung up in cowardly fashion, too ashamed at having wasted police time. But one doesn't escape that easily: within minutes I was called back, so I explained what must have happened.
*Still* one doesn't escape. A few minutes later, a knock on the door and a fit young constable who listened to my repeated apology but was more interested in "looking round". No fools, our law enforcers, and one doesn't need to be a Sherlock Holmes to envisage the obvious scenario:
- Spousal tiff.
- Wifey flees abusive hubby to sanctuary of bedroom.
- Frantically dials 911.
- Hubby smashes door down ("He-e-ere's Johnny!") and dashes receiver from her hand just as she gets through.
- Proceeds to beat wife senseless.
- 911 despatcher calls back.
- "Yes, officer, terribly sorry to waste your time. Completely my fault ... mea culpa and all that ... must've hit the wrong button. Alert of you ... bravo our LEOs ... Panic over. Thanks sooo much." Phew.
- Goes back to lugging wife cellar-wards.
- Knock knock. Who's there? "Officer Hansen". Ulp.
- Brisk check, sees blood and body, cuffs hubby. Justice served.
- Dishes in sink
- Dirty clothes everywhere but in washing machine
- Beds unmade
- Bathroom displaying patina of second-growth "fur"
- Trash bins o'erspilling.
- Floors actually crackling underfoot from chips and doritos droppings of the ages.
- Having *finally* got down to a) Fixing that ancient iron, b) Cannibalising the kitchen stool to repair the guest-room chair, there are clear signs of a struggle involving the destruction of household objects and Lord knows *what* damage to the delicate bonce over which they were broken.
At this point, I need to explain that the culprit speaker-phone is *usually* only used for checking times of Pavilion movies, hence I lazily settle for 'redial'.
I punch the button and to my horror hear the 911 despatcher voice. This time I pick up the receiver and, even as I'm explaining, I see my error: just above 'redial' are three speed-dial buttons, one of which I must have cautiously set to 911.
Panic stations. Emergency. Red alert.
- I owe the despatcher an explanation, to which she will listen politely and then 'despatch' a back-up cop to unearth the body.
- The state of the house would win a best-set Oscar for most convincing murder scene.
- If not qualify for make-over visit by those terrifying British tidiness harridans.
- Action stations double pronto.
- Bedclothes straight
- Narry a dirty sock in sight.
- Empty sink and the fragrant waft Dawn and baking soda.
- Innocent-looking work table with evidence of manly DIY in progress
- Neatly arrayed trash bins, ready for transfer to dump.
- Final convincing touch: the Pavilion's recorded announcement of movie times booming from the speakers.
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