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Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Faux 911

House 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:

Eh bien. Back to reality. Cut to 2/2/05 and slobby Wednesday:Hey ho - nothing going on except the freedom-fried Bush stumbling over his Union speech ... why not make it "slacky" Wednesday, too? That Swank/Eastwood boxing flick sounds worth checking out.

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.

Ever felt like one of those cartoon characters, whizzing around in a multi-tasking blur of activity. That was me, and I'm amazed and dismayed by how much I achieved in fa├žade tidiness. By the time the rozzer arrived, it looked like a normal household: Apology to Fuzz; confident courteous tour of property; no bodies found; chateau Holmes looking miraculously fitter for human habitation than 10 minutes earlier.

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