Sunday, December 3, 2017

Scary Gandalf

It was Thursday morning and I was very late for work. Or as Brianne would call it, "having a typical morning."

Brianne decided some time ago that I never go to work. This is based on the two or three times in the last year that she has stopped by my office to see me and I wasn't there. Now occasionally when she sees me around 4:00 in the afternoon her usual greeting is "did you just get here?"

She also thinks that I don't dress appropriately for the office, a sentiment apparently shared by a colleague named Ryan who upon seeing this picture posted on Instagram recently



wherein I explained that I had just picked Duncan up from his haircut, Ryan commented that I dress better for Duncan's haircuts than I do for work.

The point is, I am an abuse victim in the office.

And the other point is that I was running very late for work on Thursday when I suddenly heard violent shouting coming from outside.

I've been having nightmares pretty much every night for two months and I don't know why and I certainly don't deserve it because I'm a pretty good person and I don't watch violent media. These nightmares have included

- Getting married to someone I didn't know

- Finding out that my house has burned to the ground with Duncan inside

- A Glee revival

- Falling into the Grand Canyon

- Etc.

As you can see from the "Etc." there are a lot more examples of nightmares.

But the most vivid one occurred last week wherein Salt Lake City had a 10.0 earthquake while I was out of town and when I drove back into the city I saw entire buildings collapsing upon themselves and I had to spend the rest of the nightmare digging through the wreckage to find my family and friends in my city that was ultimately completely and utterly destroyed.

That one hasn't quite left me yet and as a result I've been googling earthquake preparedness tips for the last 7 days.

So with that amped-up anxiety, the shouting that I heard on Thursday morning when I was late for work, and not dressed nearly as well as when I pick up Duncan from his haircuts, gave me a mild panic attack.

It did the same for Duncan who flipped out and immediately pulled out of himself a bark that he was saving for just such an occasion. A bark that was so loud that my house is now technically considered a crime scene.

I tried, in vain, to get Duncan to shut up so I could investigate the source of the shouting. And then I found it.

A man dressed in a long wizard's cape, carrying a tall staff topped with feathers from a variety of exotic birds, was marching down the center of my quiet Salt Lake City street on a Thursday morning at 10:00 I ALREADY TOLD YOU I WAS RUNNING LATE STOP JUDGING ME.

He was dressed mostly in what looked like wool blankets. He had a long messy beard and his hair hung a third of the way down his back. He was wearing black boots that extended nearly to the knee. Boots that looked like they were probably once pretty shiny.

His staff slammed on the ground with every other large step he took.

And he was shouting. No, he was screaming, as he marched down the center of the otherwise quiet street.

Most of what he was screaming I can't type here because this website has a super draconian and fascist censorship policy so it would probably get deleted along with every single one of your comments that doesn't directly praise me. Suffice it to say, he apparently wanted to do something very inappropriate with "the police."

Then his hate speech became more concerning because it became more relevant to me.

"I'M GOING TO MURDER EVERY PERSON WHO LIVES ON THIS STREET!"

So, I don't know how the world is supposed to end, but this exact scene is one of my theories to a freaking T. So as soon as I heard that part I was all like "NOPE." And then I freaking called 911.

The 911 operator woman wanted to know what my emergency was, which is a question that shouldn't surprise me considering the number of times I've called 911 in my life, but every single time they ask me that I have a mini crisis of conscience where I'm like "is this actually an emergency?"

I decided that evil Gandalf stating that he was going to murder me and The Perfects and Lynne and Duncan was probably emergency enough and so I began to describe the scene.

So, for my job I speak with law enforcement and other authorities about really depressing child abuse matters every single day. As a result, I've become pretty accustomed to calmly and efficiently having very intense conversations with people who are supposed to help stop bad things.

And so the words just began to flow out of my mouth. And I could tell that the 911 woman was at least mildly relieved that she was talking to someone who could pretty quickly paint the scene with very few words, and do it without a lot of screaming because I imagine that most calls that go to 911 just sound like this: "AAAAAAAAHHHHH MURDER AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH MY BABY AHHHHHHHH HE'S IN THE HOUSE AAAAAHHHHH CATS EVERYWHERE!!!"

That assumption is based entirely on every single time they ever play a 911 call on news reports on tv.

But as I was explaining what was happening and quoting the things Scary Gandalf was saying, using words that Cathie better never hear me say in any context whatsoever, I suddenly realized that I was not at work and my mind went into this weird hyper-drive mode wherein I started profusely apologizing to this woman for saying words that one should never say over the phone while talking to a lady.

She cut me off at some point and told me that actually she appreciated that I didn't sugar-coat the story because a lot of people "around here" (read: "in Mormon land") have a difficult time talking clinically about impolite topics, at which point I actually said the words "oh, I do child abuse all day so I'm used to this" and then I had to try to back-track a bit to help her understand that although I have on at least one occasion offered to help internet moms slap their children in the grocery store, I don't actually do child abuse, but instead I do boring law stuff when other people do child abuse.

By the time we got off the phone I was so flustered that I just got into my car and drove to work so Brianne could walk by and make that "tsk tsk" sound without any other comment.

It was around this time that I realized that the 911 woman had said "we'll send an officer to your house," which was not a good idea since I wasn't even home anymore and since Scary Gandalf was already halfway to Reno by the time we even got off the phone.

The amount of anxiety I felt from imagining The Perfects looking out of their windows to watch a police officer pound on my unanswered door in the middle of a Thursday caused at least four more earthquake dreams.

When I told friends about this later a couple of them commented that I call 911 an abnormal amount of times for a non-crazy functioning grownup so I started taking a poll and I found out that several of my friends have never called 911 in their whole lives, which sounds crazy to me.

How many times have you called 911? Any good stories out there?

~It Just Gets Stranger

47 comments:

  1. I call 911 on drivers I think are drunk all the time. Did you swerve? 911. Are you going too slow? 911. Are you driving a Toyota Previa? 911. I don’t want to brag, but I think I’m the hero Mesa deserves.

    There was also this one time I called 911 because a homeless guy was walking down the freeway median during rush hour. The operator said, “Are you calling about the gentleman in the median by the tunnel?” And I said yes, but I wouldn’t call him a gentleman, and she laughed and hung up.

    Then there was the time my congressman’s son rear-ended a poor, innocent girl on the way home from high school. I called 911 on him. He actually cried a lot, and I felt bad for him, but at the same time if we can’t trust a congressman’s son to not rear-end citizens, who can we trust?

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  2. I called 911 when my kid cut both of her index fingers off. Long story. I remember screaming (much like your example, minus the cats) "blood! Blood everywhere! There's so much blood!" In my defense, every time her heart pumped, her hands squirted blood like fountains. It took the poor operator 15 minutes to deduct that my child had hurt her hands, NOT that I was calling from a murder scene. Her fingers were sewn back on and she was so cute she came home with like 30 stuffed animals so, y'know. Happily ever after.

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    1. Kina, Kina, Kina...kind Kina. Please. I must know. I *need* to know. You gotta tell us how your kid cut BOTH OF HER INDEX FINGERS OFF BECAUSE OMG, COME ON.

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    2. I'm with Faith on this one, we need details Kina.

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    3. Well. Since you asked so politely. Many moons ago we had kid's folding chairs (until we got home from the hospital after this accident). My then 2-year old opened one up and sat on it. The safety mechanism didn't lock properly, so the legs didn't actually lock into place. She sat, it folded her body in half, her fingers were between the legs as she tried to grip the seat to save herself from falling. It truly was like watching a horror scene in slow motion - when she landed, her entire body weight was on the chair which had both index fingers pinched between the closed legs. To this day I'm terrified that I actually did more damage trying to open that chair up, since at that point there was no blood. I've watched enough Grey's Anatomy now to know that when a thing is stuck on/in a person's body, you leave it there until the hospital removes it. I pulled her out of the chair and that's when I saw her fingers were left there and the bloody gore show began.

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    4. Kina, that is horrifying!! I can’t even, I don’t even know what I would do, if it were anyone let alone my baby. I wish I could hug you or something.

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  3. I’ve called 911 maybe half a dozen times? I report accidents I’m involved in, no matter what. And I got into a (verbal) fight with a boyfriend as a teenager that upset me so much I called the police. I think I called for something else once but can’t for the life of me recall.

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  4. The only time I regret not calling 911 is when I saw some guy beat up a girl about 50 feet from me as I was walking past. A small part of me was revolted that this kind of abuse even occurred, but I'm ashamed to admit that the larger part that kept me from calling 911 was the fear that the abuser would hear me calling the cops on him and then turn his aggression on me. But I was an obedient Mormon missionary and my mission companion was levelheaded enough to promptly called 911.

    Oh, and I just remembered another time that I thought of calling 911. I witnessed a driver turning right at the University Parkway/State Street intersection hit a pedestrian crossing the street. My reaction time was a little faster than my previous 911 experience but slower than that of my friend's reaction because she had 911 on the line at lightning speed.

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    1. I was terrified that my meth neighbor would realize I had called on him, or even that he would realize we existed at all. I totally get that reaction- and also feel guilty for it.

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    2. Your neighbor was so scary, Ames.

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  5. I have only called 911 once, about 2 or 3 years ago on Thanksgiving. The people on the other side of the alley thoughtfully set the dumpster on fire. (My description usually uses a lot of colorful adjective before the word people, but for you I left them out. These people have a LOT of fires.) There had been a storm and my back gate was frozen shut, so I couldn't go out and see what was actually happening, I could just see flames through the slats of my fence. You know how when you need to see through slats, you move your head back and forth real fast to make the slats disappear and you can see a whole picture? There was a lot of that going on. So I called 911. I knew they would ask a lot of questions and I knew to stay calm and answer all their questions, but I can understand how people panic when calling. I wanted to scream "stop talking and get someone out here before they burn us all alive!!!" but I didn't, so points for me.

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  6. I've called 911 once in my life. My husband and I were walking up the stairs from the basement late at night to go to bed, when we heard some strange noises upstairs. We froze, and listened more carefully. After about 5 seconds we heard the same noises. It sounded like it was coming from our living room, and it sounded like moving. My husband told me to go downstairs and call the police, and he'd go upstairs and see what was going on. So I did what I was told, called 911 and told them that someone was in our house. Then my husband came back downstairs and told me it was just the icemaker. I don't think the dispatcher thought it was as funny as we did.

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    1. Too funny, but I bet the ice maker has a rap sheet a mile long at 911.

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    2. The amount of times that I've been concerned about a possible intruder, only to find out that my husband has laundry in the machines across the house is *innumerable*. At least your husband took the concern seriously! When I hear a noise that I think needs investigating, my husband lumbers out of bed in his underwear, and goes to look and see what's up with no weapons in hand, or anything. :/

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  7. I called 911 twice in my life. The first time, my brother and I wanted to see what happens when you call, so we called but hung up before they answered. Little did we know, 911 calls you right back if you hang up before talking to them. They called back and we told the operator we called on accident which thankfully she believed (even though I sound like a 5 year old on the phone, even now, at 31 years old) and didn't send an officer to our house.
    The second time I called, we had just gotten home from a Gaithers concert and I got a call from my mom that their house got broken into. They got home to find their door kicked in. They refuse to get cell phones so, against better judgment and not knowing if the perps were still inside, my dad ran in, got the cordless phone and ran back out and instead of calling 911, my mom called me to ask me to call 911 for them. The operator was confused because I couldn't give her many details since I wasn't at the location of the crime. The police showed up at my parents house OVER AN HOUR LATER! What if the guys were still inside and tried to hurt my parents on their way out?! Thankfully everything was ok but my mom still refuses to go to any other Gaither concerts.

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  8. I called 911 a few times in my life. The first was when I was about 15 or so and thought there was an intruder in the house. We lived in a bungalow, so everything was on one floor. It was the middle of the night and a noise woke me up. I, being the stranger danger savvy person that I am, immediately guessed that our house was being burgled. My bedroom door was closed and everyone else was sleeping, but I could hear some rustling coming from the kitchen and every once in a while the noise would come closer to my bedroom door, then return to the kitchen/living room area. I called 911 pronto and told the police someone was in my house. They arrived very quickly and woke everyone up in the process. We let them in and lo and behold, no burglar. Took some detective work, but it turns out the dog had gotten into the garbage and was bringing the food stuffs she found whilst digging in the garbage bag (i.e. rustling noise) and would come and eat it in the hallway near our bedrooms. Needless to say, the whole thing was very embarrassing.
    Also, don't ask me why, but during the whole incident, I completely forgot we even HAD a dog, who SHOULD have barked had an actual intruder intruded into the house. *facepalm*

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  9. I've only called 911 once. I was 20 and had just had my first ever bee sting. After 2 decades of hearing about the awful (sometimes fatal) reaction people can have from bee stings, I immediately panicked and was SURE I could feel my throat swelling up. Luckily the operator was very nice about it (and I'm 100% positive she made fun of me after) and I didn't actually have any allergic reaction. But since having kids I've called poison control more times than I care to admit. I'm pretty sure toddlers have a death wish and it's our job to keep them alive until they're old enough to stop eating and drinking chemicals and entire tubes of toothpaste.
    -Loretta

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    1. I'm actually REALLY glad to hear my kid isn't the only one to have eaten a tube of toothpaste!

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    2. I had the poison control on speed dial #3 (back when we had house phones) because my son ate EVERYTHING. His favorites were his sister's stick deodorant and fabric softener. He'd throw out every other deodorant in the drawer and would even point hers out in the store. He was 2.

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  10. I unfortunately had to call the cops last week when my drunk neighbors (a super old guy and a super young guy) started fighting at 4:30AM and did not stop until I called at 6:00AM. I did the polite banging on the wall a few times so they knew I could hear them, but that did not stop them. Once I heard the fighting start to turn physical, I called and figured they'd leisurely send a patrol car over. Wrong. They sent FIVE patrol cars immediately over and my complex was awash in red and blue flashing lights. Apparently the super young guy had a warrant for his arrest and they figured this was the perfect time to pick him up. So they arrested him and the old guy was drunk out of his mind, but they let him stay. My other neighbors and I have made so many complaints against these guys since they moved in a month ago that the landlord is already preparing eviction documents. *facepalm*

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  11. I call 911 on any semi truck driver that looks like they might need to get more sleep (the dispatcher just transfers you over to the police department, they always seem appreciative).

    But my craziest 911 experience was actually in a “stranger collapses in the street and I have to do CPR” situation which was crazy. A young pregnant woman collapsed in the middle of the crosswalk in an extremely busy intersection in San Francisco (where I live) and had a seizure. It was crazy happenstance that my husband and I were even there to help (a story for another time). But luckily I’m a nurse on a neurological ICU and have CPR training and extensive experience with seizures. But using my CPR training in the street is something they always say might happen during your training but something I never thought I’d experience. Anyway, I stoppped to help in the middle of the street with the muni train whizzing by, cars honking, and literally a homeless guy screaming about devils possessing people and throwing his beer bottle at us (that will make more sense to people who have ever been to SF). I handed my phone to some girl who stopped to help and she called 911 while my husband directed traffic and deflected the homeless mans beer bottle (not joking). I also had to tell everyone who was trying to help who had no idea what they were doing to step away and my husband eventually yelled “she’s an ICU nurse! she knows what she’s doing! Step away!” Anyway, the paramedics got there within 5 minutes of us calling but it felt like an hour. They whizzed off and the polic officer asked us if there was any foul play. When we said no he walked off. Literally leaving me, my husband, and the girl who called 911 just awkwardly standing there like “that’s it?” And we just looked at eachother and said “have a good night?” And went to dinner. Crazy stuff.

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  12. I've called 911 3 times:
    1) to report a 6 foot ladder in the middle of I-15 which had fallen off of someone's truck and had opened up and was lying across 2 lanes;
    2) to report a fire at my neighbor's home (they had a firepit they thought was out ... wind came up and sparks hit the wood pile under the deck. By the time we saw it over the fence, the flames were about 6-7 feet high.) They were home at the time but in another part of their home and didn't know anything was up until the firetrucks showed up. If they'd looked out their back windows they would have seen my husband scrambling around their back yard with a hose trying to wet the deck down so it wouldn't spread.
    3) to report a very impaired driver on I-15. We were driving next to her and ended up following her for several miles off the freeway until the officers could get there. She was in several very close-calls with other drivers during that time and did hit someone at a stoplight (minor - so she kept on going). I was on the phone with the police dispatch the whole time relaying our location while my husband was driving until the police were able to intercept her and pull her over.

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  13. I know exactly who you're talking about! Is this the first time you've seen him? I see him around Liberty Park on fairly regular basis.

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  14. I called 911 twice, once on my daughter, she came home from school, and the back door was locked and instead of calling me or going to the front and ringing the doorbell, she proceeded to kick the door hard, over and over, the door was literally bouncing in with each kick. I had been carjacked the year before and was paranoid about everything and called 911 to report someone trying to kick my door in. She heard me on the phone with the operator and yelled it was her. I was so mad. Should have let them go ahead and send the police out.... Out of character for her, she's really a great kid, just not so much that day.

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  15. A few years ago, my husband and I had just moved into a new (to us) apartment. A few days after we had moved in, I heard screaming outside our window at about 6am. At first I thought it was a movie playing or something, but it was some neighbors from across the complex just SCREAMING at each other. I looked out the window just in time to see him wind up and hit her. I had never seen someone actually hit another human outside of boxing matches and it really freaked me out. I started crying and woke my husband up with, “Peter he just hit her!” And he, being woken from a dead sleep by that statement, immediately grabs his gun (oops). So now I’m trying to explain the situation while sobbing and watching these two people outside hit each other. I called 911 and reported it and they said an officer might come ask us questions! So then I’m even more terrified that these violent people are going to know who called the cops on them and doubly freaking out.
    This happened about twice a month, with various neighbors calling the police. They also had two young kids who would follow me into my apartment and ask for snacks, lock themselves in my bathroom, ask to see my bedroom (no no no no no) etc.
    The adults were arrested a few months later for cooking (making? Growing?) meth in their apartment.
    For about a year afterwards, whenever I thought I heard people yelling, until I could tell if they were just having fun or actually yelling at each other, I would get really REALLY bad anxiety!

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  16. I had to call 911 after I fell asleep driving on I-70. My cruise control was set to the speed limit, so I hit the guard rail at high speed. The van spun around and somehow didn't hit any other cars. I can only imagine I must have been driving erratically for a while, drifting around, and the other drivers were paying attention to stay away from me. This memory still terrifies me. My baby slept through the whole thing in his car seat. I'm so glad I didn't kill us or anyone else. My last memory was "who can I call to talk to so I stay alert?" Now I always carry caffeine pills in my glove box for just in case, and for a few years after that experience, I refused to drive alone anywhere that was longer than 30 minutes away. Moms with babies are too sleep deprived for road trips. I'm also way, way more honest with myself about how drowsy I'm feeling. I hate this memory. I really thought I was going to get a ticket or arrested or something. I assumed it was against the law to fall asleep driving, but apparently not. All I got was a bill from my insurance company about the cost of repairing the guard rail.

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    1. So glad you made it through okay! I remember getting pulled over by a cop because I apparently was drifting late at night. My apt was just 45 minutes away, so I was pretty embarrassed that I was pulled over. I hope I was only out for a few seconds or something, but I have no idea. I definitely had my radio on for the rest of the 40 minute trip home. I'm much better now about pulling over to sleep for a few hours even if it is during the day.

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  17. I called 911 when I heard 5 gunshots near my house at 2 am. I called when I heard yelling and heard one gunshot in the middle of the afternoon. I called when a drunk woman started pounding on my door wanting in because "they were going to kill her" I called when my ex wouldn't leave (I should have sprayed him with a hose). Yes, I used to live in a bad neighborhood, why do you ask? Strangely enough, I didn't hear a thing when two people were murdered a block and a half away one night.

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  18. I have called 911 four times, all since moving to this really nice, quiet neighborhood with my white picket fence. To sum up: 1. When the creepy man followed us home from the park (we had walked, and I had my little children with me), and repeatedly asked me how often and how hard I spank my daughters. The police told me they would "add my report to his file". 2. When the meth neighbors moved in and tried to kill each other. Repeatedly. In their front yard. I only called on them once, but they had the cops a couple times a week for months. I watched him get arrested twice. Nasty bit of a person. 3. When the party down the street dissolved into chaotic fighting and my yard was suddenly flooded by a hundred (maybe more?) screaming, yelling extremely angry young people and I didn't know what they would do to us. 4. I just remembered this one, I think I had blocked it. My husband was out of town, and I was maybe 7 months pregnant with my third baby. It was dinner time, and getting dark outside. The phone rang, and we still had a house phone at the time. I didn't recognize the name on the caller id but my husband frequently got calls from people I didn't know due to his responsibilities at church, in organizing service and whatnot. So, I answered expecting it to be an old person who needed something (it usually was). This nasty voice said slowly, "I will kill you." I, not expecting to hear something like that said, "Excuse me?" And again, angrier this time, "I WILL kill you." and then the person hung up. I sort of stewed for a minute, then called my mom and tried to get her to convince me it was a prank. Instead she said if I didn't call 911 she would, because for all we knew this person was outside in my bushes at that moment. So I called, they sent two officers out to get information, they went to the person's house and looked around and found it was a very old woman and I had nothing to worry about. She called me again just after midnight and again promised she would kill me. I called the police back, because if nothing else, this woman needed help and should maybe not be living on her own. I had a hard time sleeping for a long time after that, and was a little angry with my husband that he STILL wouldn't let me get a dog. I wanted a very large dog for a long time after that experience. (but I just found out yesterday he has decided we can get a very small dog for Christmas!!)

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    1. Congratulations on convincing your husband to get a dog! What a difference it made to your last experience to end it with getting a dog! My oldest sister adopted a stray dog who would follow her on her walks when she was pregnant with her first. I think there was a rapist/murderer/etc loose around her neighborhood at the time, and that sweet large dog was a HUGE blessing to her and our family until he passed away this year. He was such a good dog!

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    2. Sarah RB- it is seriously such a big deal for him to say we can get a dog, he has had nothing but bad experiences with dogs his whole life, so he told me “as long as I can completely ignore the dog, we can get one”. Deal, sir. (Amy Rose)

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    3. Gah. I had totally forgotten that last experience, too!!! Amy, yours are so scary!!!

      Also, did, you’re allowed to rescue a dog and I hear about it from the Stranger comments instead of the family chat?!

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  19. Shortly after my second baby was born, there was a break in at a neighbor's house. We knew about it because the police had stopped by to ask if we'd seen or heard anything, but they seemed to suspect that it involved a personal vendetta with the neighbor across the street. Still, it made me a little nervous. So, the next morning, I'm putting my toddler in the car and planning to run back in for the baby so that we can go to the pediatrician. I see a couple of guys across the street peaking in the windows of the house over there, and it just seems kind of suspicious. Then I notice that they're both wearing guns. GUNS. I swear I'd never seen anyone actually carry a gun (yes, I had a sheltered childhood). Panic stricken, I grabbed my two year old out of the car and ran back into the house to call 911. Clearly these were drug lords who sold meth to the lady across the street, which we all knew she was into because she would mow her lawn at 3am. My children and I were in imminent danger of being caught in the crossfire when these drug lords tried to get their money out of her, so I called 911. The first thing they asked me was my phone number (like they don't know that already), but I was so scared I couldn't remember it at all. I literally had to look at a list from church to see my own phone number so I could tell 911. The nice lady promised to send a sheriff's deputy right out, so then I watched out the window for them to come. I mean, I still needed to get to the doctor's office, but I wasn't leaving until the nice officer arrived to keep me safe. As I was watching, one of the guys walked across the yard in a different direction and I noticed something besides the gun attached to his belt. It was a badge. He was a plain clothes police officer investigating the robbery from the day before. I called the police on him. I thought the guys in their khaki pants and button down shirts were drug lords. I was so embarrassed that I quickly loaded my kids into the car and left before the sheriff's deputy arrived. In fact, I passed him coming into the neighborhood as I left. I still don't know if they even knocked on my door to talk to me or if they just all got together and laughed how I made 911 send out a police officer to check on the police officers.

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    1. Cops have such a difficult job that I'm pretty sure our panicked overreactions are one of their sources of entertainment. Better to be safe than sorry!

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  20. I have never called 911, not because I've never had a reason too, but because I like to downplay situations. For example I used to work night shift at a gas station alone, once had a 2 hr convo with someone that I'm 90% sure was a drug addict and spending a suspicious amount of time in the bathroom and asking a little too personal questions of me and customers. Later that same night let two strangers sit in the store for 2 hrs, police came by chance to chat while on break, told me I was prbly being cased, and kicked the people out. In retrospect I should probably take more heed of my instinctual suspicion, but hey nothing too bads ever come of my optimism...

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    1. Um, I held the door once and gave a warm greeting to a man who would rob a gas station at gunpoint 5 minutes after I drove away with my friends. We Pollyanna types make the world a softer place.

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  21. Please tell me the scary Gandalf was this guy:

    http://fox13now.com/2015/12/13/salt-lake-citys-dancing-wizard-blows-his-horn-to-tout-charitable-cause/

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  22. I have called 911 three times in ten days, all to report fires.
    1. The esthetician at the hair studio I worked at as a brand new massage therapist had left towlesnin her crock pot all weekend. They started to smolder and when I walked into the salon on Monday morning, I knew immeadeatley there was a problem. I could smell melting paint, plastic and a chemical smell. I ran through the salon, grabbed the phone and the client book and called 911.

    2. Three days later I was walking my son to school, he was in kindergarten at the time. We came up anset of stairs at the end of our cup-de-sac and turned the corner toward the school. I could smell something, but my mind wasn’t placing the smell as FIRE. As we turned the corner and I saw small piles of leaves and grass burning, and the fence was scorched. I told my son to stay and I ran over and stomped out the flames. When I got to the school, I called 911 to report it. They sent an officer out, he took down my information and reminded me that I should have left the fires burning and called 911. Oooops.

    3. About a week later I was driving home and on a city highway. It’s super dry in Colorado, and that fall was more dry than most. I came over a small rise and it took me a second to register that the grassy median was on fire. When I called 911, the dispatcher told me they had units on the way already.

    In retrospect, I’m super glad I wasn’t labeled as an arsonist. That would have definitely been the case when I was 11 years old, not so much who I was at 27 years old...

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  23. I am 31 years old and have never called 911. This is particularly noteworthy because we just spent 3 years living in the suburbs of Memphis, one of the most dangerous cities in th US.

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  24. I call about monthly. If I see something, I call. Cars in an accident? Car pulled over on a blind turn? Suspicious people walking through my neighborhood? Homeless guy sleeping in the women’s restroom at work? Super drunk driver? Neighbors seeming violent? Coworker collapses?
    Some of these might seem silly, but I never have to wonder “what if”. No ragrets, right?

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  25. I’ve never called 911 but I did call the non emergency line when my friends and I witnessed a drug deal....although now that I think about it they could have just been selling their leftovers....

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  26. This made me laugh so hard I think I stopped breathing! I am a 911 dispatcher and I can tell you we really do appreciate accurate description, and so long as they aren’t directed at us (which most of the time they are...sigh) sentence enhancers are amusing.

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  27. I have never personally called 911, but when I was 11 my parents made me take a First Aid class before I could start babysitting. A girl in our FIRST AID class at the Red Cross got her hand stuck in a vending machine, so the teacher called 911. Almost 20 years later and the irony still cracks me up.

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  28. When I was in second grade, I was very impressed by the firefighter demonstration at school and that night I thought it would be cool to try out calling 911, just to see if it worked. Of course it did work, and the second I heard someone's voice on the other end of the phone, I panicked and hung up. About 15 minutes later two police officers knocked on our door and my mother was wildly concerned for about two minutes until they explained what had happened, and then she was relieved and angry. But, little scaredy-cat, seven-year old me desperately didn't want to get in trouble, and I managed to convince both my parents that my younger sister was the one who had "accidentally" called 911, even though she barely knew her numbers. They actually tested it: they handed her the phone, and by the luck of the Irish, she pointed to the number 9 and I was off the hook.

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  29. I've called 911 Eleventy Billion Times. The most dramatic was when I tripped in my bedroom and fell into a door jam. I broke my arm, the bone was in two seperate pieces. Gross. The way our house is situated, the paramedics could not get the stretcher in the house. I just had a top and sweater and my underpants. I walked outside to the stretcher and told them to get me in the ambulance and give me some morphine!! The doctor at the ER who looked right at the X-Ray told me I was fine. Two days later I saw an orthopedist who saw the break (it was very obvious) and ordered surgery for me. Except I was bruised. As in, more than black and blue, it was kind of disgusting. I had to wait 12 days for surgery. SURGERY is another story for another time. Let's just say I woke up in a LOT of pain. A plate and 10 screws. Ow.

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