Friday, July 06, 2007

9-1-1 On 7/4

I was talking to my friend Will Briarwood yesterday. I asked him how his Fourth was.

“Not too bad. But I did call 9-1-1 last night.”

Neighbors with late night fireworks again?

“No, those morons were a lot quieter this year. And besides, I don’t think the police ever showed up when we called them a couple years ago to complain. This year I called them about Monica.”


“About seven o’clock, the doorbell rang. I answered it, and it was a young woman, maybe college-age. She said she was a foreign exchange student – she did have a slight accent – and she was selling children’s books.”

Umm – that sounds pretty dangerous. Did you call Homeland Security, too?

“Ha. Let me continue the story. So she said to me that my children were probably older and moved out. She kept talking, and I cut her off and said I was sorry, but we would not be interested.”

Again, sounds pretty dangerous.

“Then she started asking about which of our neighbors had young children – and she pulls out this map she had drawn of our street, checking off different houses. She said she had knocked on one door twice by mistake, and that she wanted to keep track of which houses she had been to.”

OK, that does sound a bit weird.

“So I told her I did not feel comfortable giving out that sort of information, and she apologized, and went over to the house next door. Mary and I talked about her for a few minutes – we figured it was probably a ninety-five percent chance that she was just some kid selling books.”

And that other five percent?

“Well, there have been a few burglaries around our side of town, over the past few weeks, daytime burglaries. And the stories in the local papers, they always quote the police as saying that citizens should report any suspicious activity.”

So you reported.

“I called the non-emergency number. The woman there said I should call 9-1-1, and they could send a car. I called 9-1-1 – I told the dispatcher about her, and he said they would check her out.”


“Well, I made one mistake, I think – when the guy at 9-1-1 asked if I wanted the officer to come talk to us after he talked to the woman, I said no, that was not necessary. So I don’t know what happened.”

You never saw the police?

“Well, when I was talking to 9-1-1, I could see Monica – did I mention that she said her name was Monica? I could see her at one of the houses at the other end of the block. Then I saw her walk to the corner, turn north, and that’s the last I saw of her.”

Maybe the police saw her on the next block and talked to her.

“Maybe. I mean, I felt bad for this woman, because she probably was just someone selling books. But she was out on a holiday, and she was asking weird questions.”

You do not think that any of your neighbors would call the police?

“I don’t think many of them were home last night. But before Monica left, when I saw her talking to the neighbor at the end of the block, I could see the neighbor pointing to several of the houses down there, like she was telling Monica which houses to go to.”

If Monica was working with burglars, I guess knowing which houses had young children would mean it would be more likely that those houses would have someone home during the day, right?

“Yeah, I wish I had thought of something to tell her, like that Mary worked at home, or that she was out walking our big vicious dog and would be right back.”

Another story with no ending, Will…

“Write one for me. Like, ‘Police Crack Burglary Ring Thanks To Vigilant Citizen.’”

Or ‘Exchange Student Goes Back Home After Police Harassment.’

“Ha. Remind me to give you an update on the cats, next time I talk to you.”

Will do.

“What ever happened I apologize
so dry your tears and baby
walk outside, it's the Fourth of July

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