Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Time to Invest in Earplugs

Last night The Funasaurus and I drifted off to sleep at about 10:30. Around 12:30, the phone rang. Thinking it was another prank call from King Soopers, I ignored the first couple of rings, until the paranoid part of my subconscious woke up, all, “DEAD RELATIVES!” “GAS LEAK!” “TATTOO INK RECALL!” “FLOOD OF BIBLICAL PROPORTIONS HOWEVER UNLIKELY SEEING AS HOW IT WAS NOT EVEN RAINING TWO HOURS AGO!”

So I bolted upright, dashed downstairs, and groped around until I found the phone buried under a pile of papers on the coffee table.

“Missed call: Emergency Notification.”

That didn’t do so much for my paranoia.

I went back upstairs and handed the phone to The Funasaurus, all, “DO SOMETHING!” while he stretched, wondering what the hell I was screeching about after only two decent hours of sleep.

“Is there a message? Check the messages!” I said, lobbing the phone in his general direction.

(Note to self: Maybe it’s time to bother to learn how to check the voicemail on our damn home phone.)

But no sooner did The Funasaurus hit talk, than the phone magically dialed a number and said something to the effect of, “You have been contacted about a possible emergency. Please turn on the T.V. or radio to listen to your local news.”

That was helpful.

So we went downstairs, The Funasaurus grabbed the remote, and I suddenly said, “What if it’s a gas leak?!?! You’re not supposed to turn on the T.V. if there’s a gas leak. If there’s even the tiniest spark, it will blow up our house and kitties and probably scorch the side of our neighbors house and THEN who will we watch American Idol with?”

The Funasaurus looked at me groggily, and I debated grabbing the cats and forcing him outside, to test the range of our remote control. Then I decided I was too tired to go back upstairs for decent pajama pants, and just turned on the T.V.

Fortunately, we did not blow up. And the local news station was playing Will & Grace reruns.

So we watched Will dish out the pithy commentary for a minute, before deciding that we really needed to DO something, because we were both too tired for Grace’s crisis du jour. So I called 911, which felt very official and simultaneously scandalous, even though it was a totally legitimate call.

“Officer Noddamyproblem speaking”

“Hi. Um. My name’s Cat. I live in this neighborhood. We were just woken up by an Emergency Notification call, but we don’t know what the emergency is.”

The officer took a minute.

“Oh, yes. It was a reverse 911 call. We’re sent them out to everyone in your neighborhood.”

He paused long enough for me to look outside and see no pending tornado or flood, as well as the dark windows of all of my neighbors who were smart enough to sleep through their emergency notification calls.

“There’s a missing child reported about five miles south of you.” And he proceeded with the description.

“Fine. Thanks, sir, if I see any eight-year-old males with a striped t-shirt and green shoes on my way back to bed, I will be sure to let you know.”

And The Funasaurus and I went back to bed, after peeking out the window to make sure no missing children happened to be wandering on our sidewalk at 1:00 AM.

Now I don’t take Amber Alerts lightly. I KNOW missing children are a Big Deal. But really, did they think it would be helpful to wake up an entire suburban neighborhood (well, at least me, see: smart neighbors, above) at 12:30 AM on a weeknight on the off-chance that the missing child would be spotted in the lamplight only five miles north of where he disappeared from?

And no, it wasn’t any major skin off of our back. But it did take me a while to get my adrenaline to calm down, before I was able to get back to sleep. And in that time, I decided to invent the caller ID that says, “You are not about to die, but we need you to be on the lookout for a missing kid.” I think it'll sell.


Diane said...

I am with you 100 percent. I too don't want to make light of missing children, but they have taken Amber Alerts to a ridiculous level.

BTW - ever since the horrible tsunami of a few years back, those of us living along the coast get tsunami alerts every time there is an earthquake within a million miles of the west coast of north and south america. how is that supposed to be helpful?

meno said...

That would have freaked me out too. Maybe there should be a reverse 911 call with ID that says "There's an episode of Will and Grace on, please get up and watch it."

DLPanther said...

How sweet that Dead Relatives was first on your list :-D