Saturday, December 31, 2011

911 Calls

In my more cynical moments, I sometimes suspect that the human species as a whole is getting dumber and dumber as time passes.  Think of the great minds that have furthered our knowledge and our capabilities throughout history; Socrates, Plato, Sir Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, Alexander Fleming, Benjamin Franklin, James Watt, Marie CurieGeorge Washington Carver and Christiaan Huygens, to name but a few.  Whom do we have today to compare with intellects such as these?  Stephen Hawking perhaps?  For all his mathematical and physics genius, even he has been known to show signs of narrow-mindedness.

But it isn't the apparent dearth of modern mental giants that occasionally fills me with dismay, so much as the plethora of modern fools.  I offer into evidence this article which recently appeared in my local newspaper concerning insipid calls made to 911 emergency hot lines in my province during the past year.  It only lists the "Top Ten" although the article notes that, with a little less self-restraint, authorities could easily have published a "Top Twenty" list.  Here they are, verbatim, just in case the above link ever stops working or for readers who can't be bothered to jump around between web sites.  This is obviously not my work; I'm only passing it along.

Number 10:
During a snow emergency in early February, a woman called police to complain that snowplows were cleaning her street and making too much noise.

Number 9:
A 17-year-old called police to seek advice. He wanted to know if he could disown his mother because she wouldn’t give him money.

Number 8:
A man called police because he found a roll of carpet on his front lawn and wanted an officer to attend his residence. He cancelled the call when he found out his wife put the carpet there.

Number 7:
A woman called 911 after being denied entry to a nightclub. She forgot her identification and wanted an officer to attend to verify her name and prove to security staff that she was of legal drinking age. When she was told police don’t do that, she argued that they should.

Number 6:
A man called 911 to request an ambulance for a friend. Before the call ended, a man was heard in the background saying, “Don’t worry, I’ll get rid of the dope.” Police were dispatched to the location but were unable to find any drugs.

Number 5:
A man called police when he saw a “small lion” cross the road in front of him. He was also quick to point out that he had not smoked any drugs — “that day.”

Number 4:
A woman called police to have a man removed from her residence. She no longer wanted his company after they were sharing a sofa to sleep on. She wanted the other end but the man wouldn’t switch. 

Number 3:
A man called 911 to report that his vehicle was just stolen from his driveway. He provided a description and the direction of travel. Officers scoured the area but were unable to locate it until they attended his house and found it right where he left it. It turned out the man saw a vehicle just like his drive by his house and jumped to the conclusion his had been stolen.
 
Number 2:
Police responded to a 911 call when screaming was heard in the background. The investigation revealed that a couple were arguing because the man wanted to play Xbox while the woman wanted to play Nintendo Wii. The breaking point came when the man opened a new pack of cigarettes while another package was already open.
 
And last, but certainly not least, the Number 1 idiotic 911 call (at least in Ontario) for 2011:
A woman (who needs to be slapped repeatedly until she finally smartens up) called 911 because her cats ate her Whopper and she wanted another one.
 
The other thing that almost all these people have in common, aside from being singularly stupid, is a level of self-absorption that would make Spongebob Squarepants envious.  To tie up an emergency hot line (thereby very possibly delaying the response for people who are actually in real need of emergency assistance) because "My boyfriend won't switch sofa sides with me" or "My cats ate my Whopper" betrays a "Me First And To Hell With The Rest" mindset that actually becomes quite disturbing once we finally stop laughing.

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