Operator, what’s the number for 911?

“Hometown Fire Department, this line is recorded. What is the nature of your emergency?”

(Yes, our Red Line still goes BRRIIIIIING. It’s also still red and was built by Ma Bell. It’s a wonderful throwback to another era.)

Elderly Voice: “I burned some popcorn in the microwave, and I don’t want the fire alarm to go off.”

Confused Fire Lieutenant: “OK, sir, what is your address?”

EV: “Westville Elderly Complex, apartment 24.”

More Confused Fire Lieutenant: “Sir, you called the Hometown Fire Department. Is there a fire there? We can call the Westville FD for you.”

Annoyed Elderly Voice: “NO! I just burned some popcorn, and I don’t want the fire alarm to go off. I don’t want the fire department. I already opened the windows to let the smoke out, but it’s getting cold in here.”

Really Confused Fire Lieutenant: “Sir, if you’re in Westville, why did you call the Hometown FD?”

Very Annoyed Elderly Voice: “‘Well I couldn’t call 911 could I? I looked in the phone book, and this was the number listed under Fire Department.”

RCFL: “. . .”

VAEV: “So what about this popcorn? Will the fire alarm go off if I open the microwave?”

Formerly Confused, Now Amused Fire Lieutenant: “Sir, if it hasn’t sounded by now, it probably won’t. If it makes you feel better, you can leave the windows open until after you open the microwave. ”

Now Satisfied Elderly Voice: “OK, thank you.”

Amused Fire Lieutenant: “You’re welcome. Have a nice day, sir.”


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