One of the things my close friends will tell you is that my life often enough has a very surreal quality to it. Weird shit just happens to me. I can’t explain it. This is one such tale.
Last weekend, me and the family went for a walk in the neighborhood with the dog. A whole other surreal story aside, they went one way and me and the dog went another. Walking up the street and I hear one of the house’s fire alarms going off. Doing the right thing, I walk up to the house and ring the bell. No answer. Bang on the door. No answer. Look around and see several neighbors outside and none of them are acting remotely alarmed. I realize it’s probably nothing but I’d hate to be that guy who just walked by and a family of four burned to death. So, I dial 911. The dispatcher answers and we have this conversation:
Dispatcher: 911, what’s your emergency?
Me: Probably nothing. But one of the houses in my neighborhood’s fire alarm is going off.
Dispatcher: Fire or burglar?
Me: Sounds like my fire alarm. Going with fire.
Dispatcher: What’s your location?
Me: I’m at 2112 ABC street.
Dispatcher: Sir, we show you at XYZ street.
Me: Could be. I always get these two street names confused.
It then occurred to me that they can either track my location or, based on my mention of the address, deduced which street I meant. We continue
Dispatcher: Sir, we’re sending a unit your way. Do you mind staying put to show the officer where to go?
Me: Not at all. Will do.
Dispatcher: Thank you, sir.
At this point, me and the family have plans for a 5 o’clock movie and time is getting close. I call the Mrs. to tell her what just happened and that I would be a while. She asks me if I want her to come get the dog since him and staying in place is painful for all around. I say yes.
So, I wait.
I start pacing the street.
Suddenly, I see Junior whiz by the other street on her electric scooter. I assume she’s coming to get the dog but she just zipped by. I whistled loudly and she didn’t hear. I step up to the street she was going down to see her pulled over by one of The City (My The City)’s* finest. I watch. He pulls away and he’s the unit coming to the house that may or may not be on fire. I wave him down and point to the house. He pulls up, gets out of the car and we have this conversation.
Officer friendly: Are you the one who called 911?
Me: Yes, sir.
Officer friendly: And this is the house?
*he walks toward the house, gets his light out and knocks on the door. And starts looking in the windows.
Me: So, did you give my daughter a ticket?
Officer friendly: That was your daughter?
Officer friendly: We’ll talk about that later.
Me: Well, I probably called for no reason but I’d hate to have been wrong.
Officer friendly: Sir, did you look in the windows?
Me: No. I’m wearing a black hoodie and I figure me looking in windows would not be looked upon positively. As I said, it’s probably nothing
Officer friendly: Sir, there’s a body on the couch.
Me: The fuck?
Officer friendly: *gets police talky on his walky talky* I did hear him say he thought there was a body in the house.
Me: Be over here if you need me.
Officer friendly: *bangs on doors, rings bell, bangs on windows, and generally makes a lot of noise and his backup shows up*
Turns out, the alarm was going off for no discernible reason and the 90 year old women who lived there fell asleep on the couch and was also mostly deaf. She turned her hearing aid off and didn’t hear the alarm.
Officer friendly: *explains to me what happened and that all is OK* Then says: So, that was your daughter?
Officer friendly: Well, she needs to be 16 and have a license to have a scooter on the street.
Officer friendly: Yes, sir. She’s not licensed and, more importantly, a driver in a car might not see her and hurt her.
Me: Well, OK. Fair enough.
Officer friendly: Thanks for calling in, sir. We appreciate that.
And he drives off.
So, I’m sitting here realizing I called the cops on my daughter and doubting the illegality of her scooter on the street. And she got her first warning from the police (a family tradition, btw). Go home and talk to Junior who tells me he made her walk the scooter home and to stay off the street.
The next day, my wife is upset about the whole thing and calls her friend in the local police department. Turns out, that license thing only applies to gas operated vehicles. Told Junior to go ride her scooter all she wanted.
What weird day.
* Never used that in the possessive, so I’m going with that.