Parents, if you have never explained 911 to your children, please stop reading and do so now. If you think your grandmother doesn’t know to use it, please give her a lesson as soon as possible … like today.
If you don’t know how it works, I’m about to give you a lesson: 911 is an emergency number. It is used to contact first responders in the event of an emergency. It can be reached by dialing 9, and then 1, and then 1 again.
I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve written columns about people dialing 911 for less-than-emergency reasons, but I can tell you it’s way more than it should be.
From this experience I learned some rules that I am passing along to you:
Never call 911 because someone refuses to have sex with you. While this may seem to be an urgent situation at the time, it does not constitute an emergency. Real 911 calls include: A woman calling because her husband refused sex, and men who called after being turned down by a girlfriend and a stripper.
Never call 911 because a fast food company gave you the wrong sauce, gave you the wrong size fries or didn’t make your order fast enough. In fact, let’s just say don’t call 911 about a fast food restaurant unless it is on fire. An example: In 2008, a guy in Jacksonville, Florida, called the local sheriff’s office when a Subway employee forgot the sauce on his sandwich. Then, apparently to ensure he’d be arrested, the guy called 911 to report that the deputies were not arriving quickly enough.
Never, ever, ever-times-a-gabillion call 911 because you need a husband. Firstly, you don’t really need a husband. Trust me. Secondly, and I can’t stress this enough, police do not offer dating advice. A woman in Alliance, Ohio, called five times in one hour with this “problem.”
Here’s a real transcript of one call:
Woman: Get me that husband.
Dispatcher: You need to get a husband?
Dispatcher: Do you know you can get arrested for dialing 911?
She does now.
Never call 911 because you are out of libations. This last rule is one I learned today when reading about a Florida woman who called 911 twice, claiming she had a medical emergency. Police learned the “emergency” was extreme thirst when they arrived and the woman asked for beer. Side note: She was drunk.