Just wow. A couple of boneheads were in my neighborhood riding their motor cycles up and down the sidewalk. Definitely annoying, and not the kind of thing I want going on around here. Rather than confront them, though, I just called the police non-emergency number. A nice guy picks up, and I described the issue . . .
“A couple boneheads are tearing up and down the sidewalk on motorcycles when there’s a perfectly good street right there…” I said.
The non-emergency respondent laughed. “Yeah, that sounds bad. Let me connect you with 911.”
All I really wanted was a cruiser to come by and break up the party, but if a public servant deems motorcycles on the sidewalk emergent, who am I to argue with my tax dollars at work?
The phone clicks, and picks up.
“Due to call volume, all our operators are busy. Please do not hang up…”
I don’t think I need to comment any further. But I will. I grew up in an era where it was understood that you were probably on your own for a little while until help arrived. We learned first aid. We learned fire safety (stop, drop and roll!). We learned how to swim. That’s just how it was. A home invasion in rural Missouri would not be responded to with lightning speed though I am sure the deputies wanted to with all their heart. That’s why almost everyone had a shotgun and probably why home invasions were so rare.
Here I am now, decades later, living in the city and I call 911 and don’t even get put on hold by a human. You have to love progress.