In the U.S., there are enough silly calls to 911 to fill a book (What’s the Number for 911?) and then some. My favorite is the woman living in Los Alamitos who called 911 to complain that a person was making “bird-type noises” outside of her house.
The police came and found the source of the emergency: A bird in a tree.
Unsurprisingly, boneheaded misuse of emergency numbers is also an international phenomenon. The Telegraph’s Scottish correspondent, Auslan Cramb, recently reported that Central Scotland Police have released details of some of their worst emergency calls (it’s 999 there, BTW).
Callers included a person who demanded police action after being soaked by a car that drove through a puddle. Oh, and a man complaining of getting too many onions in his Chinese takeout meal.
And then there’s the woman who called 999 because her newly-purchased rabbit’s ears were not floppy. (They had been described as such in its newspaper ad.)
Speaking of infamous rodent ears, The Telegraph had a story headlined “Mickey Mouse Must Die.” It told of Sheikh Muhammad Munajid (a former diplomat at the Saudi embassy in Washington, DC), who said that ALL mice (including cartoon ones!) must be killed.
In a presentation broadcast on the Arab network al-Majd TV, the Sheikh slammed Mickey Mouse and his ilk for making mice seem cute. Big mistake! “According to Islamic law, the mouse is a repulsive, corrupting creature…. Mickey Mouse should be killed in all cases.”
How does one kill a cartoon mouse? A quick call to 911 will clear that up.
ADDENDUM: On 9/20/08, the Oregonian reported that Portland police had received 911 calls about Gennifer Moss (aka, Earth Friend Gen) who was in-line skating without much in the way of clothing. Police responded when a group of construction workers called to complain.