Monday, June 15, 2009

How times have changed!

Under the tracks, over by the Swamp Tavern there is this. Maybe the guy is giving the kid some money. Maybe he has given him a refreshing beverage. Perhaps, he is going to take a beer away from him, with an admonishment. Regardless, he has stopped to interact with this sitting youngster.

Why is this a glimpse into a bygone era?

1. The restful youth still shows some gumption in his garb. He is not wearing pajamas (today's go-getter apparel standard) - I think.
2. The standing man has stopped. That is, he is not whizzing by in his SUV with cellphone in hand dialing 9-1-1.
3. The youngster's hair has a Cthulhu thing going on. Perhaps, it is more zalgo-esque.

Anyhow, Number Two is the biggy. You wouldn't believe the amount of 9-1-1 calls placed by motorists who see a guy sitting on the side of the road, or taking a nap in a car, on a front porch, etc. They usually never stop to see if there really is an emergency. Diesel-suckin' vehicles roll out over and over again to wake the person up, that is if he or she hasn't already moved on.

Some solutions:

1. Charge 25 cents for any 9-1-1 cell phone call. Not too much of a price to pay for a true emergency. Too much to pay for a lark.
2. Limit 9-1-1 calls to three per year, then you pay for the cost of the response. You can protest the charge, if any of the four calls were true emergencies.
3. Call people back to let them know what the "emergency" they called in truly was. You could also let the caller know about the actual emergency response which was delayed because some guy had stopped to tie his shoe. This event roused the caller's vigilance and resources were sent there instead.
4. Official serapes and sombreros for those who prefer to nap in public. When an emergency crew responds they could place these on the sleepers. There could be a sign on them that says, "DO NOT CALL 9-1-1!" Voila, you have converted a person who inspires fear and other negative emotions for the cellphone enthusiast into one that is engaging in a time-honored, charming and photo-worthy siesta. Maybe the caller might even stop to take a picture or chat with the person.

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