Sunday, April 29, 2012



Last night I went to church. In by 7 out by 8.

And I was driving homes afterwards, thinking about the message I heard...

And I was a little annoyed because I drove Pam, and Pam is a 4 cylinder.  It feels like I have to push the accelerator just a little bit harder than I do with Lucy, who is a V-6.


Anyway, I got off the freeway one exit earlier, as there was a Braves game going on at that time. I live a stone's throw from the ball field and my usual exit may have been blocked and/or congested, and I really didn't want to have to deal with all that.

So I got off at an earlier exit and turned into my neighborhood on a street that is usually a bit busy. People are always walking. There may be a prostitute or two out there. And the street is thin, and I don't really care to do all that navigating.

Last night when I turned the corner, there were at least 100 people out there.

They were mostly young people. And they were running towards something.

You know me. all nosy. I was trying to look and see in the darkness, while at the same time trying to not hit people.

Two young girls, I guess around the age of 12 or so, were fighting in a yard.

Hmm... Not sure what that was all about.

I guess the right thing to do would've been to jump out the car and stop it.

No. That's out of the movies. No way was I jumping out of my car to stop anything. I turned on a side street, since I couldn't get through the crowd, and I drove on home.

Now, there was some type of big party going on... there was one of those big colorful air jumping thingys where kids can take their shoes off and jump around.

(I don't have kids. I don't know what that's called. But I could see it from my house, and they had been in there all day, jumping and hollering.)

So I guess there was a family gathering of some sort. Looked family reunionish.

So I parked my car in the back of my driveway and got my things out the car.

Then I heard 3 gunshots.

"Whooa," I said out loud. "Tis time to go in the house."

But I called 911.  They needed to come break all this up, and see who and if anyone got shot. At least send a cruiser through. I didn't want to hear anymore gunshots...

I dialed 911. My phone had a picture of a BRIGHT red siren on it, which lit up my whole area.

And then I was put on hold.

What the????? O_o

Man, I could've been getting my head bashed in, and I had to hear a recording... one telling me NOT to hang up and my call would be answered in the order received.

911 was acting like I was calling a utility company trying to get my bill balance.

What the world???

Anyway, after a couple of minutes, an operator answered.

"Hey," I said. "I was driving on Harvey street over here and there were some folks fighting. Then I heard 3 gunshots. I suggest ya'll send a cruiser over there to see what is up. Not sure if somebody got shot or if someone was shooting in the air to break up the crowd, buy ya'll need to figure that out."

She said okay. And that was it.

Not sure if they sent anyone. I went in the house and went to bed.

I live in a inner city neighborhood. In the 6.5 years I've been here, there have been 3 murders on that particular street, which is a cross street with my own street. So everytime I hear gunshots it's like O_O.

The last time, Tiny came to get me, and we walked down there. By the time I got down there, the body was gone. It was interesting to talk to some of the prostitutes. They are... very interesting people.

The neighborhood has been quiet over the last year. I walked outside tonight to get something out the car, and you can hear a pin drop. Not sure what's up with that.

But like I said, I don't know what became of that 911 call. I did NOT roll back down the road to see if the crowd had indeed broken up. And there was nothing on the news about it.

But it reminds me of LadyTee's detailed instructions when calling 911. Her little cousin's best friend's Daddy and his friends would get drunk and get to fighting in the parking lot of her apartment complex.

LadyTee doesn't like tomfoolery. So she makes a call.

"Never call 911," she said. "Get the direct number to the precinct. Call them."

"Then act and sound like a really old white woman."

"These nigras, uh, I mean, these black people!" she said in and old shaky voice with a thick southern drawl. "They out here fightin'! They fightin', I tell ya!"

"And I can't find my medicine! And they fightin'! Oh lawd, where is my medicine?"

I laugh at her everytime she does this.

"Then just hang up the phone. Don't say nothing else. Just hang up.  Every policeman in the world comes screeching around the corner in a couple of minutes."

"I bet they do," I said.

"Bet Shaheed's Daddy and his folks won't be out there fighting no more after that. I called everytime they got crunk outside. Shut it all down quick."

"I bet they won't," I repeated.

One time, she had a problem with someone outside her house, bouncing a ball out in the street at 2 in the morning. She couldn't sleep. She made her special call.

"Bet they won't be bouncing that ball at 2 in the morning no more."

"You wrong for that, Tee."

"They wrong for bouncing that ball at 2 in the morning."


I made my call. Not to the precinct. Maybe I need to get that number.  Anyway, all was quiet in the hood an hour later. I suppose the crowd dispersed afterall.

The good operators at 911 are doing their best, I'm sure of that. And it always saddens me when they play the 911 calls on the news when something serious happens. It is good to have those recordings. But it's a reminder that all things are recorded. Luckily I didn't have to hear my own voice on a call on the news that night.

But that was my bit of of drama downtown on a hot Saturday night. I'm glad I don't have to call them on a regular basis.

Glad of that indeed.


  1. Public Enemy's song "911 Is a Joke" still rings true today. lol Maybe they need to up the pay of 911 operators so they can keep some employees because being put on hold shouldn't happen as often as it does. A friend mentioned she was put on hold for almost 5 minutes after calling about her neighbor's boyfriend who was knocking and kicking on his girlfriend's door door around 3am yelling about killing her.

  2. That's actually a good tip.
    I called 911 a few months ago because Jaelyn heard someone outside and we were alone. They too put me on hold O_O


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