So this last weekend I had to call the police...twice.
The first time was on Saturday night. I live in an extremely safe area. I have never seen a more vigilant police department than the one that is based in my city. In the two years I've lived here there have been exactly two car vandalisms on my street and when you consider that I'm in the LA area that's pretty amazing. The reason I know there has been two vandalisms is because when someone breaks a windshield around here the police actually investigate. They go door to door asking the neighbors if they heard or saw anything odd between the hours of this and that. Before moving here I have NEVER lived anywhere where the police had the time or inclination to do that. In San Francisco they don't even care if someone flat out steals the car. The SFPD actually have a website where you can file your car theft report so they don't have to even pretend to care to your face. But like I said, there isn't a lot of crime here so when anything happens at all they're on it.
As a result when the relative peace of my neighborhood is disturbed I take notice as I did Saturday night when I heard some guy loudly cussing out his girlfriend a little before one in the morning. There's a popular bar not more than a block and a half from me so occasionally the moderately inebriated will be escorted to a car parked nearby by their (hopefully sober) designated driver. Initially that's what I thought was going on. But the guy was too angry. He sounded a bit out of control and the girl sounded borderline hysterical.
Well if the police have the time to investigate a few slashed tires they certainly should find the time for this. So I called 911. By the time I had explained why I was calling the girl was no longer answering the man who was yelling at her. She was just screaming. Not screaming words...just screaming. That seemed very bad to me and for a moment I wished one of my Texas friends was nearby so they could wave their gun around and rescue the damsel in distress. I imagined myself doing this in the pink Minnie Mouse night shirt I was wearing but of course my 2nd amendment loving friends weren't around at that moment so that wasn't going to happen.
Fortunately it was only a matter of minutes before I heard the police arrive and yell to someone to "Get down on the ground, now!" That's when my son finally came out of his room and asked me what the commotion was about. I briefly summarized what happened and explained that everyone was safe now. He looked at me askance. "You called the police and told them to come?" I nodded and he flashed me a wide smile. "You're like Sophie! You solved a murder mystery...but you solved it before it was actually a murder or a mystery. It's better that way, isn't it?" I assured him that it was much better that way. It doesn't make very interesting reading but in real life all "murder mysteries" should be dealt with before the actual murder takes place.
The next day was much less dramatic and I didn't exactly play the part of the hero. I took my son hiking in this area called the Stough Canyon Nature Center. As the name suggests there's a building that serves as a little information center and then there are the hills all around filled with hiking trails and wildlife. I parked in the lot by the center and then off we went to look for coyotes and whatnot. I returned to my car at 5:20 only to discover that the parking lot closed at 5. They locked the gate with my car inside and on my windshield was a note explaining that if I wanted to get my car out I would have to call the police department and ask them to free me. Seriously. It also told me that if I chose to leave my car overnight I'd get a ticket.
So for the second day in a row I called the police but the cell phone reception sucks up there and they couldn't understand what I was saying. They ended up going to the wrong place before figuring out where I was and coming to rescue me. I was sitting there for about an hour trying to keep my son occupied and silently cussing myself out. The police officer was very nice and actually apologized for keeping me waiting which I thought was sweet since I was the one who screwed up.
Anyway, it was an eventful weekend and an interesting start to the Jewish New Year. I wonder what's going to happen next weekend ; )
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