Monday, March 22, 2010

A story

I've been waiting to post this story because I wanted to get a picture of the scene off the wife's cell phone. But I still haven't done it, so I'll just post it.

About two months ago, our power went off. After a couple hours, we went off to the in-laws house. When we returned, the telephone poll outside our house formed a 90 degree angle, instead of the normal 180. Yes, someone had obviously crashed into our telephone poll.

I'm probably significantly less paranoid about safety than your average American, but telephone wires are not an area where I like to take risks. We went in the house, got our things, and returned to the in-laws house. At the in-laws house, the wife and I have a mild tiff over whether to call 911. Finally I prevailed.

She called 911. After 10 minutes of waiting for someone to answer her call, she gave up. We woke up the next morning and went back to our house. It was kinda windy, and the telephone poll was only still upright with some support from the wires themselves.

So she called 911 when we got home at about 10am. A few hours later, she went outside and found out from neighbors that a dumptruck had hit the telephone post and then ran off. Still no sign of anyone. She says that the neighbors had also called it in.

2pm. A guy who works for the power company knocks on our door, a litle frantic. "I just happened to be driving by your house...did you know there's a telephone poll that's about to fall? That's extremely dangerous!"
2:10 I learn that the wife called the city, not 911. All the neighbors also called the city. I am incredulous.
2:15 Power company employee has put danger signs up, blocking the street off from access. He tells us that we have to call in the emergency. Employees are not allowed. Seriously? Ok. We call the power company and explain what happened.

No one shows up that day.

The next morning, we wake up and find out that some of our neighbors have unblocked the street and taken down the warning signs. That's right, a telephone poll with electricity wires about to fall just doesn't seem that dangerous to them.

The wife calls again, trying to make the power company understand that this is really an emergency. At about 3pm, they finally come fix it. By some miracle, the thing never fell.

All of this just left me dumbfounded. No one thought it live electric wires falling imminently to be something worth calling 911 for.

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