Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Missing Snowman

I recently read an article about a woman in the UK who called the police because she claimed that someone stole her snowman (I kid you not). According to the article, the woman thought her call was justified because she used "1-pound coins for the eyes and teaspoons for the arms". And all I could think was, Really?

Maybe it wasn't theft. Maybe someone had some kind of vendetta against snowmen and went on a rampage the night before, destroying every snowman in sight, screaming, "You think you're so COOL!"

Or maybe one of the other snowmen came to life, like in that Calvin and Hobbes comic strip where Calvin brings a snowman to life. It turns evil and creates other evil snowmen, and then they all go after Calvin and Hobbes until the snowmen are defeated when Calvin sprays them with water and turns them to ice. So maybe there was a whole army of evil snowmen who destroyed the good snowman like the one that woman called the police about. Maybe the good snowman didn't want to join in their crusade to take Frosty down once and for all and they attacked him and...

ANYWAY, it's not like there aren't any people in the U.S. who call the police for stupid reasons. I've read news articles about people who called 911 from McDonald's because they were upset over the fact that there were no more chicken McNuggets. And again I must ask, Really?

911 operators and police officers have extremely stressful jobs. Yes, their job is to protect and help people. But I think that some people are so self-centered that they expect the police to just come running every time there's an "emergency". And as that article I read pointed out, the problem with that is that it takes the police's time and attention away from genuine emergencies. Here are a few examples of how I imagine some of those 911 calls might go:

911 Operator: 911, what's your emergency?
Bridezilla: There's another bride out there who is planning to wear the same dress as mine to HER wedding! I want her arrested! Better yet, I want her to be sentenced to wear one of those poufy bridesmaid dresses so that everyone will laugh at her and then no one will upstage me on MY day!
911 Operator: Um, that's not really...
Bridezilla: Arrest her RIGHT NOW! Or I will throw all the wedding cakes I rejected at you!

Operator: 911, what's your emergency?
Customer: This stupid cashier won't let me use my coupon. Yes, I know it's expired, but so what? I WANT my DVD box set of The Gossip Girl and I want it now! And I think that that cashier should be forced to watch every single episode of this show just so she'll see why this show is so realistic! I mean, this show just speaks to everyone. I know that not everyone cheats on their boyfriend with their boyfriend's best friend while also having secret affairs with their best friends' boyfriends, but it's still so REAL.
Operator: I'm sorry, but the police can't really help you with that.
Customer: I want to talk to your manager! Just as soon as I finish yelling at this cashier's manager!

Operator: 911, what's your emergency?
Cheapskate: I want to report a team of thieves over at this cafe.
Operator: Is there a robbery in progress?
Cheapskate: There most certainly is. They have a tip jar!
Operator: What?
Cheapskate: Did you not hear me? They are expecting customers to give them tips! I just spent four dollars on this cup of coffee, and they expect me to give them spare change. The nerve of these people! I think tip jars should be banned everywhere. It's not like people can't live on minimum wage.
Operator: Well, actually...
Cheapskate: By the way, I'm not getting charged for this call, am I? (I actually did hear a story about a woman who wrote to the Jimmy John's sandwich company to complain about the tip jars, and they ended up taking the tip jars away. Can you believe that? It's like, if you don't want to leave a tip, don't leave a tip. But it's nice if you do leave one. But either way, don't punish the people who are just trying to earn a living.)

I think you can get arrested or at least fined for making 911 calls for non-emergencies. But I respect the people who work in this field, because they do a lot to help people. And they also must have an incredible amount of patience to deal with all the annoying people who call for dumb reasons, because if it were me I would disconnect their phone service or just send the police to arrest them.


  1. Love this post!
    Our recycling bin disappeared recently and when I called for a replacement they actually told me I had to call the police and file a report for my "stolen" bin (they claimed there was no way their guys misplaced it). I really don't care how the bin went missing, I just wanted a new one, and the only way to get one without calling the police was to buy it! (They offer them for free the first time).

  2. Oh - for the record - I paid for the new one, I did not call the police.

  3. Hi Jenn,
    That's strange that your recycling bin disappeared. I wonder if someone ran off with it? But I think in a case like yours it's okay to call the police to ask for a new bin, because you're not like that woman who reported her snowman missing; I think she thought it was equivalent to a kidnapping or something.

  4. Um seriously?

    And who puts one pound note coins for eyes? Of COURSE they are going to be stolen.

  5. Oh, don't even get me started on this news story! I couldn't believe someone would actually do that. Silly people everywhere!

  6. Hi FB,
    I know, right? Except I wonder why they took the whole snowman and not just the coins.

    Hi Talli,
    There are definitely silly people everywhere. Several of them live in my building.

  7. The snowman lost the equivalent to $3.12 & 2 teaspoons & that's worth complaining about? Are they supposed to spend man hours trying to find the culprit[s]?

    That bridezilla 1 is not farfetched at all! I recently watched 1 of those shows, just the last 10 minutes, & it's watching people w/ full-blown narcissistic personality disorders.

  8. Hi notesfromnadir,
    I wonder if anyone's written any books on bridezillas. I think it'd be an interesting read. There are already all these reality shows about these types of brides, and the sad thing is that many of them seem to have lost sight of the whole point of the wedding, which is the marriage.