This is primarily a travel blog in which I write about traveling in our motorhome. Our travels have

Nacogdoches, TX, United States
I began this blog as a vehicle for reporting on a 47-day trip made by my wife and me in our motorhome down to the Yucatan Peninsula and back. I continued writing about our post-Yucatan travels and gradually began including non-travel related topics. I often rant about things that piss me off, such as gun violence, fracking, healthcare, education, and anything else that pushes my button. I have a photography gallery on my Smugmug site (

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


I just made my very first 911 call and I feel like I have crossed some kind of invisible threshold.  It feels kind of weird.  Why did I call 911?  Call me paranoid, but as my wife and I were sitting in our family room (me on the computer and she working on a crossword puzzle) we heard a very loud and very definite gunshot.  It sounded like a handgun.  It was not a rifle or shotgun.  I know what they sound like.

We live in a very quiet and peaceful neighborhood where hearing a gunshot is probably a once in a lifetime experience.  This is not a neighborhood accustomed to drive-by shootings and gang warfare.  Because it was so unusual I thought to myself, “Should I call the police?”  I decided not to do so because, afterall, it was none of my business if someone was tired of his wife or a wife had caught her husband cheating on her.  I would rather not get involved. 

A minute later, perhaps two minutes at the most, we heard a second gunshot and my wife said, “Should we call the police?”  One gunshot I can ignore, but two gunshots can really get your attention, especially with all of the crazies running around shooting people these days.

I made my decision, picked up the phone, and dialed 911.  It rang three or four times before the operator answered.  I was expecting her to answer the same way that all of the 911 operators on TV answer.  That is, “911.  What is your emergency?”  Instead she said something like, “Hello, how can I help you?” I was a little disappointed that I did not hear the expected TV version, but I gave her my name and address anyway and reported that two shots had just been fired in my neighborhood.  She asked me to repeat my address and then asked for my phone number and my birthday (maybe the police are going to send me a card).

I could hear her police radio (it was quite loud) in the background and was hoping she would pick up her "mic" and say “Shots fired in the Briargrove neighborhood!”  Once again I was disappointed because she still was not following the TV script.  Instead of talking in police 10-codes, putting out APBs, or calling the SWAT team she said nothing and just listened to the incoming radio call.  Part of what l I heard on the radio was someone saying, “The shots were accidental.” 

I just couldn’t help myself.  I blurted out, “TWO accidental shots?  A couple of minutes apart?  I don’t THINK so.”  Her reply was, “We’ll send a car.  Thank you.”

Now I’ll have to read the police reports in Friday morning's paper (it’s too late to make tomorrow’s edition).


Bill said...

Kind of a laid back 911 response. Not exactly what you would expect.

Croft Randle said...

Only in the USA, "One gunshot I can ignore"! I don't think I have heard a gunshot in 40 years and that was when a friend on a farm was showing me his new shotgun. But then I am Canadian...