03 February 2008

711 Number - Reporting Odd Behavior

My 70-some year old mother is riding with me when she spots a guy basically jay walking, but in a remarkably lackadaisical manner for a road where cars regularly travel at 60 mph.

"Look at him!" Mom exclaims. "Can you believe him?" She watches a while longer and I can tell two things. One, she is incredulous at his strange behavior. Two, she is delighted to have someone with whom she can share her outrage. And I have an idea.

We can call 411 for information. We can call 911 for emergencies. Why not a 711 number that people can call when they spot aberrant behavior - something they find odd or outrageous? Wives could report their husbands, children their parents, and anyone could call to report on those in public.

"There is this guy here with the oddest body piercings."
"Well, I realize it isn't illegal. That's why I called seven-11. But it does look odd. Why would anyone put one safety pin in his ear and another in his lip and connect them with paper clips?"
"No. He didn't even use the ear lobe. He ran it through the top of his ear."
"You don't think that counts as strange behavior?"

Who would man the phones? I think it'd be best if it were creative writing majors. A day at the phones would likely provide enough material for a short story collection or a novel. Perhaps we'd even have a weekly radio show in which highlights are played. Suddenly, the chronically odd would have a highlight show that could be to the them what EPSN sports center highlights are to aspiring sports stars.

I'm going to sit back now and wait for one of the candidates to mention this in a campaign speech. I can hardly wait.


cce said...

Sign me up for the phone bank. I could use some new material. I'm trying to remember the last time I saw something truly strange, worthy of a 711 call, and I can't come with anything. This total lack of remarkable happenings in my life must mean I need a trip to the city. Soon.

Anonymous said...

711 Assigned nationwide for access to Telecom Relay Services.

Anonymous said...

CCE, I think you should arrange to spend a week working with Ron '-)

Ron Davison said...

I've talked to the authorities and you are, officially, on the list.

I talked to the authorities and they have changed this use of 711.

anon (I mean, cce),
it's not true - I'm the model of sobriety and serious mindedness in every setting.