Yesterday we were walking home from our friends’ house when we suddenly found ourselves in a dangerous situation. Two guys in two cars were street racing, flying down the street where we were walking at terribly high speeds, racing through intersections without stopping, and doing doughnuts in those intersections. They were driving like insane people, and there we were on the sidewalk a few feet from them as they raced. I was terrified. All I could picture was one or both of their cars going out of control and coming up onto the sidewalk where we walked.
We managed our way through the two blocks where they were doing most of their stunts, and quickly returned to our house. They showed no sign of stopping: people were now coming out of their homes to see what was happening as a result of the horrible sounds of their tires and the clouds of smoke that literally filled entire blocks as they would pass. During this time, I got on our cell phone and dialed 911. I waited on hold for at least five minutes. Finally, after loading the stroller into the garage and getting the kids upstairs, I was able to use our landline and I got right through. The operator put me through to dispatch and they promised to send a patrol car right over.
The whole thing freaked me out (Doug and I have also been catching up on 24 this week, so maybe I am a little more tense than normal!). But what has continued to bother me is the fact that a cell phone call to 911 may not be answered, at least not quickly. Whenever I go out and about with the kids here, I am always careful to bring my cell phone with me to have in case a situation arises and I need emergency assistance. What I realized last night is that I am probably better off calling Doug or my sister. It is interesting here to have the layers of what I thought were my “securities” stripped away. First it was the bullet holes in our friends’ second story bedroom (I thought we were safe from street gunfire on the second floor). Now it is access to help in an emergency if I am away from my home.