Monday, March 11, 2013

Don't Butt-Dial the Police when playing on the Xbox


My son. He's tall and handsome, fourteen, and growing like a tree. A thin gangly palm tree that delights in dropping coconuts on his younger brother's head simply because he can. His feet and hands are huge, showing there's still much more growing to do.

It's the first day of spring break, that magical first Monday of sleeping in and not having to get up and rush off to school. The boys are happily in their various control towers bedrooms, catching up on lost video game time and Minescape on the kid's specified computer. "That's Minecraft, mom", my youngest is always keen to point out. "You're mixing it with Runescape again."

I'm in my office-slash-bedroom, working on a group sale I volunteered to coordinate (don't ask), when Palm Tree son comes in. He's giving me that one eye half-closed and head tilted look. Uh-oh.

"Uh, Mom, I think I accidentally called 911."

"What? Why?"

"Well, I didn't mean to. My phone just called them and I looked at it and noticed it was connected to someone, so I said, 'uh, hello?' Then this guy answers, 'This is 911 emergency, we are hearing gunfire and screaming from your location. Is everything all right?"

I'm alarmed. "What were you playing? So, are they coming here?"

"Uh, no, I told them what happened. They wanted to know exactly what game I was playing. Mom, they were like listening for half an hour."

"What were you playing?"
battlefield.com

"Battlefield 3."

Oh man. I shrink in on myself a little bit, taking in the facts that a 911 Operator is listening on my son's cell phone for half an hour to army guys bombing and rapidly firing at each other. Can I hope that the operator has figured out he's listening to a game? Or is he frantically trying to pinpoint the cell phone's location?

An hour goes by so I assume any issued alerts have been canceled. I need to make a pharmacy run so off I go. On the way back, PT boy calls my cell, "Um, Mom. The police just came to our house."

"What?" After an hour and a half? "Are you making this up?" Normally that would seem like a mean question under the circumstances, but it isn't beyond my son to make crazy scenarios up because he's a natural joker and loves to get a reaction out of me. He got a reaction out of me, but this time it was sincere. How do I know? Because he also can't maintain a lie for more than two minutes. His expressive face shows way too much delight at having got me once again.

"No, I swear. It's all cool though. I told them what happened."

"Did they come in to check it out?" I imagine police officers wanting to see the offending x-box and loud game, tromping up the stairs to the bedrooms even as I'm trying to remember what the condition of the kitchen was before I left.

"No. There were like 3 squad cars outside. The guy that came to the door had his hand on his gun." Well, that must have been exciting for a fourteen-year-old. He told me later he crept to the door ninja-style as the knocking was really loud.  Sigh. This doesn't bode well for the rest of spring break.

Lesson taken away from this: Don't butt-dial the police when you are playing Battlefield 3.

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