Does 10:30 p.m. qualify as being the middle of the night? If you’re retired, I’m sure it does. After all you’ve most likely fallen asleep in your recliner between 7:30 and 8:00 with the television blaring. It’s much easier to turn the volume up than mess with those pesky hearing aides. They’re quite annoying and do nothing to prevent people from continuing to mumble. Personally I don’t wear them YET but that’s what I’ve been told. I suspect that they might be more helpful if you’d actually TURN THEM ON.
But the point is that 10:30 IS the middle of the night. I don’t fall asleep in my recliner. I actually go to bed between 7:30 and 8:00, turn on my television, prop myself up with several pillows, open my book and promptly fall asleep. Just recently I’ve learned how to set the ‘sleep button’ on the TV and I have yet to be awake when the set automatically go off.
The other night I was soundly sleeping and softly snoring (my sweetie will get a kick out of the SOFTLY snoring part) when my phone rang. Now we all know when the phone rings in the middle of the night, it’s bad news, VERY bad news. Mothers and fathers all over the world know this to be a proven fact.
I don’t bother trying to find my glasses in the darkness, I just grab for the phone, answer, “Hello” and hold my breathe. The voice on the other end says, “Hello, this is the Port Saint Lucie Sherriff Department.” OH NO, IT’S THE POLICE! This is much worse than I imagined. My mind is whirling a million miles a minute. My loved one in trouble isn’t able to make a phone call? This is bad. This is very bad? Someone is seriously injured. Someone has been in an accident and been KILLED. This is horrible. Why are they calling me on the phone? For news like this they should be knocking on my door. They should be asking me if there’s someone they can call. They should NOT be giving such heartbreaking news over the phone.
Wait! What is the voice saying? It sounds like a recording. IT IS A RECORDING! The Port Saint Lucie Sherriff Department is telling me that I can take my expired medications to the nearest Walgreen’s Pharmacy for disposal. And just to make sure I understand how this is accomplished they leave a phone number for me to call with any questions.
WHAT THE HELL? THEY NEED TO TELL ME THIS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT? I DON’T THINK SO! The police are supposed to be our friends. We’re taught that before we’re even old enough to go to school. Well, MY friends do NOT call me at 10:30 and scare the daylights out of me. So, I decide that I’ll just call the good old Port Saint Lucie Sherriff Department back and tell them so. Just who do they think they are that they can send their recorded messages out at all hours?
I had to actually get OUT of bed, turn on a light, search for my glasses and hunt for a phone book. When listening to the ‘medication disposal advice’ I was too astounded to think clearly enough to write down the number they were spouting. Besides it was dark (I’m sure I mentioned the time) and I’m ‘vision impaired’ without my glasses.
I actually gave thought to dialing 911. Someone had called from McDonalds recently because they were out of McNuggets. This was much more of an emergency than that! But I kept my composure, looked up a non-911 number and called. I told the nice young lady that answered that I had just received a call from the police and that it scared me half to death and if it was a joke, it certainly wasn’t very funny.
Of course she wanted to know who called me and what did they say. I’m sure she was thinking that I’ve received a prank call and she would be able to deny any and all responsibility. BUT that was not the case. I explained that the Sherriff’s RECORDING has called me to give me a lesson on how to dispose of expired medication. That turned the tide. She was very apologetic and said she would look into it immediately.
The next day there was an apology letter in the morning newspaper to any of the Saint Lucie County residents who had been awaked by a recorded message. Whoever programmed it to make calls got a.m. and p.m. confused. Oh dear ……………. They don’t know day from night and they’re protecting us? I think I'll get a DOG for protection.
© copyright Donna Hale Chandler
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