911 is a joke.
2006-08-07/2:13 p.m.

I have called 911 twice in my adult life, and the second time was this past Saturday night.

We went to this party a few blocks south of our apartment. It's weird, because it's only a few blocks down from us but it's not a great area and Mike has mentioned before never wanting to live down there.

So, we left the place at 12:45 and started walking up Edgemont back to our place. We passed Sunset and it was fine. Then, this shadowy figure jumped off of a landing and started whistling as he walked up the street. Mike stopped me and said we should cross the street. So, we are crossing the street and we see someone coming down that side, also in the dark. Then he stepped into some light and it was just Mike's friend Brandon (who works for Michael Mann and who I had been working with for the past few weeks). Relief! But then Brandon told us that something shady was happening up at the corner but that we were tough new york types and that we could handle it.

At this point we had figured out that there was some kind of setup going on. Only we thought it was aimed at us, and there we were wrong. Basically the guy was whistling because some lady was leaving her house, and then another guy placed on the other side of the street walked to her car when the whistling started. When she reached her car, they took it. But it was REALLY WEIRD. Like she was going "whaaaat are you guys doing?" in a whiney, strung out voice. And not freaking out like I'd be if two dudes just decided to take my car. It was like they knew each other.

Then she did start getting louder. One of the guys in the car then got out and went for her, and she ran screaming "Help!" while he chased her. At this point I dialed 911, and proceeded to be kept waiting on an automated message for about 5 solid minutes. Then someone answered and I started telling them what was happening and I was asked to hold while I was transferred, which also took about 5 minutes. NUTS! If I was in an actual emergency for myself, I'd be dead. Thanks a lot, 911.

Anywho, I eventually told the dispatcher where we were and what we saw happen and she said someone was closeby and that she'd call back if she needed anything. About a minute later a helicopter was overhead shining lights down the street. Mike thought it might be becuase of our call, but we thought that was crazy. NOPE! The dispatcher called me back and said there was a helicopter unit overhead and that they needed more exact coordinates for where we saw the lady last. Which, at this point was like 10 minutes before, so who knows what happened. A lot can happen in 10 minutes.

That was the last we heard though. They never called to see if we could be witnesses, which makes me think they never found anything. Sad.

The other time I called 911 was when a scary guy, in the middle of the afternoon, followed me out of the subway and then down the street muttering about me under his breath and being generally creepy. I walked into our local deli (the optimo!) where the guys knew me (and so that the guy wouldn't find out where I lived) and the creep stood, blocking the open door so that I couldn't leave without going right past him. I went up to the counter and told the guys that this guy followed me from the subway and wouldn't leave. They thought he was with me since he was keeping so close. As soon as I told them, they kicked him the hell out and then shut and locked their door. It RULED. It's one of those times I really felt like NYC was the safest place. And then when there was no sign of him, one of the guys from the deli walked me one block to my apartment which was very nice. A bunch of my friends said I needed to call the police just to give them a description and tell them what happened in case he's lurking for other people. I called. Was put on hold a bunch of times. Then they said a cop was going to come out and get my statement. No cop ever showed up.

In other words, two less than stellar experiences.

(I just remembered! Alissa said she was in Echo Park once and that this guy had blood all over his shirt and was carrying a large knife, running through the park and she and a bunch of parents called the police and no one ever showed up. So, there's three strikes!)


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Something that happened yesterday.