Joanne Palmer: Fall is coming; it’s an emergency
August 25, 2010
Steamboat Springs — School starts today in Steamboat Springs. The overnight low was 35 degrees. You know what this means. Routt County Communications, beware of the following:
911 Dispatcher: 911, What is the nature of your emergency?
Caller: (Sounds of sniffing and sobbing)
911: Hello? I can't help you unless I know what is going on.
Caller: Saaaa … suuummm … mmm …
911: I'm sorry, I don't understand.
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Caller: Summer. It's over.
911: Excuse me? Let me get this straight: Your emergency is summer?
Caller: Yes, it's over. Do something!
911: I'm sorry, ma'am. This is 911. We dispatch fire, ambulance and police for emergencies. We have nothing to do with the weather or the seasons, and we certainly can't turn back the hands of time.
Caller: But this is a personal emergency! I'm so distraught, I might burn my house down. It's cold in the morning, and I'm too cheap to turn on my heat.
911: Ma'am, the end of a season does not constitute an emergency.
Caller: I disagree! Summer is over, and I don't even have a tan line. The kids are back in school; the days are getting shorter; I've (gulp) seen a few yellow leaves. Summer is over!
911: Ma'am, I don't handle the weather. If I had a phone number for Mother Nature, I'd give it to you.
Caller: It all went so fast. I only did one hike, one free concert and barely made it to the farmers market. It was so cold the night of the Fourth of July that I was wearing 18 layers to watch the fireworks. I never toasted a marshmallow for a s'more.
911: Fall is still a beautiful time of year for hikes. It's just a little cooler.
Caller: Don't mention cooler. I am so cold in the morning, I'm about ready to put flannel sheets on my bed and the electric blanket. I might even put a hot water bottle in my bed.
911: There, there. It's not time for flannel sheets. Look on the bright side. Early season football is already on TV.
Caller: I hate football. Brett Favre, Brett Favre, Brett Favre. I'm tired of hearing about Brett Favre. He's injured; he's not injured. He's retired; he's not retired. He flip-flops like a catfish out of water.
911: You don't have to water your lawn as much, appear in a bathing suit or put seed in the bird feeder because the birds are heading south.
Caller: I want a week in Tahiti. The bears are attacking my garbage, I still haven't weeded my garden, and I have no tan.
911: Tanning is passé.
Caller: Exactly. Tanning has passé me right by.
911: Think about it: Crisp fall air, leaf raking and fleecy sweatshirts.
Caller: Think about it: Mulching the garden, bulb planting, aching back, Ibuprofen.
911: Chili, fondue, hearty soups and stews.
Caller: Lethargy, weight gain, depression.
911: Ski fitness, Halloween, Oktoberfest.
Caller: Road construction. Road construction. Road construction.
911: There, there. Put it in perspective. Beijing had a 60-mile traffic jam that lasted for nine days.
Caller: Depression. Depression. Depression.
911: Would you like the phone number for mental health?
Caller: No, I'll survive. Thanks for listening to me vent.