A Friendly Debate Between Myself and the 911 Dispatcher

At 10:16 this morning, one of my legs began kicking violently. After about 7 minutes of
squirming helplessly on the floor, I managed to snag my cellphone from the coffee table in the
living room.

– 911. What is your emergency?

– Well, one of my legs won’t stop kicking. Otherwise, I feel okay, I think.

– Are you fucking kidding me?

– I’m sorry? I, I think it’s some kind of spasm or something. It started happening out of nowhere.

– Can you stand the fuck up?

– Uhm. No. I can’t get any control of the leg that is kicking. It’s taken me about 10 minutes to
squirm over to my living room to–

– Can you shut the fuck up?

– What?

– Sir, do you realize you haven’t once fucking mentioned exactly where the fuck you even are
right now?

– Well, I’m home. But, don’t you have, like, computers or something to find that out?

– What I have, sir, is a fucking earache that has been kicking my ass up and down the street all
fucking morning. It’s quickly turning into a migraine and there’s not a goddamned thing I can do

– Hello?… Hello?

At that moment, my leg stopped kicking.

One the other end of the line, a high metallic whine, and then a voice like none I’d ever
heard in my life:

– This has been a simulation of an actual 911 emergency. We’re sorry to say that you have not
scored highly enough on this simulation to qualify for an actual emergency at this time. Please
apply again within one month. To review your score, press pound.

I pressed pound and began taking notes.


Seth Cable is a writer, musician, and academic living in Northampton, Massachusetts. His (non-academic) writing has appeared in Meat for Tea.

Edward S. Gault is a poet and fine art photographer. He lives at Mosaic Commons, a co-housing community in Berlin, Ma. He has a wife Karen, and daughter.