Thursday, April 03, 2008

Life In El Pueblo de Los Angeles

Today, I attempted to call the police. No emergency, but as a minor public safety person, I thought I should get this fellow some help before he got himself, or someone else, killed.

Seems this apparently drunken bum was prancing about (on foot) in the lanes of a very busy boulevard. He survived as long as he did mostly because afternoon traffic was beginning to get heavy and cars weren't going as fast as they otherwise would. There was a lot of horn honking and swerving.

He was carrying a cardboard sign 'pon which was written: "Please give me enough money to get enough whiskey to get so drunk I can't do this." I saw no one actually stop to give him anything.

Actually, I was too far away to see what the sign said, so the above is just a guess. Probably a pretty good guess.

I didn't have the phone number for the police, and I didn't think it was an emergency--enough to qualify as a 911 call. I dialed 411 (information) and got a robot. After following the instructions and asking for the Los Angeles police, the robot (tried to) connected me to a disconnected number.

I tried again.

This time I asked for the number, which I dialed myself.

This time, I was connected to another robot, identifying himself as Antonio Vinaigrette, el alcalde del Pueblo de Los Angeles. He thanked me for phoning the City of Los Angeles, and after a campaign ad for his reelection, then advised me that if this was a life-threatening emergency I should dial 911. Then, he repeated the entire message in Spanish! I should have been connected directly to a desk sergeant at a nearby substation but, alas, that would be too simple for this administration.

Just kidding about the campaign ad, but the fact that the voice of el alcalde answered the phone is actually kind of a campaign ad, isn't it?

To add insult to insanity, the next robot voice asked me to Dial One For English.

Well, mes enfants, I NEVER DIAL ONE FOR ENGLISH. Never.

There is no one I want to talk to badly enough to have to ask to speak the language of commerce, the language of technology, the language of America.

Those who don't speak English can dial one. Or uno. Or Ein. Or whatever. I'll dial one if I find myself needing assistance in Mexico--except, in Mexico, they don't ask you to dial one for English. In Mexico, if you don't speak Spanish, good luck. If the phones work.

What do you dial if you're an arab terrorist?

Only in Los Angeles.

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California


I looked in the phone book to find the real phone number for the police, and learned that there isn't one(!). The only non-emergency way to get to the police department is to dial 311, which is a sort of Los Angeles information number.

There's no other way than going through that awful Antonio Vinaigrette sequence, then get asked to DIAL ONE FOR ENGLISH. Looks like the police have found a good way to eat their donuts uninterrupted.

I guess I'll follow the Duke's advice and just fire three shots into the air.


RightWingRocker said...

It's time for America to stop following those who seek to tear her down, whether inadvertently or deliberately.


Oswald Bastable said...

He should have written 'I need $5 to get to Mexico'

T. F. Stern said...

I hand out a package of crackers, the kind that are orange and have peanut butter so old as to make you wonder if they came on the same boat as Noah. I smile and at least I know the crackers will be eaten later and washed down with either a beer or some cheap wine.

Aurora said...

Col., I got a good laugh out of that, mainly because I can understand your frustration at that red tape; been there, done that.
Yes America is really becoming a multiculti dream, isn't it? Sydney's pretty much the same scenario.

Col. Hogan said...


Hard to believe there isn't a sensible way to get hold of a policeman.

Our mayor is a member of an organization (MEChA) that wants to return the southwestern states to Mexico and openly favors illegal immigrants (from Mexico). And, he's a socialist. And, he's a philanderer.

It's a very different country that the one in which I grew up.

MK said...

"I guess I'll follow the Duke's advice and just fire three shots into the air."

While you still can CH, you know they want your guns, they want them bad.

Col. Hogan said...


Y'know, the more I think about that, the more I realize I ought to be spending my hobby money on metal working tools to be able to make guns.

Anonymous said...

Hi pop! We were working in Hollywood this week, and Thurs. AM we (my freind was driving) almost ran over that same guy! He was "Mad as hell and not goona take it any more!" I guess, swinging his sign at each MF'er that would'nt give him any money...I dont have anything else to say about it, just REALLY funny that you saw him too.

steveintx said...

I would have called 911, told them it wasn't an emergency, that there was no other way to call in for chatting to an officer thanks to El Alcalde..."Would you please connect me to the desk Sarge?"

They probably would then treaten me with arrest.

Col. Hogan said...


Yup, they get pretty crazy if they don't get their bottle of Ripple!

Col. Hogan said...


As I drove home later that day, I thought it over and decided I should've called 911. The guy needed to be looked after.

The Wine Commonsewer said...

In Riverslide County you cannot contact the PO-leece without calling 911, which is why, when you call about a loud party nobody answers 911. Course, if the corpse isn't leaking fluids in the street the Sheriff isn't coming anyway.

Col. Hogan said...


As Duke says, "Three shots in the air, right at City Hall, oughtta bring 'em running, Pilgrim."

Firing off a few fireworks'll do it, too. There's no more heinous crime in Riverside than shooting fireworks. Trumps even murder, at getting the cops out of Winchell's.