Archive for January, 2012


When do you call 911? It was a question posed by the radio dj in the movie Pontypool, and it is a good one. I heard crying and yelling tonight. It sounded like someone who just got news of someone passing or whose love just told them they were through. But then I noticed it was more than one voice in distress. I muted my tv and looked to see if I could tell where it was coming from. Across the street, the neighbors were on their roof patio. Only, one of them, a girl, was on and extended portion of a bedroom window about 5’x4′ on the wrong side of the railing. Her boyfriend was literally choking on his own tears, begging her to come back over. He eventually climbed over to her side and tried to grasp his arms to the railing with her in-between. They had other friends on the roof who were also crying and, understandably, extremely distressed.

My immediate thoughts went to calling 911. I couldn’t bear the idea of one of them going off the edge whether on accident or on purpose and having done nothing. I found my phone to call 911, but I immediately got afraid. What if cops showing up made it worse? Increased her distress when her boyfriend could have finally calmed her to a point of climbing back over to safety? And I remembered the video of the firefighter who, with nothing but good intentions, once caused a potential jumper who looked as if he had changed his mind fall to his death.

They are all fine now. Probably still upset by whatever drove her to the wrong side of the railing, but now all inside the condo building and away from precarious ledges. But the question still remains in my mind. When do You call 911?