When you think of emergency dispatchers, you probably don’t picture them laughing their butts off at their callers' misfortunes—but it definitely happens. Sometimes it’s because people make mistakes, and sometimes it’s because people have unbelievably misguided ideas of what justifies dialing 9-1-1. Either way, dispatchers often receive serious calls for help that turn out to be straight-up comical.
So, prepare to laugh, facepalm, and slowly shake your head as these Redditors share their weirdest, funniest, and most bizarre “emergency” calls.
1. Terrifying Beasts
I once had a grown man call in about “a monster trying to get into his son’s room.” He was just the right kind of frantic where I KNEW it wasn’t some kind of a mental health crisis, but I still couldn’t figure it out. Well, he was a Middle Eastern male with a really thick accent, and I was having a hard time understanding him, so he gave the phone to his son.
The monster had climbed a tree and was at his bedroom window. It was as big as his dog, and it had hands like his, but tinier…Wait, what? Then suddenly, it dawned on me. Right there, I told the kid to go see if the “monster” had rings on his tail—sure enough, it did. They had just moved to America a month ago and had never heard of raccoons. I couldn’t mute myself fast enough, and the father heard me laughing. I think that’s what helped calm him down.
I explained what a trash panda was and welcomed him to our wild jungle.
2. Thanks, Son
I was an emergency operator before becoming a paramedic. I had a lot of funny calls, but my favorite by far involved the all-too-common problem of a kid getting a hold of a locked cell phone and only being able to dial 9-1-1. It was Father’s Day, and this particular kid, who was about five years old, called in at least six times, but he’d never stay on the line long enough for us to get a good location “ping” on his cell phone.
It was probably about 10 PM local at the time, not early in the night, but not too late either. Long story short, we were finally able to get him to stay on the phone long enough to trace the call by talking about how his teddy bear was “sick.” We asked to speak to his parents, but he told us that they were in bed and the door was locked. So, we asked him to go knock on the door, and he then told us he was locked in his room.
Okay…We think we know what’s going on now. By this point, we already had an officer en route to this kid’s house to make sure everything was okay and tell his parents their kid had been calling 9-1-1. The officer arrived on the scene, and a few minutes went by before he eventually came over the radio and said, “S120 back in service, the teddy bear is 10-4.”
The officer made his way up to the comm center and proceeded to tell us all that the kid’s dad answered the door wearing only his boxer shorts and was more than a little agitated when he found out his son had been calling 9-1-1. Apparently, the dad was getting his Father’s Day “gift” from the mom when the officer showed up.
3. That’s One For The Books
One time I went to a local library to do some work because my home was filled with loud guests. I was there for a couple of hours when I saw I had 25 minutes left before closing. So, I packed all my stuff up and brought it to the bathroom with me to take a dump without leaving my things unattended. I planned to leave immediately afterward. I didn't realize, but I'd made a huge mistake.
Y’all, they locked me in. The librarians thought I left. The whole place was empty and dark. I walked right out the front door, which was locked, and triggered the security alarm. Now, not to throw race into it, but I’m a big Latino man in a very, very white and upper-class part of my state. So, I had a very real sense of fear.
I didn’t want to get caught driving away from the scene in case any Karens were peeping out of their windows. Instead, I decided to call law enforcement on myself and explain that I got locked in the library while taking a dump…and the operator was dying. The officers showed up, and one of them goes, “So, you like breaking in and taking dumps, huh?”
I went white as a ghost and immediately started bumbling my words. They brought the whole department out because they thought it was just the funniest blunder ever. Thankfully, they were cool and just laughed at my dimwittedness.
4. Steer Clear
I called 9-1-1 about two cows running around on the street by my parents' neighborhood. The operator asked me to describe the animals, and I said, “Lady, I promise you they’re the only two cows running down the street right here.” Then one got hit by a jeep, and I had to clarify that there was now only one cow running down the street.
5. Well Played, Bro
A little kid called 9-1-1 because he wanted officers to come take his brother. You see, their mom said that the caller’s brother was supposed to share the LEGO, but he wasn’t sharing; instead, the caller’s brother told him that he was playing with all of the LEGO. Our caller argued this shouldn’t be possible because there were too many LEGO for one person to play with all at once. Therefore, his brother was a liar, a jerk, and a poop head, and we needed to come and take him.
We had a high degree of confidence that this wasn’t a coded request for help, so we asked to speak to an adult, at which point, we confirmed that there was no distress and closed the case. Just share your LEGO, kids.
6. He Was Disarmed
I sent help to a man requiring extrication from an Under Armour insulated shirt. Apparently, his shoulder somehow popped out of its socket while he was pulling it on, so his arm was locked and dislocated, and his shirt was stuck halfway on/halfway off. Just so you don’t think I’m awful, the guy was laughing when he called me and said, “I would have driven myself to the hospital, but I would have had to drive with my arm out the window!”
7. At Least He Wasn’t Badly Hertz
I’m from a small town where everyone knows everyone. My uncle Jim is an officer, and all the dispatchers and first responders know my grandma pretty well. One day, my uncle was working on something electrical in the basement, and he got shocked. He was unconscious, but he ended up being fine. My grandma called for help and screamed into the phone, “Vee! It’s Kate! Jimmy’s been shocked!”
But what Vee, the dispatcher, heard was, “Jimmy’s been shot!” Every single officer, sheriff’s deputy, EMS, paramedic, firefighter, and park ranger in town arrived at my grandma’s house. My poor uncle was super confused and embarrassed.
8. Mom, Help!
I once called 9-1-1 because I cut my finger, and I wanted to talk to my mom, who worked as a dispatcher. I called, crying and asking to speak to her by name. Although she wasn’t happy with me for calling an emergency line, she was even angrier at my dad for not waking up when I tried to go to him for help first.
9. Weeding Out The Details
My dad used to be in charge of the 9-1-1 call center. I remember one particular story from back in like 2009 when some guy called asking how much weed he could have in his car while driving through the state. He and my dad went back and forth on this for maybe 20 minutes. The guy kept repeating and rephrasing the question, and my dad just kept responding, “None.”
10. She Nearly Blew It
I briefly worked as an emergency operator. Whenever someone called on the non-emergency line, we always answered the same way: “Blank law enforcement and fire. This is a recorded line. How can I help you?” We got a call on that line, and I answered as usual. A very inebriated-sounding woman then asked me the following question: “Hypothetically speaking, if my boyfriend had a few grams of coke and I called officers to tell them about it, would either of us get into any trouble?”
Um…What? I told her, “Ma’am, you’re calling law enforcement on a recorded line.” “I know,” she replied, “but what does the law say?” So, I said, “I don’t know, ma’am, I’m not an officer. Would you like me to send one?” She answered, “Yes, please.” She gave me her address, and an officer responded. Somehow, neither of them got busted.
That one had me scratching my head.
11. Emergencies Only
My brother called emergency services when he was maybe four years old, and I remember the officers came in to tell us why 9-1-1 wasn’t a joke. They were really nice, and one of them was wearing those wrap-around rainbow Ray-Ban glasses. I was six at the time. The lesson apparently really stayed with me because six years later, when our toaster caught fire on the wood counter, my sister called for help after we couldn’t figure out the fire extinguisher and the fire was spreading.
When she called 9-1-1, I yelled at her that it was only for emergencies!
12. He Did The Impossumble
My department dispatches our area’s animal control after hours. I once received a call from a guy freaking out because he caught a possum in his house. I asked him which room he managed to confine the animal in, and he wouldn’t tell me which room, but he later said that he trapped it in a microwave. I had many questions.
13. She Really Needed A Hand
This is one of my favorite calls from one of our local crazies. She told me that she needed an ambulance because her hand was stuck in her hoo-ha, and she couldn’t get it out. She kept telling me, “I didn’t put it there. Someone else did!” The best part was when I asked for her location, and she gave me an intersection instead of an address because she was standing outside on a corner.
In my mind, I was thinking there was no way this woman was standing on a corner in broad daylight, elbow deep in her own lady bits. But the medics called me later and advised that she was, indeed, standing on the corner with her sweatpants around her ankles and her whole hand enveloped inside her. There were also about eight spectators there taking in the show.
I’ve had a lot of fun calls involving this lady. She is one of my favorite frequent fliers.
14. A Burning Vengeance
My wife works both as a secretary for a fire department and as a volunteer firefighter/EMT. One day, a lady calls asking if she can donate a building for a training burn-in. After asking some questions, my wife finds out it’s not a building but an RV. More questions. It’s not the lady’s RV, it was abandoned on her property.
Just a few more questions. It’s not exactly abandoned. It’s her ex-husband’s RV—he’s living in it and won’t leave. The lady wanted my wife’s fire department to burn it down. Needless to say, my wife’s fire department declined.
15. To Be Fair…Sometimes, It Happens
I’m a 9-1-1 operator. So far, the silliest call I’ve taken was from a guy who called all concerned about the number of birds flying around because there was an air show nearby, and he was worried the planes would hit the birds.
The area code in my city is just one number away from being 9-1-1. So, back when I was six and trying to call my dad from the home phone, you could imagine my surprise when I suddenly heard, “9-1-1, what’s your emergency?” It turned out I got the area code wrong and called law enforcement instead. So, my six-year-old shocked brain decided it would be a good idea to just hang up on them.
Twenty minutes later, I heard my aunt, who was in a room close to the front yard, yell, “WHY ARE THERE OFFICERS HERE!” My parents then had to explain to them what was going on, and the officers gave me the friendly reminder not to hang up when accidentally calling the emergency line. My parents, however, weren’t as forgiving.
17. Aw, Poor Kid
When I was a child around six years old, I called officers from the home phone to ask if they would come to play with me because I didn’t have friends. So, they showed up…but only because they had to respond. Instead of playmates, I got a lecture from them and my super strict parents about the seriousness of calling 9-1-1.
18. You Know You’re Too High When Willie Shows Up
A lady once called emergency services because she thought Willie Nelson was having a cardiac arrest in her trailer, and she urgently needed an ambulance. I immediately started giving her CPR instructions. I later learned that when the paramedics got there, they found her doing compressions on the empty couch cushions.
19. The Caller Was Myth-Taken
I’d just certified as a call taker and got mandated for overtime on my first shift. There’s a policy that if someone calls in insisting they saw something, we have to take it at face value and enter the call. Well, this lady called me just after midnight and swore she saw a chupacabra on the west side of Orlando, and she insisted that an officer do an area check. So, I entered the call.
Not too long after that, a coworker who had come in on his night off left the building. He called me two minutes later, saying that he just saw a kangaroo hopping down the street. I can’t make this stuff up.
20. This Will Make You Giggull
I had a guy call 9-1-1 because he was concerned about a seagull he thought was injured in a Chipotle restaurant parking lot. Apparently, while still on the phone with me, he tried to either pick up or check on the bird, at which point the bird began squawking. The guy started freaking out, and I began having trouble telling them both apart.
Then I heard what might have been the sound of wings flapping, followed by a brief silence. That's when things took a turn. The guy suddenly came back on the line hyperventilating and screaming that he needed an ambulance because he was having a heart attack and that the bird flew off. I wasn’t sure if he was serious, so I got him over to EMS as a precaution.
Upon transferring him and getting EMS on the line, he then got very quiet and said, “I think I’m okay. I’ll call you back later.” He quickly hung up and would not answer on callback. I still wonder about Steven Seagull whenever I drive by a Chipotle.
21. Doggone It, Karen
I’m not an emergency operator, but I once had to shadow one for my EMS month during my residency training. While I was there, this woman called 9-1-1 three times in 10 minutes for a ridiculous reason—there was a service animal in a mall. She kept saying things like, “He’s here staring at me!” Followed by, “No, I don’t care that he’s helping! He just licked his nuts!”
22. He Had A Bird
A guy called in because his dog had bitten a seagull and was now “acting strange.” He demanded we find the bird, capture it, and test it for rabies. The whole circumstances were vague, and he was unwilling to listen to reasonable advice (like that birds can’t carry rabies). He later had the audacity to file a complaint after we informed him that we would not be doing what he wanted.
23. The Boogie Man
A friend of mine once had some officers called on him because he was doing “liquid” at the CTrain station. For those of you who don’t know, “liquid” is a form of dancing at raves where your hands appear to move like liquid. Apparently, the person who called it in saw him doing it and got scared it was satanic or something.
To dial out at my old company, you first had to hit nine-one. Well, one day, my finger twitched, and I hit the number one button twice. Luckily, someone told me this happened a lot and NOT to hang up because they’ll call back. So, I waited to explain the situation, and the operator pressed to see if I was trying to send out a secret signal for help.
This was in an open floor pad office, so everyone around me was laughing good-naturedly like, “We’ve all been there.” I can’t believe the company didn’t change the dial-out policy.
25. A Near Catastrophtree
A caller called because they got their head stuck in a cat tree—and the cat was stuck inside with it. Throughout the call, I kept hearing things like, “Ow, frick,” “Dude, this isn’t fun for me either,” “Dude, I know, frick,” and “Dude!” The caller ended up going to the hospital for a minor case of serious head lacerations…Okay, I don’t really know the severity, but I’m sure they got some stitches.
The other cool thing was that the caller was using an Apple Watch to call 9-1-1 because obviously, they wouldn’t be able to hold the phone to their ear. We get about a dozen misdials from Apple Watches every day; it was nice to finally see one being used for “real.”
26. A Cut Below The Belt
One time a guy called in while I was still training and stated he had cut his you-know-what. I answered, “You cut your junk?!” The trainer smacked me on the arm and told me that I’d misheard: He said he’d cut his hand. She looked at me like I was the world’s biggest pervert! Then 10 seconds later into the same conversation, the guy says, “Yeah, I was trying on a rubber that was too small, and I had to cut it off, so I cut right into my junk!”
She almost couldn’t stop herself from laughing.
27. Oh, Deer
I worked for animal control dispatch in a tourist town during my senior year in high school. I got a call from a lady who had called 9-1-1 previously and was told to call our number instead. I picked up the phone to what sounded like a whole car of very panicked people all yelling at once. After asking several times what was wrong, I finally heard someone yell, “A deer! There’s a deer in somebody’s yard. Y’all gotta come to pick it up!”
Thinking it was either a dead deer or roadkill, I told them that an animal control officer would come to pick up the body soon. Suddenly, a kid in the background started bawling and saying the officer was gonna kill it! So, I paused for a second before asking, “Is the deer alive? What is it doing?” Someone far away from the phone then yelled, “It’s just sitting there in the yard!”
Oh, boy. I replied, “Yeah, this is Texas. He lives there. Just don’t touch him or get too close, and y’all will be okay.” Literally, not even five minutes later, we got a call from another tourist about a deer chasing a family after they tried to take a selfie with it. To this day, I’m still not sure if it was the same family. But wow, I hope it was.
28. Yeah, Yeah…We Know…
I called 9-1-1 today to report a brushfire near downtown Seattle. Here is the call in its entirety: *Ring-ring* Tired-sounding dispatcher: “9-1-1, are you calling to report the brushfire on I-5 by the 520-bridge exit?” Me: “Yes.” Tired-sounding dispatcher: “We got it.” *Click* Well, okay then…I was kinda impressed, to be honest.
I was on a mobile phone, but he had to have had a general ping on my location.
29. This Is Actually Kinda Heartwarming
When I was a kid, I called 9-1-1 to tell the operator about my day at school and that I had no friends to tell. The officers showed up—well, they had to—but they showed up, and after a small lecture about the seriousness of calling 9-1-1, they sat down with me and let me tell them all about my day at school and what I did that day, and blah, blah, blah.
I always thought it was super sweet that they hung back. I was probably about seven at the time. To this day, one of the officers still remembers me, even though I’m 23 now.
30. Welp, If You Jumped When The Toaster Popped Before…
My dad works for emergency services. He got a call from an old lady who said she couldn’t find her husband's gun. So, he asked her, “Where did you see it last?” She replied, “Well, I wanted to hide it from my husband, so I put it in the toaster, and then I donated the toaster to a thrift store.” Huh? My dad clarified, “So, ma’am, you put the gun in the toaster, then donated said toaster to a store?” The woman answered, “Yes. Yes, I did.” Sigh. My dad responded, “Well, ma’am, I can’t help you with that.”
Toaster of doom, we like to call it.
31. A Nice Coincidence
I have a fun story! My brother is a 9-1-1 operator in the area where we live. One day I was at the store with my son, and I gave him my phone to play with. Well, he accidentally called emergency services, and my brother coincidentally was the one who got the call! I guess my son just wanted to talk to his uncle that day.
32. Myth Versus Reality
I’ve had to call animal control about a chupacabra that was killing all the chickens in my neighborhood. I had caught a glimpse of it a few days before in my backyard and couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Then I saw it walking down the street in broad daylight and was able to catch a picture and confirm that I wasn’t crazy.
They told me they had tons of calls about it and to tell all my neighbors to lock up our chickens, bring in any outside animal food, and that they had live traps set for it all over. Spoiler alert: It was a coyote completely bald from mange and so skinny you would never recognize it. I was glad they already had calls about it. I knew it was not okay, whatever it was, but I had no idea how to describe it aside from el chupacabra.
Thankfully they knew exactly what I was talking about.
33. Phony Phone Calls
I had a kid repeatedly call emergency services from a non-service phone. A non-service phone is a phone that no longer has a subscription attached to it; although you can’t call anyone else, you can still use it to call 9-1-1. The problem is that it’s untraceable, and this little brat knew it. Me: “9-1-1, where’s your emergency?” Him: “What’s up, Freakface?”
Me: “9-1-1, where’s your emergency?” Him: “What’s up, Freakface?” Me: “9-1-1, where’s your emergency?” Him: “What’s up, Freakface?” Finally, I said, “We have triangulated your position. Officers are on the way.” After a brief silence, he said, “No, they ain’t...FREAKFACE!”
34. The Donut Dispute
When I worked at a local domestic assault line, someone once called in to report that she’d ordered a dozen donuts but only received 11 and that the store wouldn’t give her another one the next day. Her husband was yelling and taking it out on the kids, but she didn’t want us to talk to her husband. Instead, she insisted that if she could just get one more donut out of the store, he would calm down.
This woman had been in and out of the women’s shelter, so we knew her husband was a bad person. Well, he got taken into custody anyway, as he wasn’t supposed to be there due to a restraining order. She then called us back to yell at us about how she “just wanted one freaking donut, not to see him detained.”
35. She Had Fowl Breath
I’m an ex-EMT. After receiving an unknown call, I arrived on the scene. A frantic husband with a thick accent came running at us screaming, “Chicken breath! Chicken breath!” Huh? It turned out his wife couldn’t breathe due to an allergy, and he was actually trying to tell us, “She can’t breathe!” From that point on, all shortness of breath calls would always be referred to as “chicken breath!”
36. Much Ado About Stuffing
At the time, this wasn’t funny, but I guess it was in hindsight. It was Thanksgiving Day morning, and I’d just started my shift around 5 AM. I was the only one working for the day shift, and I settled in for what should have been a mostly peaceful day of hanging out, eating food, playing New Vegas, and relaxing. Then my 9-1-1 line rang.
I picked it up and went through the usual rundown only to be greeted not by someone with a medical emergency, a fire, or an offense in progress—nothing like that—but by a woman who needed help making a turkey. I then told her this was an emergency line only, and she informed me that this was an emergency because she had family coming over that night and she had to make Thanksgiving dinner. I couldn't believe what I was hearing.
I apologized for her problem but told her that her issue was not an actual emergency, so I needed to clear the line. And yes, I also went through our checking procedures to see if this was secretly a domestic issue or something like that where the individual couldn’t speak freely. But this call was not anything like that.
She called back a few minutes later but hung up upon realizing it was still me. She then called back and got me again, and I informed her that I was the only one working, so her repeatedly calling in the hopes of getting someone else wouldn’t work. But before I could tell her that law enforcement would come out to her location the next time she called unnecessarily, she hung up. Somehow, I knew that wasn't the end of this.
About 10 minutes later, she called again, pitching a sob story about her Thanksgiving being ruined and needing help to salvage it for her family. This time, I let her know that LE was on their way, and she tried to call it like I was bluffing until I read back her address. So, she hung up again. When law enforcement did arrive, she played dumb like she had no idea why they were there. Fortunately, everything was recorded, and we had her number and address pinged with every call.
The officers gave her a verbal warning, and then they left…only for her to immediately call me back to chew me out for sending LE to her home and scaring her kids. So this time, she wanted to talk to my supervisor to file a complaint. Shockingly, this didn’t get her very far, but it did get law enforcement back out to her place to actually issue her a citation for misusing 9-1-1 and tying up the lines.
Then on Monday morning, she called 9-1-1 again to complain about me…and got another citation.
37. Busy Street…
A coworker of mine once received a weird call from a guy standing in front of our law enforcement headquarters. The caller said that he was watching people “doing the deed” in a car parked on the street. He then decided to tell us he was watching it happen but that it was disgusting to watch—yet he continued to watch them.
He stated that if we ran the lights and sirens to catch the offending pair, he would willingly turn in his coke to make them stop. Then, somehow or another, the caller started to pleasure himself while watching the couple. Oddly enough, this happens a fair amount right in front of headquarters...
38. Pining For A Silent Night
I called the non-emergency law enforcement line once for my across-the-way neighbor playing Christmas music at all hours for seven months straight. It turns out that I live next to a deaf building, and the person had no idea that their music was 1) playing 24/7 and 2) playing so loudly that I could hear it in any room in my apartment across the driveway.
The operator was absolutely cracking up because I was like, “Look, it’s July. I can’t take hearing "Holy Night" again.” The callback I got after they contacted the person was absolutely hilarious—the cop couldn’t stop chuckling every few words.
39. Bottle Service
I’m no longer a 9-1-1 operator, but I had a funny one: Somehow, while a man and a woman were getting hot and heavy, the man ended up getting his junk stuck inside of a Gatorade bottle. Although getting his junk stuck wasn’t funny (it’s a serious medical concern that could result in emergency surgery), his partner yelling in the background about how he could have just asked for her help was literally cracking me up throughout the call.
40. He Immediately Noticed A Vas Deferens
I was working in dispatch when a call came in to a coworker from an adult male who very slowly, methodically, and painfully explained that he had just recently gotten circumcised. Apparently, he and his girlfriend/wife decided to get physical a little earlier than the doctor had said was allowed, when suddenly his you-know-what began to swell…and swell…and swell.
“It’s like…the size of a football, ma’am!” He said that. I’m totally serious. To her credit, my coworker completely kept her composure—unlike the rest of us in the room, who were now all listening in. Eventually, she finally started to crack, so she put the call on hold and dispatched the call. But 9-1-1 records everything as soon as you dial the last number, so we went back to listen to what happened while the call was on hold.
That poor guy. All we heard next was the caller yelling to his partner, “Baby—no! No, we can’t finish! It HURTS!” Then, after some persistent badgering coming from a female voice, he began exclaiming, “BABY—Did you not see this? The head of my Johnson looks like a FOOTBALL!” This was definitely one of my most memorable calls.
While I’m sure it was absolutely traumatic for the guy, it was nice to have a legit near-comical call as one to keep in the memory bank.
41. What The Duck
A neighbor of mine who was off his meds called 9-1-1 about a duck threatening him. Law enforcement responded because ducks are mean and can mess you up. The dude was on his porch trying to leave, but the duck kept honking at him and flapping like a madman. The officers arrived, and they saw the lone duck harassing the old man, as well as a couple dozen more munching on bread in the backyard (which was close to a small lake).
It turned out that he kept forgetting he already fed the ducks, so he kept coming outside to throw them more bread. Whether the lone duck wanted more bread or whether he was just trying to stop the old man from overfeeding him, I’ll never know.
42. She Went Off Like A Firecracker
I had a sweet-sounding older lady call because people were setting off fireworks and she was concerned the wildlife would get scared and get hit by a vehicle. When I told her that the fire department was being sent to check it out, she immediately got furious, saying she didn’t want the fire department, that it was a waste of taxpayers' dollars, and that she would never call again.
43. Excuse Me, While I Make A Moan Call
I don’t work as a 9-1-1 operator anymore, but I had a funny call where a sex worker butt-dialed me. I was new to the sheriff’s office at the time and thought she was in distress with the moans I heard on the phone. That was my “welcome to this job” call. This frequently happened back in the 2010s because holding a key would automatically dial 9-1-1 on your phone.
44. He Needed A Different Kind Of Welfare Check
Many years ago, I was dispatching for FDNY/EMS, and this man kept calling to say that aliens were stealing his welfare check. So, I sent some officers over to his apartment and stayed on the phone with him, and he said, “You hear that? They are here!” It was the officers banging on his door. I felt bad that I thought it was funny, so I radioed the officers and told them to stop knocking.
I then asked the caller, “Did they stop knocking, sir?” He said, “Yes! What did you do?” I explained to him that he did the right thing in calling me because I had all the answers. I then told him, “Here’s what you have to do,” and I proceeded to instruct him to put aluminum foil on his windows so the aliens would skip over his house.
It turned out that he was getting his check delivered to his son, and the son was paying his father’s bills. So, the next month, the son showed up on the day the check was supposed to arrive at his father’s home to explain that the money was safely sent to him instead, so the caller didn’t have to worry about the aliens getting it. This guy went into therapy after that, of course.
It’s freaky stuff that you have to deal with. I have tons of stories working for the New York City Services for 33 years, but that story stuck with me.
45. Hog Hunt
I’m a former dispatcher. My funniest call was a guy who said he wanted to report a pig running around. I had to ask, “A pig, as in a curly-tailed pig?” He replied, “Yes, sir. He’s running by Taco Bell now.” I dispatched animal control, who got on the scene and asked for help. One of our officers assisted, and for the next 40 minutes or so, I got to listen to two of the city’s finest chase a young pig around some businesses.
Once the pig was finally caught, it was determined the pig came from a transport truck. The driver said he didn’t want the pig back, so the pig went to the Humane Society. I never did hear what happened to the little fellow after that.
46. Stone Cold
I had a resident call the ACO about a dead animal in his yard. The responder got out there, and it was a typical suburban yard, with mulch edging all the way around the fence and decorative plants here and there. It was very uncluttered, neat, and small. The caller pointed to the “dead animal” and told the responder to take care of it.
She walked over to where he was pointing but didn’t see anything. So, the man called the responder an idiot and told her the dead animal was right in front of her. She picked up a decorative rock, turned around, and asked, “This?” The caller said, “Of course! What are you some kind of moron?!” What the responder did next was gold.
She brought the rock to the caller and told him we’re not allowed to dispose of dead wildlife and that he had to put it in his trash can. Then she laid the rock on the table in front of him. He called her a jerk and slammed the door.
47. Wrong Pipe…
A guy called from a payphone to complain that he had a pipe wrench stuck up his butt and he needed an ambulance. He gave his location at the corner where the payphone was located. I asked him if he could tell me his appearance so I could be sure the medics could find him. He responded, “Look, dude. I’ll be the only guy on the corner with a pipe wrench in his butt.”
I couldn’t argue with that...
My mom was a 9-1-1 operator in the San Francisco Bay Area in the 80s and 90s. She once got a call where she couldn’t understand the caller. He was slurring his words. She knew he was calling from a bar, so she asked if he’d been drinking, and after asking many times, she was able to determine that he actually wanted law enforcement, not an ambulance.
He wanted to file charges because a woman pulled his tongue. So, she asked, “How was she able to pull your tongue?” To which the caller replied, “Because I stuck it out at her.” She had to keep muting the call because she was laughing so hard. Apparently, her supervisor went on to play this call in many seminars for years, and it always got a ton of laughter.
49. Low Blow
My late aunt once called 9-1-1 because my uncle wouldn’t change the fan that was blowing on her. Because it was a small community in Northeast Michigan, the officers just laughed and came out and changed the fan.
50.The B&E Breakdance
I used to do overnight security and have had to call 9-1-1 several times. My favorite was a gentleman who was obviously on something: He was jittery, touching his face a lot, and he couldn’t sit still. He tried to break into a house next to our campus. So, I dialed 9-1-1 right then. As I was giving them a description of what he was wearing, he started stripping his clothes off and running across our campus.
So, now I have to tell the emergency operator, “Yeah, he’s butt nekkid in the middle of the street, laying down. I think he’s doing the worm.” We eventually lost the guy on the cameras and had no clue where he was. Five cruisers showed up, and they rounded up the only guy in our area with no shoes or a shirt. When we went outside to give the officers a statement, the guy was trying to convince them that he was the one who called them to report that someone took his shoes.
The officers didn’t buy it for a second. But they let him go, and he just ran off into the night. Barefoot, with no shirt.
51. What Doctor Agreed To This?
I have a friend who works as a dispatcher. She has a lot of crazy stories—but this is the craziest by far. She once told me about a call that came in from a lady whose 20-something-year-old son ran away from home after she forced him to get a vasectomy. Sorry, what? Although my friend hasn't updated me about this bizarre tale, I hope the poor guy got away and found somewhere safe to go.
52. New Account Balance: $9.11
I work in the dispatch center for a department that serves a city with a population just shy of a million, so we get a buttload of calls every day. Naturally, we get some wild stories about various cons, especially these days. Because of this, I quickly became numb to some of the mental gymnastics people do while they rationalize why they sent the IRS $5,000 worth of Best Buy gift cards purchased from five different Best Buy stores.
Half the stories give me a chuckle, but an overwhelming majority of them just cause me to feel bad for the caller because I know they’re not getting any of that money back. This brings me to a call that I took last year from a younger woman who was likely in her late 20s or early 30s. Her story started off like any run-of-the-mill scam: Someone claiming to be from the FBI called to inform her that she had a warrant out for her but that she could “clear her name” if she sent them money.
Well, how much money did they ask for? They told her that all of the money in her checking account would suffice...Yup, that’s correct. Whatever random amount of money she had would do—so, that’s what she sent. The total amounted to about $4,000. But wait—there's more. After feeling bad for her and gathering some additional information, I began to let her know about the various reporting options and whatnot. She cut me off and asked, “Well, what can I do about the verification pictures?”
I was like, “What are you talking about?” What she said next blew my mind. She explained, “Well, yeah, they said they needed to verify my identity through their body verification system. So, I sent them several undressed photos as they asked me to—pictures from the front, the side, and from the back while I was bending over.” I was absolutely stunned.
She had to do a quintessential, “Ya there?” into the phone so that I could come back to freaking reality for a moment. At this point, I thought I was the one getting messed with! But she was bawling her eyes out by this time, so I made no assumptions, other than the fact that there was probably even more to the story—WHICH THERE FREAKING WAS.
Like a respectful kid listening to a bedtime story, I was just like, “And then what happened?” She proceeded to tell me that they threatened to send the photos to her friends and family if she didn’t pay them even more money. How much money? Well, in true FBI-Body-Verifying-Agent form, they doubled down and said that all the money she had in her savings account would be enough, WHICH WAS $25,000!
I’m just sitting there in my chair like, please God, no. But of course, she sent it to them. I’ve considered getting into the scamming business ever since.