Tag Archives: police

Things that go beep in the night

15 Jul

It was the loud and insistent ringing that woke me. The intercom phone in my apartment, which kind of sounds like a fire alarm.  Was it a summer vacation prank, an urgent summons, a dream? It was weirder than that – it was the police!

“Good Evening Ms. Rudder. This is the police. Your car alarm keeps going off, can you come down and turn it off? The police car will be waiting, ma’m.”

Now, I don’t know about you, but it’s not every day that the police show up at my house, especially in the middle of the night.  Still rubbing sleep from my eyes, I dressed, grabbed my keys and headed downstairs.  Sure enough, there was one of New Westminster’s finest, along with a tow truck, flashing lights and one of those fabulous “policeman’s flashlights” we all secretly crave.  Sure enough, there was my car horn, stuck somehow and producing a pretty feeble, fast-fading tone.

“Could you open up the car, ma’m? There’s a smell of burning wires, we just want to make sure there isn’t a short or a fire.  Maybe you should make sure it starts and the battery isn’t dead.  If you pop the hood we’ll take a look for you.”  Such service!

The tow truck driver, a sprightly young guy with a “back East” Nova Scotia accent checked it over, concluded my battery was fine, and that it must have been my steering wheel lock that had somehow pushed against the horn and caused it to stick in the “on” position.  After recommending I take it in for service, and verifying my name and address, my two new heroes disappeared into the night, taking their flashing lights and sense of adventure with them.

Now, let’s reflect for a moment on the amazing things about this story.  That I live in a neighbourhood where noise after about 11 p.m. gets the attention of the neighbours.  That said neighbours care enough about what’s going on out in the street to call the police, and that the police respond with politeness and assistance. That I live in a place where social trust is high enough that if the police ring your doorbell in the middle of the night (well OK, it was 11:30 p.m. but I’d been asleep for at least an hour by then!), you feel comfortable enough to answer the door, rather than diving to hide the valuables and grab your passport as you head out the back way!

I love this country! July 1st is fine and all, but this officially marks my personal “Canada Day” this year.  Here’s a lesson to us all: make sure you put your steering lock on properly, and don’t forget to appreciate the small but important things in life.

Happy Canada Day, everybody!