TV show provides dose of stress relief

Published 8:44 am Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Like it had been all week, Saturday was another rainy and gloomy day.

And, like it had been all week, I spent the majority of my waking hours on Saturday behind my desk at work….putting the final touches on our annual Black History Month tab (which is inserted inside today’s edition) and getting a head start on the coming week.

By day’s end and a soggy ride home, my mind was tired…seeking some sort of relief from the week-long work load and feeling sluggish as well from the thought of even more rain in the forecast.

I felt a bit better after consuming a bowl of my wife’s delicious homemade vegetable beef soup. I settled into my recliner, surfing through the TV channels in search of something interesting to watch.

My attention briefly focused on the NASCAR Truck Series race in foggy Atlanta…..that is until Kyle Busch began to dominate the field and pull away. Watching a driver of his immense talent compete at a lower level of professional racing is like watching Tom Brady at the helm of an Arena Football League team on a Saturday night before suiting up for the reigning Super Bowl champion New England Patriots on Sunday……boring!!!

I tried to watch some of the Duke at Syracuse game, but lost interest when the TV game announcers wanted to talk more about who was not on the court (Zion Williamson) rather than who was on it.

Ever since Zion “blew a tire” at the start of last week’s UNC at Duke game, it seems like that “news” consumed the entire world. To prove my point, there was one of those TV news magazine shows that aired a piece last Thursday where they used a “shoe expert” to break down what happened to Zion’s Nikes…..boring!!!

So, I continued to search the tube high and low for some sort of unique show that would hold my attention; at least for an hour to allow my mind to clear from a week’s worth of stress.

Low and behold I stumbled across Outrageous 911 – a reality show on The Learning Channel (TLC). It’s format is the same as its name….odd and strange calls placed to emergency dispatchers across the USA.

For me, it was just what the doctor ordered as a stress reliever. Here are just a few samples of what left me doubled over in laughter:

A man calls after discovering that a flock of chickens, kept in his backyard, were mutilated. While that’s not funny, what was is his belief of how it happened. He explained to the police that he had seen an alien creature in his backyard and it came from a UFO. Turns out the alien creature was a coyote.

A woman calls, complaining of someone next door talking loudly and it was interrupting her daily routine. When the police arrive, they learn the woman lives next door to a church and the “loud” voice was that of a preacher delivering his weekly sermon.

As a female 911 operator was trying to learn more from a man who had called about a disturbance at his home involving his wife, she asked if the couple had been drinking alcohol. His reply was priceless: “Yes, and my wife accidently got drunk.”

A woman called to complain that her neighbor’s rooster wakes her up every morning. This show apparently favors chicken-related stories.

After entering through the roof of a business, a would-be robber discovers he cannot exit the same way he entered, and that all doors are keyed deadbolts. He is forced to call 911 for assistance. It doesn’t even take a degree from UNC to figure out that he was arrested upon law enforcement’s arrival.

And, finally, the funniest call came from a woman who told the dispatcher she was in her car and could not get out. The dispatcher inquired if the vehicle’s doors were locked, to which the woman replied, yes. “Do you have the old-style locks (manually operated by fingers) or electronic locks,” the 911 operator asked. “Electronic,” was the answer. “Well, use that device to unlock your vehicle, it should be located there by the driver’s window,” the operator noted. “But I’m in the back seat,” said the woman. “There should be one at every door,” the operator said. “Oh, yes, I see it now….thanks.”

You just can’t make this stuff up. Thanks to TLC for some much needed stress relief.

Cal Bryant is the Editor of Roanoke-Chowan Publications. Contact him at or 252-332-7207.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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