Tuesday, 09/16/2008 - 12:28 a.m.
As I was driving home from Podunk Sunday night, I passed a car on the interstate that appeared to be on fire. I didn't see visible flames but there was a cloud of thick gray smoke rolling out from under the car. I thought I was smelling skunk until I got right up to the car and realized it was the cloud surrounding the car. It was bad. It was like driving through fog because of the lack of visibility. I, being mostly decent, called the Highway Patrol to report someone in trouble.
HP: Yes, what is the nature of your emergency?
Me: My name is Fat Girl and I am on 40 heading west and I just passed mile marker 68. There is a car with smoke boiling out from underneath it and I think it might be on fire.
HP: Did you see actual flames?
Me: No, sir, I do not, but I can't swear there isn't a fire. I can't see well enough to tell.
HP: What do you mean you can't see well enough to tell?
Me: Sir, the smoke is so thick and so dark I can't even tell if a man or woman is driving because I can't see the windows through the cloud.
HP: What kind of car is it?
Me: Sir, I can't tell because of the smoke.
HP: You can't tell what kind of car it is?
Me: No, sir, I can't BECAUSE OF THE SMOKE! THE SMOKE is too thick to see anything through!
HP: What color is the car?
Me: Something dark! Blue, black, something dark! Is someone coming to help or what?
HP: Ma'am, I need a description before I can dispatch a car.
Me: Sir, I am on 40 West and I have just passed mile marker 63. The car is at mile marker 68. It is the ONLY car going 20 miles an hour smoking like a chimney! Whoever you send will be able to find it, trust me!
HP: Ma'am, tell me your name again, please.
Me: Dude, are you kidding me?
HP: No, ma'am, I need your name and callback number for the report.
Me: Are you going to send someone or not? Those people are in some kind of distress!
HP: Ma'am, your name, please.
I gave my name and number again. I still have no idea if he sent anyone because he didn't answer my question. I'm not saying that situation called for the Marines but there was at least one person in that car who needed help. DC said tonight that since it was grey smoke it meant the engine had blown out somehow and that white smoke means fire. Look, smoke means fire. I'd rather be safe than sorry and I'm sure that driver was glad someone called it in.
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