The time was 1:18 a.m. when a Hood County woman declared a state of emergency.Calling 911 early Feb. 11, she laughed and shouted, "I need some cigarettes!"That's not what the operator sent.
Listen to the 911 call
Instead of a carton of smokes, Linda White, 48, of Oak Trail Shores got a visit from deputies.She now faces a Class B misdemeanor charge of making an abusive 911 call, according to a county news release.TV and radio stations nationwide are now replaying what deputies said was White's call, hearing her grump to a guest about "waiting all night" for an unnamed friend and suddenly announcing, "I'm just going to call 911 and tell them I need cigarettes."For weary 911 operators, it's not that funny."We really have calls like this all the time," spokeswoman Alisa Simmons of the Tarrant County 9-1-1 District said Tuesday.One day lately, an Arlington caller asked how to spell a word. Callers often ask for directions around construction or stadium traffic."We don't want people to hesitate to call us, ever," Simmons said."If there's any doubt it's a threat to life or property, call."Otherwise -- don't.Every police and fire department has a regular phone number for nonemergency calls.Our 911 calls have made national news before. In 2009, a caller in Haltom City phoned to complain that A&D Buffalo's restaurant ignored a special order with her shrimp fried rice."He didn't even put extra shrimp in there!" she complained, leaving before police arrived.The same year, a 53-year-old Kerrville woman called 911 to complain that her husband wouldn't eat his supper.In 2004, a Bryan man called to report, "Somebody stole my crack. ... I want my money back!"One of the better calls came into Tyler operators in 2006:911: "Smith County 911."Caller: "I'm watching a movie and a guy's beating another guy with a bat."911: "A movie?"Caller: "I got it from Blockbuster."911: "OK, and what do you want me to do about that?"Caller: "What can you do?"911: "If you don't want to watch the movie, then turn it off."Caller: "OK. Thank you. Bye."Bud Kennedy's column appears Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays.817-390-7538Twitter: @budkennedy