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Dave Ross

Don’t play with the phone

I was a curious kid, and I would sometimes pick up the telephone and just try dialing numbers. One time I was at grandma’s house doing this, and a voice comes on. It was the operator – the telephone company had live operators in the 50’s – and she says, ‘Are you playing with phone? You shouldn’t play with the phone.’

I was terrified. Back then there was only one phone company, and to be in trouble with the whole phone system? I just hung up and ran.

So I can identify with 10-year-old Dan Davis, the boy in Brockton Massachusetts who got so angry when his mom sent him to bed early, he told her he was going to call 911.

“He really did pick up the phone and do it, and I was a little shocked,” said Dan’s mom.

He punched in 911 – and then just hung up. But you can’t just call 911 and hang up. They’re going to call you back.

Mom: Hello?
911: Hello, this is 911. Somebody just called from there.
Mom: Yeah, it was my son. My 10-year-old son.

And they’re going to send an officer.

Mom: He doesn’t want to come to the phone, I’m sorry.
911: I have to send somebody out anyway.
Mom: Okay. That’s alright.

Mom said absolutely send an officer – who found Dan hiding under the covers, because according to Dan, he was embarrassed.

But as Dan told Boston’s WBZ, he learned his lesson. “You only use the phone for an emergency like car crash, somebody hurting you, a fire.”

He is grounded for two weeks, and after doing the TV interview, he was sent to bed early. But he did get himself on TV and at least he didn’t have to answer to the phone company.

Only the police.

Dave Ross on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM

  • Tune in to KIRO Radio weekdays at 5am for Dave Ross on Seattle's Morning News.

About the Author

Dave Ross

Dave Ross hosts the Morning News on KIRO Radio weekdays from 5-9 a.m. Dave has won the national Edward R. Murrow Award for writing five times since he started at KIRO Radio in 1978.


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