I get this celular 9-1-1 call -- a woman reports that she's gotten into an accident. I ask if anyone is injured, she says, "No, but the cow is in labor..." That piques my interest a bit, but I ask her where she is, and she says "On the Ortega Highway." Oh, good, that's about 50 miles long... I ask her if she knows the nearest cross-street, she says, no.... but she thinks she's about 15 miles east of Hwy 101. I ask her if she is anywhere near a call-box, and she gets testy: "Why would I need a call-box, I have my cellular phone!" In my most helpful tone of voice, I explain that the numbers on the signs over call-boxes tell us exactly where someone is... She doesn't recall seeing one lately, nor does she have any idea what the sign on the last one said. I ask her if the cars are still in traffic, and she says : "It's just me and this cow; it attacked me!"
"The cow attacked you?" "Yes. It's in labor, and you need to get someone here to help her -- I tried to help her, and that's when she attacked my car." I'm trying to figure out how this lady knew the cow was in labor, but again, I ask: "Well, is YOUR car blocking any lanes?" "No. But the cow is."
"Is your car driveable?"
"Yes." "Can you drive to the nearest call box, further west?"
"Why?" "So our officer can meet you to take your accident report. It's easier when we know where you are, ma'am."
"But what about the cow?"
"Is the cow blocking the roadway?"
"Yes. She's in labor."
(I have to ask.) "Ma'am, how do you know the cow is in labor?"
"She's making a horrible mooing sound and won't get out of the road. I got out to see what was wrong, and she attacked me."
"The cow ATTACKED you, or your car?"
"Both, but I got out of her way... she damaged my car. Are you going to send anyone or not!"
I explain again that if her car was driveable, and she wasn't injured, then moving to someplace where we knew where she was would help the officer locate her. She snaps at me: "How hard can it be to find me? I'm on the Ortega Highway, in a red Mitsubishi, on the side of the road, next to a cow in labor, in a clown suit!"
"Excuse me? What did you say about a clown suit?"
"I'm in a clown suit: make-up, wig and floppy shoes. He can't miss me."
Although I agree with her, privately, I have to ask another question: "Why are you in a clown suit?"
"I was at a birthday party in Temucula."
"And the cow is in labor, right?" (Honest, I said this with a perfectly straight face.)
"Yes!!! You need to get animal control out here for her! And I want a report on the damage to my car!"
I tell her to hold on, and I dispatch the beat officer for the Ortega highway, advising him that the exact location is unknown, but it's about 15 miles east of 101, and the RP is standing next to her red Mitsubishi in a clown suit.
Long pause. The officer says, "Repeat that?"
"Which part?" "All of it..."
So I do, but I add that the roadway is blocked by a cow in labor.
Long pause. "I'm enroute." And on Channel Two, some wise guy moos softly into the microphone. I advise the woman that an officer will be there as soon as he can find her... He encounters an injury accident while enroute, and is delayed for some time. By the time he arrives at where we THINK she might be, she's gone. No red mitsubishi, no cow. No clown suit, either. So I call the cellular phone, no answer. Then I call the home telephone number (because I'm a good dispatcher and I had asked her for it) and she answers the phone at home. No, she couldn't wait any longer, yes she still wants a report, and did we find that poor cow?
To end this long story, after the officer cleared the detail at the woman's house, he adds, "The victim won't be stopping to assist any more cows in labor." I acknowledge this, nicely and professionally, and he adds one last thing: "We don't know WHY she approached a cow in distress wearing a clown suit.... she'd already changed her clothes and I didn't have the guts to ask her that."
My only response to that was "Copy." And another soft moo issued from channel two...