Wrong Place, Wrong Time
According to witnesses, the problem began when police responded to a disturbance call but arrived at the wrong address.
“The county has been opening its doors to social events, conferences, and meetings by groups outside the area,” said SNPD spokesperson Ren Williams. “We like to keep a quiet and fairly restricted community, but by allowing the right groups access to the county’s amenities -- those groups that fit in culturally with the citizenry here -- we’re hoping to generate some more money for the local economy. In the case presently under review, it seems that we had a problem with our first Mensa meeting. We don’t have Mensa members here, so there were a lot of unknowns.”
Mensa International, a non-profit organization open to people who score at the 98th percentile or higher on an approved IQ test, is the largest and oldest high-intelligence society in the world.
“One of the key problems was location,” Williams continued. “They [Mensa] were originally registered at the Lake Inverarity Social Hall, but that venue became unavailable after the horrific and unmentionable fallout from the May 20 Grape Ade Social. The Mensa people then requested to be relocated to the Log Jam bar in the Mendocino Falls district. But they changed their minds after we explained to them that the area borders Hobo Gardens, and that the jokes their organizers made about the Log Jam’s name weren’t actually innuendos. I mean, we all know what kind of logs come down the chute in that place. They finally settled on the Heritage Heights Library, which in hindsight was a bigger mistake. Had we only known what Mensa was at the time.”
Amid Confusion, Police Make Regrettable Judgment Call
On May 23, at approximately 7:18 p.m., a diner leaving the Olive Garden restaurant near the library called 911 to report a disturbance.
Based on tapes of the call and the responding officers’ reports, three men and a woman broke out into a heated argument in the breezeway between the library and the Rocking Temple senior care center for autistics. A partial transcript of the 911 call details the nature of the incident:
911 Operator: Sir, could you describe the suspects?
Caller: There’s three guys. They’re all kind of dumpy and funny looking -- weird shaped faces. They’re wearing mismatched clothes, and they’re screaming at this woman. The woman is wearing a floral skirt over denim jeans, with slippers. She’s got a t-shirt on, with a picture of some old man who’s got this crazy white hair. Some letters underneath, but I can’t see what they spell out. There’s an E and an equals sign and some other symbols. I don’t know.
911 Operator: I hear shouting in the background. Can you tell me what they’re fighting about?
Caller: I don’t know. I don’t understand it.
911 Operator: Can you pick out any of the words?
Caller: Uh, I’ll try. Something about relatives. Okay, now they’re yelling about a cat in a box. The cat is a relative’s pet? I’m not sure. But, oh shit, they’re going to kill the cat with poison. Yes, I’m sure of it, that’s what they’re arguing over. I guess the cat’ll die if someone opens the box it’s in. What the hell is wrong with these people? And...wait. The woman is saying that no matter what happens, the cat is alive and dead at the same time anyway. And then one of the guys starts screaming at her and calling her names and telling her that her opinion can’t affect the outcome. And they just keep fighting about the cat being dead or alive, but...why the hell are they going to open the goddamn box if it’ll kill the cat? No one seems concerned that they stuffed a defenseless animal in a box with a bunch of poison. It’s animal cruelty. You need to send someone out here right now.
911 Operator: Can you see the box? Where are they right now, exactly?
Caller: I don’t see the box, but they’re at the senior center. The one next to the library. You know, where they send the elderly autistics. I think, I think that some of the autistics got loose. I mean, it’s all crazy talk and mental shit. They might have escaped. And they’re going to kill a cat!
Based on the lack of concrete details or familiarity with members of Mensa, Ren Williams said the units responded to the Rocking Temple senior center, fearing a security breach.
“Upon rushing into the facility,” Williams explained, “panic ensued. The officers were accosted instantly by several of the patients, who clawed at them and broke nearby objects and screamed until their throats bled. In the end, about fifteen Rocking Temple residents were subdued and hogtied by force. Based on the lack of reliable intelligence the officers had going in, I wouldn’t call the force ‘excessive,’ at least in context. We sincerely regret what happened. We now know that the people arguing were from Mensa, and were in fact outside the library. But honest to God, who could tell the difference? It was a judgment call. It was a reasonable error. The Mensa members, who were apparently debating some kind of physics experiment, were all issued citations for noise pollution. I can tell you, we’ll never be letting those creeps back in this town again.”
(c) 2011. All stories are works of satire and parody.