July 22, 2016

The Day Text Alerts Saved My Life: A Short Story

 

the day text alerts saved my life

[Disclaimer: This is not a true story and is not meant to be taken seriously]

Hi, my name is Jefferson, and this is the story of how I almost died.

I go to college at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. I’m a psych major, always evaluating everyone and everything. The mind fascinates me, specifically the criminal mind. I always wonder, Why do people resort to theft and murder? What brings them to that point?

I wonder all this and meanwhile crimes happen all around me. Omaha certainly isn’t the crime capital of the world, but it ain’t no small-time country town either. There are shootings and rapes and drug deals, and I’m just not used to any of it! (I grew up in a small town in Nebraska called Roca; population: 220.)

Anyway, one day I’m just strolling along campus, minding my own business, when suddenly my phone buzzes. I take a look, thinking it’s probably my mom or my sister (I really don’t have that many friends) and am surprised to see that it’s a text alert from the school:

“WARNING: Man threatening with sharp object in the library. Police have been called. We advise students to stay away.”

I stop in my tracks—the library is where I am headed. I am intrigued and tempted to peek inside to see what might be going on.

Maybe I can be a hero! Maybe I can knock the intruder down and save the day! I’ll pin him to the ground and hold him there until the police arrive! It’s a chance to experience firsthand the thing that fascinated and yet scared me the most—the criminal mind.

But then I remember the sad yet relieving truth that I have the arms of a twig and have never lifted a dumbbell once in my life. Brains, not brawn, are my specialty. I most certainly would be overpowered if I tried to subdue that attacker. I’ll leave it to the athletes and to the police.

About an hour later I receive another alert from the school:

“Threat has been subdued. No one was injured. Thank you to Hudson Jacobs and Jared Hoover for your brave pursuits in holding the attacker down until police could arrive.”

Hudson and Jared are both on the basketball team.

Called it.

So I continue on, thankful to be alive, thankful to be scrawny, and thankful for text alerts.

P.S. As it turns out, the “sharp object” the man was using to threaten people was actually just a pencil.  Go figure.

Save a life! Get a text alert system today. 🙂

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