Last night I had to call 911, because I heard gunshots outside my apartment — first there were two shots, evenly spaced, and then three in a row, very fast. Sounded like a small-caliber pistol, I told the operator. (This being Texas, she didn’t bother to ask me how I could guess the caliber.)
Anyway, the cops arrived, and then a fire engine.
Not gunshots: fireworks.
Of course, “fireworks” never occurred to me as a choice because I’m culturally ignorant, and had no idea that it’s Diwali Time, here in Little Hyderabad, Plano (that’s what they call it, because there are so many people from that city living in the area).
That would also explain why so many apartment patios are festooned with light strings — they’re not premature Christmas lights (which is what I mistakenly thought) but Diwali lights, which is apparently a whole ‘nother thing. So instead of living amidst a large number of Christian folk, I’m surrounded, so to speak, by Diwali devotees. (Okay, I knew that already.)
Anyway, I felt a bit of a fool for calling 911 just about fireworks, but I guess that’s what happens when you don’t get the appropriate memo from the Ministry of Cultural Assimilation. And honestly? these were loud bangs, so my confusion is quite understandable. (I had the 1911 in hand while peering through the curtains and making the 911 call.)
Anyway, the morons who set off the fireworks got their pee-pees whacked both by the Fuzz and the Apartment Lords, as setting off fireworks in these parts is Streng Verboten. (We have an extensive forest on both sides of the nearby creek, surrounded by empty grass fields that have somehow escaped the attention of property developers, hence the fire risk and prohibition.)
And by the way: the cops were on the spot in about three minutes: nothing like “Shots fired” over the old 911 to get the donuts dropped and the engines running. But of course if there had been gunshots, three minutes is far too long.
This is Kim, your local Cultural Ignoramus, signing off.