August 17, 2011

The Case of the Missing Beaucoups

Movita and I had plans to spend this past Monday together - something that rarely occurs because Movita teaches dance and her spare time is always at a premium. It was a dull, leaden gray day and Movita had not slept well the night before so, instead of driving to the Valley, or exploring the South Shore (ideas we had tossed around), we opted for a simple day of shopping and lunch out.

Our shopping expedition only lasted an hour.We managed one stop at Michaels Arts and Crafts. Just as we were heading for the cashier there, my cellphone rang with a message from B. Beaucoup to say that he had been passed a note in Court that a 911 call had been made from our home.
Well, I was standing in the store and he was at work. And Lucy Dog is in the final stages of her life, and has never managed, even when fit and full of spirit, to place an emergency call on that telephone keypad.

The phone call at Michaels was hurried as the RCMP were waiting to hear verification from him that I was alive and well and, in fact, out shopping - not dead inside the house or hastily buried in the woodland garden.

Because, you see, police protocol demands that the officer come to the house and speak to each family member to confirm that everything is okay. And if the individuals are not there, he has to eventually track them down and speak with them.

End of the affair?? Think again!
The RCMP had first called the security company (the sticker is on our window) to confirm that the house alarm was never activated. The security company called two families in our neighbourhood who are listed as authorized contacts and entry people. They knew nothing about what was going on but word was out on the street that we were "missing". As well, the constable went to the house next door to speak to the elderly grandmother there. She is a rather shy lady - I have never met her and have rarely seen her outdoors. She promptly called her son-in-law at work and reported that the police were looking for us. He called his wife at her job and she declared emphatically "That is it! We are getting a dog. A German Shepherd. A big one!"

The security company had provided the RCMP with a rough -only rough, mind you - idea of how to track down B. Beaucoup. So the officer proceeded to call every courthouse in the province until he hit an administrator in the right courthouse who could pass a message along. Monsieur Beaucoup then, in turn, had to call me, the security company, the RCMP and the phone company. Yes, the phone company. Because Aliant are the culprits here. This is the second time in two months that a 911 emergency call has been triggered from our home. The first one was at 2 a.m. - but that is another story - And, Memo to Self: always wear matching pajamas to bed. You never know when the RCMP will come to search your house (see above explanation of police protocol).

And, Aliant, who was supposed to have fixed problems with the phone lines on at least four other occasions, blamed the security system for sending an erroneous message on the phone line. The contact person at the security company told me emphatically (very emphatically) that the system is incapable of dialing a three digit number - as in , you know, 9-1-1.

Movita felt strongly that we should cut our shopping expedition short and go home to Lucy Dog, who might be agitated with the police trying the doors and exploring the property.
Photo Courtesy of Movita Beaucoup

Lunch at home was leftover fish chowder puncutated with more calls from B. Beaucoup, the security company, Aliant, and - ta da! - an armed constable at the front door! He was such a nice man. He apologized for not being able to take B. Beaucoup`s word (despite his position)  that I was alive and well. After all, HE could have knocked me over the head and disposed of the body.
"Ha!", came an exclamation from down the hall, "It is obvious that you have never met him. He is not a big man. WE could have taken him out!"
"Officer", I said, gesturing toward her, "this is our eldest daughter, Movita".
"Ah,"he replied, "I called YOU  this morning too."

The entire evening was spent talking to the neighbours, one by one, as they called or came over, to explain the situation - Neither of us officially missing. Neither of us dead. Neither one of us guilty of murdering the other.

Aliant was due to come here yesterday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to check the phone lines.
They never showed up.
Maybe someone should call 911.


movita's sister said...

Best. Story. Ever.

heatherjay said...

As I read this, I thought of two things (well three, if you count the tears of laughter squirting from my eyes...) - 1) the Beaucoups are, and always have been, more than just the quiet family next door, and 2)I know where your daughters get their writing and story-telling abilities...
Glad you are safe (how's Lucy?)

Anonymous said...

I'm really glad I was with you, and knew what was going on, because when I got home there was a message on my phone from an RCMP constable telling me to call the detachment.

I definitely would have thought you were dead.


Heather, Lucy The Miracle Dog went to see the vet last week and I am sure he was somewhat surprised to see her again! Seven months ago, he predicted that she had a few days or, at most, a few weeks remaining. She has great difficulty managing stairs and she tires very easily - a ten minutes stroll around the garden is more than enough for her. But she doesn't appear to be in pain and the vet has reassured us that we are not being overly selfish in keeping her with us and we are very reluctant to let go...