May 27, 2024
I Can’t Stop Calling the National Guard

I Can’t Stop Calling the National Guard

New York Governor Kathy Hochul will deploy 750 soldiers from the state’s National Guard to help New York City police check commuters’ bags in the busiest stations in the city’s sprawling subway system . . . Crimes on the subway were down about 15% in February compared to the same month in 2023, according to police data. Hochul, a Democrat, said that commuters were not reassured by “rattling off” crime statistics. —Reuters

When I saw a mouse run across the floor I knew exactly who to call.

In under an hour, seven hundred and fifty soldiers from the National Guard were at my door with glue traps and sealant. They even left a rear guard to keep an eye on the traps.

Suddenly, I couldn’t stop calling the National Guard!

I called the National Guard when I overbaked my brownies and my smoke alarm went off.

I called the National Guard when I underbaked my brownies and I was worried they might make me sick.

When I called the National Guard about a tree-pollen allergy flare-up, they said I should only use their number in emergencies.

One morning, I called the National Guard when I thought the power was out, but their phone started ringing in my apartment—they were already here fixing the A.C.!

We all had a chuckle, and, since we were all up, I made seven hundred and fifty-one cups of coffee.

When the National Guard laughs, it’s like a rushing river. But, when the National Guard is angry, you feel like the sun might never shine again.

I called the National Guard because the water was coming out of the faucet in weird, muddy spurts, but when they got here it was coming out normal again. I was, like, “It wasn’t doing that a second ago!” and laughed.

No one in the National Guard laughed.

I called the National Guard on Halloween to coördinate outfits. They said they didn’t really want to dress up, so I went as Harry Potter and I got them seven hundred and fifty wizard hats so they could be other Hogwarts students.

I shouldn’t have bothered—the National Guard barely talked to any of my friends and spent most of the night buried in their phones.

Maybe I shouldn’t have called the National Guard when I was at Walgreens and the store was playing “Something Just Like This,” but that was the song that was on the radio the first time I called them, and I was feeling sentimental.

“There’s a big dog in this bookstore that I don’t think is supposed to be here,” I said, feeling like the National Guard was barely listening. “And my tooth is still hurting in the same spot I told you about, too.”

“How many regiments are needed to respond to this . . . threat?” I heard a snicker, and realized the National Guard was trying not to laugh.

“There’s nothing funny about dental pain,” I said.

I must have looked upset because the assistant bookseller said, “Sounds like an asshole. I can get this dog out of here.”

I was at an apartment party and everyone had so many questions about the National Guard. “Is it true they were founded in 1636, even before the military?”

We were all a little drunk, so I said, “Let’s call them up and see!”

While the phone was ringing, I knew I was making a mistake, but I couldn’t stop myself.

“Yeah?” the National Guard said. They sounded like they were half asleep.

“Hi! We were just—I was just wondering . . . ”

“Baby, who’s calling?” a muffled voice said on the other end of the line—a voice I didn’t recognize. I felt like seven hundred and fifty knives were stabbing me in the heart.

I tried to pull myself together. “I just called to say you forgot one of your guns at my house.”

It wasn’t even true. They had remembered all of their guns. They always remembered their guns.

A few weeks later, I was on a date at a cat café with the assistant bookseller when my phone rang––the National Guard was calling me.

“Hey,” the National Guard said. “I just wanted to say I feel really bad about the way things went down.”

“Sorry, I’m in the middle of something right now,” I said, picking up a calico kitten. “Maybe another time?” Then I hung up on the National Guard. ♦

Source link