You need to read yesterday's post first. I'll wait right here.
We decided to help. Clad in our pajamas, carrying only a flashlight, we set off in the direction of the trouble. It was by then about 4:30 AM.
We arrive on the scene, which is at a private residence between the campground and the road. The Engineer turns the flashlight on, shining it directly at the scene, as if to show that cops have arrived. A blonde woman appears, sees us, and at first she's angry, “What are you doing here?”
We say, “We heard you scream for help, so we came to help.” She collapses on me, in tears, and starts to explain the situation. “I want to leave, they won't let me, they've taken my keys.” She swears she hasn't had a a cocktail in two hours and is fine. I'm thinking to myself, “All evidence to the contrary, ma'am.”
Pretty soon another woman joins us. Let's call her “the wife”. She's somehow even drunker and she's alternating between, “I love you, how sweet of you to help!” to me and The Engineer, to screaming at her friend, “We're just trying to help you! You shouldn't drive!” I try to reason with them and offer a solution. You've tried reasoning with drunks, right? Fairly pointless. The Blonde can come sleep in our car (it's a 12 passenger van) and in the morning, we will give her the keys and she can leave. No takers.
Of course The Engineer, who is a reasonable man, realizes there is no reasoning with drunks (of any gender) and has taken the time to assess the situation while I've been trying to get “the story” from “the wife” and “the blonde”. Suddenly no one wants to talk, because out comes “the son”. He's all of maybe 24, scrawny, and you guessed it, drunk. He is full of crap and claims to own all the property surrounding “this house” and and “over there”, and “over there too”, and we have 5 minutes to leave his property. He starts counting down backwards from 4:59, 4:58 and staggers back to the house. I'm not paying much attention to that, because I have “the blonde” still in my face asking for help. However, she's switched to, “Why didn't anyone come help me, I've been honking this horn for two hours?” Um, yes, and once you screamed “help” we came. That doesn't seem to register with her. “Society sucks.” It sure does, ma'am. It sure does.
The Engineer says to “the wife”, “You have two choices here: give me the keys and we'll take her to our place or I'll just call the police and they can straighten this out.”
The blonde: “Yes! I want to press kidnapping charges!”
The wife: “No, I just got out of prison last week!”
Now here comes “the son” with a big stick. We don't bother to listen to how far he's gotten in his countdown, The Engineer just takes my hand and says, “We're getting off your property now and we're calling the police.”
On our walk back to the campground, we meet another man who has come to help. We join forces and head for the campground host, who surely must have some sort of communication capabilities. How could he effectively administer his hosting duties if he couldn't summon professional help if needed? You'd think so, right?
He has no communication system, but we do learn that there's an emergency call box a mile down the road, which is a far better solution than driving down the canyon until we find reception (probably about a 45 minute jaunt). Our new companion volunteers to wait at the “T” that send the cars either to the campground, or to “dueling banjo country”, and to show the cops where this whole fun incident is taking place. By the way, as we're walking back to our campsite, we're hearing more car-horn, more yelling. Sigh.
We find the call box. Have you ever used one? It has one button, which dials 911, and then after two minutes, hangs up. We had to call back four times.
Boulder County Sheriff Joe stops by our campsite to get a brief, um, briefing, and heads off to meet his partner who has already approached the property.
Joe, the sheriff, and former marine, stops back by our place after having assessed the situation. He says, “We're not doing anything now because they're all too drunk to talk to, but I'm going back around 2:00 this afternoon and will have a talk with them then. As he leaves, he adds, “Next time, your first action is 911. Never approach anyone on private property, especially in a situation this volatile.” The Engineer can't help but defend our actions with, “I delivered pizza for many years. I've seen it all. I wasn't worried.” Joe smiles and says, “Oh, so you're a combat veteran. That makes sense.”
What would you have done? And at what point? Is it weird that no one else except the three of us were concerned when a woman was screaming for help?
P.S Still on vacation. Thanks for your comments. I'm really interested in how you would have handled this situation. I promise to respond to all comments when I return on Monday.