City poised to become a joke target


I’m beginning to see the first hint of a ridicule campaign developing as it relates to Amarillo’s interim city manager.

It’s showing up in social media gags about ridiculously trivial “emergencies” becoming reasons to call 911.

Lost your car keys? Quick! Call the emergency response center.

A neighbor’s dog pooped on your yard? Hey, call 911 and demand the cops to get there in a hurry to arrest Rover.

This one actually was posted on a Facebook news feed. Someone lost his “phone voice” twice in one day. The person considered calling 911 “the second time. But we’re back in business now.”

Terry Childers’ call to the Amarillo 911 center over a misplaced briefcase is the stuff of ridicule. It might take some time — if ever, given the plethora of social media outlets — for this mini-tempest to wither away. He got the dispatcher on the phone and demanded multiple police officers arrive at the hotel where stayed; he demanded to speak to a supervisor; he wanted the hotel shut down and searched; he told the dispatcher she didn’t “know who she is dealing with.”

Why the hyperventilating? Over a briefcase!

Yeah, I can hear the joke machine getting cranked up at this moment.

Here’s how the interim city manager can put this thing to rest for as long as on the job at City Hall: Issue a public mea culpa, say he overreacted to what turned out to be the clumsy misplacement of an item.

It likely won’t happen. I don’t know Childers, but my strong hunch is that he’s a proud man, a strong executive — whose pride and administrative strength probably don’t allow him to say he’s sorry.

I’d bet real American money, though, that the jokes around town are going to mount.


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