There were maybe two times in college when I was so miserably hungover that I thought my lunch cravings might constitute an emergency. I never called 911 for delivery—that’s what roommates are for, bless them—but I have a pinch of sympathy for a 5-year-old Michigan boy who dialed 911 to ask the dispatcher to bring him McDonald’s. His grandmother was reportedly sleeping, and the boy couldn’t wait to get that Happy Meal.
WZZM 13 reports he called 911 early Sunday morning. A recording and transcript of his call shows he first asked “Can you bring me McDonald’s?” The Kent County dispatcher had to clarify. He repeats, “Can you bring me McDonald’s?” in the most adorable 5-year-old voice possible. Dispatch regretfully said they couldn’t bring him McDonald’s, but asked Wyoming police officer Dan Patterson to pay a check-in visit to the house to make sure the kid was okay. On his way, Patterson made a stop. “I figured I’m driving past McDonald’s on the way there, might as well get him something,” he told the station.
The boy made the call on a phone that his grandma had deactivated years ago, but she was astonished to learn the boy had connected it to wifi and placed the call. Lesson: Never underestimate what a preschooler can do with a smartphone. (The dispatcher also notes that deactivated phones can often still place 911 calls.)
Following this visit, people are praising Patterson for his sweet response to the call. But—and not to rain on this cute parade—but if we’re trying to teach kids to use 911 only for emergencies and not for ordering McDonald’s, then shouldn’t we... not deliver them McDonald’s? The officer says he talked to the boy about proper use of 911, but if I was the boy, all I’d hear is “blah blah blah blah” as I stuff my face with nuggets.