VSL:WEB // Eavesdrop on real-life 911 calls

Nine-one-one is not a joke, but listening to this collection of real 911 calls might make you think otherwise.

The website’s stated intent is to let “people know what to expect if they ever need to [call] 911.” But a full 35 percent of emergency calls are pranks — and a smaller percentage of those pranks are actually funny. Yes, you’ll get to listen in on one or two life-or-death situations (a woman’s brakes go out on her; a man with a gun calls 911 in the midst of a standoff). But it’s more fun hearing people who call in to see what time the sun sets, or to complain about the service at their local Burger King (last month, John McCain’s brother called 911 to complain about a traffic jam). Memo to would-be crank callers: If you’re calling to scratch that itch on your leg, help may not be on its way.

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VSL:WEB // Eavesdrop on real-life 911 calls