Guess what? I can now text the emergency services...
if I live in Dorset, Wiltshire, Avon (which I thought wasn't a county any more) and Cornwall. It used to be that I could only text them if I was in Hampshire and spotted a cat up a tree, or a burning building. But now at least this service is extended to a whole lot of other places where I don't live.
With all fairness though, this sounds like a really good idea. I mean, there are all the alerts in place for deaf people to inform them of when a fire alarm is going off, but this could be a bit annoying if they then couldn't contact anyone to put the fire out.
As it happens, I have never yet had to dial 999 (touch wood) but if I did, I would much rather text 80999 than call an operator and risk her thinking I was a stupid hoax caller and have her hang up on me.
I nearly had to call 999 once though, when I lived with Ex-Housemate-Who-Now-Lives-In-Cornwall. She had a habit of getting stuck in bathrooms and did it twice when we were studying in Portsmouth.
The second time was after a particularly lively night out. We arrived home, I went into the kitchen to put some potato waffles into the toaster and she disappeared into her room. Ten minutes later, no sign of her, so I decided to eat her potato waffles. Ten minutes after that, I went looking and found her trapped in her en-suite bathroom.
Unable to hear her shouts from the kitchen she had been sat there wondering what to do for the last 20 minutes. However, once there and alerted to her plight, the situation wasn't much better as I couldn't lipread her through the door. Luckily however, she had taken her phone into the loo with her so we texted backwards and forwards as we pushed and pulled the door, but it was stuck fast.
And so, in the light of our lively evening, we forgot that locksmiths really are the best people to get people out of doors that won't open and she called the fire brigade. In our defence though, she is asthmatic and the thought of spending the night in there was making her rather wheezy.
Two minutes later, lights on, sirens blaring, the boys in yellow helmets arrived with axes... EEK... I saw our deposit disappear right before our very eyes but in the end they managed it with a screwdriver and were on their way with very sheepish thanks from us.
But, imagine if that was me stuck in the toilet, what would I do? I guess so long as I make sure I only get stuck in toilets in Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire, Avon, Somerset and Cornwall, I will be OK...