Living in the country you come to expect certain things.

Small animals try to share your home.

Pizza delivery is not so quick.

Peace and quiet.

I have lived in the city but I never became used to it. True city dwellers will not even hear a siren passing by, never mind go to the window to see what’s going on.

I am unable to ignore it.

I love living in the country.

So when the stillness of my morning was shattered the other day it was particularly unnerving.


This “distinctive tone is not like any fire siren you’ve ever heard,” according to Jackson Township Supervisor Chairman John J. Wilkes Jr.

It’s the warning system for the State Correctional Institution in Dallas. It’s a PA system that can give out announcements and that tone.

I’ll say it’s distinctive. It’s loud and sounds like the apocalypse is coming.

Which is, I guess, its function.

I live about a mile as the convict flies from the prison. I am glad to know that the hugely overcrowded and understaffed facility has a plan and a way to alert me if one of their charges jumps the fence.

They tested the system last week. For almost three hours one day. Safe to say that it works. It’s a good warning system. Some advance warning that they planned to test it would have been nice.

The DEE-DOO, DEE-DOO, DEE-DOO, DEE DOO comes through loud and clear.

The PA system associated with the system. Not so much.

That’s what, I will admit, scared me.

I could not for the life of me understand what message I was being given. The word emergency was clear. Nothing else was.

Mr. Wilkes was quoted in a newspaper that he lives two and half miles away and he could make out what it was saying.  I don’t know Mr. Wilkes. Maybe his hearing is better than mine. I suspect he may have known what was scripted for the speakers. I had no clue.

All I do know that in between DEE-DOO, DEE-DOO, DEE-DOO, DEE DOO there was a garbled voice bellowing out…something. It sounded important and scary.

The plan is that when you hear the tone and the announcements that you will scurry inside, lock your doors and hide under the bed.

I was not given the plan so I stood on my porch and tried like hell to understand what this noise was that destroyed my peaceful morning.  A perfect target for an escaped murderer.

I am sure the new system was not cheap. But a postcard is only 28 cents to mail.

A little warning about the warning? It would have been nice.

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About James Rising

A recovering radio addict wrestles with the written word.
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