Yesterday, I walked past a field and noticed an object wrapped in plastic and duct tape. It was triangular and upright, resembling a dog or a small person sitting on haunches. The duct tape seemed especially concentrated where a neck would be. I went over to the object cautiously–couldn’t see any holes through which I might identify what was inside. But one lump looked suspiciously like an open mouth gasping for breath. With shaking hands, I dialed the police on my cell phone, while terrifying scenarios ran through my mind.
Me: Hi, I was just out walking and I found something in a field. [Thinking but not saying: something dead.]
OPERATOR: Can you give me more information? What size is it? Where are you?
ME: I’m behind the high school. It’s about the size of…a german shepherd, I guess. [Thinking but not saying: with rigor mortis.] It’s wrapped in plastic and duct tape.
OPERATOR: I can send someone out. Will you be staying there for a few minutes?
ME: Yes. [Thinking but not saying: Seriously? Who would leave right now?]
A few minutes later, a police car pulled up and an officer joined me near the object. He went over and inspected it closely, then nudged the plastic with his black shoe.
ME: Sorry to bother you. This just didn’t seem right.
OFFICER: It’s fine. Let’s take a look.
ME: [Anxiously] What do you think it is?
OFFICER: I don’t know but it’s not ticking, so let’s take a closer look.
ME: [Not going any closer] Okay.
OFFICER: [Tugs on the top of the plastic] Let’s pull this up.
ME: [Horrified to see something gray and pelt-like emerge from under the bottom edge] Whoa, Is that fur?
OFFICER: [Continues removing plastic slowly] Hold on…
ME: [Nauseated] Is it a dog?
OFFICER: [Yanks plastic up, revealing a collection of pipes packed with fuzzy material] A-ha! Someone must have insulated this for the winter and forgot to take it off.
ME: [Weakly, relieved] Oh, thank goodness.
OFFICER: [Replaces plastic, begins walking toward his car] Do you need help with anything else?
ME: [Trying to quell sudden wave of embarrassment.] I’m sorry that I called this in.
OFFICER: [Gruffly] It’s fine.
ME: I know you’re busy.
OFFICER: [Getting into car] Really. It’s fine.
ME: I’m just so very glad that wasn’t a dog wrapped up in plastic and just dumped there. Or a person.
OFFICER: Well, we did actually have one of those recently.
ME: Wait, what? We did?
OFFICER: Yep. Have a good day.