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    The (Brain) Damage Has Already Been Done

    , | Germany |

    (Note: 1-1-2 is Germany’s version of 9-1-1.)

    Me: “1-1-2, what’s your emergency?”

    Caller: “Oh my god! Help me! Help me!”

    Me: “Calm down, please. Can you tell me what happened, if someone is hurt and where you are?”

    Caller: “I’m at home, and my brain stopped working!”

    Me: “Your brain…stopped working? Sir, if your brain would stop working, you would be dead. Can you tell me exactly what happened? Are you bleeding?”

    Caller: “No, no. But my brain stopped working! At least half of it! Oh my god, will the other half stop working as well?! Will I die?! My wife was right! I can’t believe it!”

    (At this point, I’m unsure what to do. The man is really in a state of panic, but sounds otherwise fine.)

    Me: “Sir, is your wife at home? Can I speak to her? If not, please tell me exactly what you did when your…brain stopped working.”

    Caller: “I watched soccer! And drank beer! My wife always told me ‘When you don’t stop that crap, your brain will stop working’ and now it did! I was sitting on the couch and turned my head to look at the clock and suddenly I can’t move my head anymore because the left side of my brain stopped working! Help!”

    Me: “Sir, it sounds like you only cricked your neck!”

    (I start describing him what a cricked neck feels like and he agrees that this is indeed his problem and that he’ll see a doctor in the morning. I’m about to end the call, when…)

    Caller: “Hey, dude…”

    Me: “Yes?”

    Caller: “Is she right?”

    Me: “Who?”

    Caller: “My wife. You seem to know a lot about medicine and stuff, so can my brain really stop working from watching too much soccer and drinking beer?”

    Me: “Well, alcohol is known for indeed killing brain cells when you drink too much, but you won’t–”

    Caller: “Oh my god! Thank you! I thought she was only kidding me, but when you say it, then I’ll stop! Thank you so much for saving my life! Thank you!”

    Me: “Wait, I didn’t say–”

    Caller: *hangs up*