At 2:47 a.m.
Friday night Saturday morning, my cell phone jangled.
Normally, this indicates a genuine emergency — someone calling for bail money, say, or at least a drunk text.
It was indeed a text. Jolted awake, I read:
WESTPORT PD: AVOID ** Greens Farms Rd. between Clapboard Hill Rd and Morningside Dr S due to a motor vehicle accidnet. Road will reopen at approx 8 am
Damn! The 1st thing on Saturday’s to-do list — once I got up 4 hours later — had been to drive over to Clapboard Hill Road. Just because, well, yeah.
I was not the only Westporter awakened by this less-than-urgent news. Several people told me they’d received the same message.
I know, I know. I signed up for Nixle — the Westport Police Department’s public safety system that sends phone, text and email alerts to anyone who asks.
I understand the importance of knowing a tornado is bearing down on us — even at 2:47 a.m.
It might also be good early-morning information to learn, say, there’s a pack of mountain lions bearing down on us from South Dakota.
But am I being selfish in thinking that a 2:47 a.m. accident on Clapboard Hill Road is not wake-up-the-town news?
If we can put a man on the moon*, why can’t Nixle be programmed to not contact us at certain hours that we request, about certain categories we choose?
For example, I could say, “Please send all weather updates at all times. Please do not contact me about motor vehicle accidents between the hours of 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.”
I’m not anti-Nixle. I opted in to the service.
If I ever wander away from my house, I’d want people to search for me.
I’m just not sure how many strangers would want to be awakened at 2:47 a.m. to know I was gone.
*Obscure 1969 reference