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Amnesty – Test of Emergency Broadcast System

by Susi, 12 October 2011

Do not be alarmed. Do not touch that dial. This is a test. This is only a test. This is a test of the emergency Sleeping Tiger broadcast system. The Sleeping Tiger has been granted amnesty for a lapse in blog-posting on the grounds of terminal illness in the immediate family. So this is a test of the emergency true friends broadcast system. True friends will stay tuned to this frequency.

Do not be alarmed. This is not yet an actual disaster. It is only a test. In the event of an actual disaster true friends of the Sleeping Tiger will be notified of where to go and how many major works of fiction, cupcakes and bottles of vodka to bring with them. Do not be alarmed. We will shortly resume our normal programming. Please stand by.

Ahem . . . that reminds me . . . when I was a kid in the 60s, and emergency broadcast tests (with piercing high tone sound) came on our TV (and they came with exactly the same screen image shown above, and please bear in mind that this was the time of the “Cold War” when our parents expected nukes from Russia arriving at a moment’s notice), my brother and I used to have a good laugh at my little sister’s expense by informing her that “PLEASE STAND BY” meant that she was expected to stand by the TV, meaning to get up, and position herself in a standing position beside that dusty, bulbous, hot black and green television set itself. She, of course, believed it, being several years younger than us, and would diligently get up and stand erect at attention in her flannel baby-sister suit (with rubber-bottomed feetsies), beside that old black and white television set, as if her life depended on it.

We laughed ourselves silly, thinking, “Ha! We sure fooled her!  PLEASE. STAND. BY. ! ! !  Har har har . . . stand . . . by . . . !”

What we didn’t realise at the time was has how devoted she became, as a result of this, to doing the right thing. What we did was only a test, and I must say she passed with flying colours, beside that black and white TV, time and time again. She stood . . . by . . . the TV set . . . because it was the Right Thing to do. It was the only thing one could do. And she has subsequetly been doing the Right Thing for more than four decades since. She is an emergency medicine doctor and veteran mountain patroller. She’s been on duty in the Congo, hung in Rwanda, stood by in Hisapniola, helped all comers in Idaho. And she continues doing the Right Thing. Standing by.

We unintentionally ingrained in her a sense of duty to all mankind, seen and unseen. Gosh. And we thought we were just getting a cheap laugh off a gullible three-year-old.

So . . . do the Right Thing . . . please stand by.

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