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Hit the Panic Button!

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1/22/2010 9:23:00 AM
Posted: 8 years ago
Have you ever hit the Panic Button?

You may think you are as cool as a cucumber but I bet there has been at least one occasion in the recent past when you have hit the Panic Button.

Personally, I'm pretty good in a crisis and when everybody is jumping up and down and running back and forth I calmly take control.

Well, usually…

Not so long ago, while on holiday (vacation) I was looking after my 5 year-old niece while her mother went shopping. We were sitting on the terrace of a lakeside restaurant in Southern France having a meal and when my niece finished she asked if she go to the playground outside.

Since it was well within my sight I agreed but I kept a close eye on her. After a while, the waitress came and asked if I'd like anything else and I ordered another demi-carafe of the local plonk to keep me company. However, when the waitress left, I looked back to check that my niece was okay, but I couldn't see her.

But I didn't hit the panic button.

Calmly, I walked over to the playground and had a look around but I couldn't see her. I couldn't understand. The playground was surrounded on two sides by thick bushes and by the lake and the restaurant on the other two sides.

Still, I didn't panic.

I asked some of the other parents there if they had seen a little English girl with blonde hair and they said that she was here a few minutes ago but they didn't see where she went.

Still, no need to panic.

Okay, I thought, she probably went back into the restaurant just as I came out, but through a different door, that's all. So I went back inside but she wasn't there. That left only two places she possibly could be: the ladies toilets or the lake. So I asked a waitress to check the toilet while I checked the lake but exhaustive searches revealed no trace of her.

Right, that's it, I thought, time to hit the panic button.

Memories of little Madeleine McCann's disappearance while on holiday in Portugal and similar child abductions raced through my mind.

"What am I going to tell her mother?" I thought, "What am I going to do now? Call the police? Or should I call the gendarmerie? Perhaps I should organise a search party. Oh my god, oh my god! This isn't happening, this really isn't happening…"

At that point, I turned round and I saw my niece was sitting at our table calmly drawing.

It later transpired that she had come in from the playground (probably while I was talking to the waitress) and then gone out the front of the restaurant "to have a look around" and come back in ten minutes or so later.

I think I downed that carafe of wine in about two minutes flat!
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1/22/2010 9:25:06 AM
Posted: 8 years ago

Thats all I have to say!
I am voting for Innomen because of his intelligence, common sense, humility and the fact that Juggle appears to listen to him. Any other Presidential style would have a large sub-section of the site up in arms. If I was President I would destroy the site though elitism, others would let it run riot. Innomen represents a middle way that works, neither draconian nor anarchic and that is the only way things can work. Plus he does it all without ego trips.