A voicemail lyric is misheard as murder threat
An entire county's worth of schools were put on secure lockdown yesterday in Pennsylvania when a eye doctor's receptionist misheard the lyrics to the theme song of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. This actually happened. As the Beaver County Times reports, 19-year-old Travis Clawson had an appointment with his optometrist scheduled for the afternoon, but when the office called he failed to pick up. His voicemail, however, said plenty.
Clawson couldn't come to the phone because he was "all shooting some b-ball outside of the school." Pop-culture participants and aficionados of corny '90s rap music would of course recognize that as a line from the aforementioned made-for-TV DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince collabo. But our dear, easily spooked receptionist heard something along the lines of "shooting some people" and hence called the police, who called the schools.
Moving on from the obvious — that the eye doc's scheduler should call her ear doc's scheduler — what followed was pretty ridiculous. Apparently when one school shuts down, every school shuts down and because Clawson couldn't be found, everyone suffered while actual police officers were dispatched to find the young man. As the Times points out, he was "chilling out, maxing, relaxing" in the Ambridge Area High School guidance office.
Also: "James Mann, acting police chief in Ambridge, said Clawson was interviewed by police and he told them he meant no harm and that his message was just him imitating Will Smith’s rap intro to the show that ran on NBC from 1990-96 and now is rerun on ABC Family. All six seasons also are out on DVD. District Attorney Anthony Berosh said it was determined after listening to the message closely that it did follow the Quincy Jones-penned song."
So, yes, Clawson was released. School superintendent Erv Weischedel called the entire maybe-just-a-little embarrassing ordeal "a wonderful chance to review our emergency procedures" and "a good drill that went very, very well.” Meanwhile, Clawson's parents are looking into their legal options. Funny how the first couple of bars of the Fresh Prince theme could apply to this fella's narrative. Perhaps a parody is in order?