We’ve all listened to some famous song, and realized that there is that one line we thought was something, when it was in fact something else. “Excuse me while I kiss the sky” from Purple Haze by Jimi Hendrix has often been cited, as people apparently used to think he was saying, “excuse me while I kiss this guy.” Likewise, when Katy Perry‘s first big hit, I Kissed a Girl first came out, my son (then 5) thought the chorus said, “I kissed a girl and I liked it/The taste of her cherry chopsticks” as opposed to the real lyric, “The taste of her cherry ChapStick.”
Mishearing a lyric usually only amounts to a bit of embarrassment…and then there’s the recent case in Ambridge, Pennsylvania. A receptionist at an eye doctor not hearing a lyric properly lead to the shutting down of every school in the county.
It seems 19-year-old Travis Clawson had an appointment with his optometrist last week, but when the receptionist tried to contact him, she got his voicemail. Instead of your usual “I’m not available, leave a message after the beep” message, Travis had left his cover version of the theme for Will Smith‘s The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
Apparently Travis couldn’t answer the phone because he was “all shooting some b-ball outside of the school.” Which, if you’re familiar with the rap song from the ’90s, is kitschy and kind of lame. The receptionist, however, seems to not be aware of the song or TV show. She thought that Travis couldn’t answer his phone because he was “all shooting some people outside of the school.” She immediately called the police.
It is standard procedure in Pennsylvania to shut down every school when there is a report of a potential shooting at any school in the county. So, while Travis was no where to be found, almost every cop in the county was out looking for the potential madman. In fact, Travis was in the Ambridge Area High School guidance office the whole time.
Acting Ambridge police chief James Mann said Travis was interviewed by police and he told them he meant no harm with his message and was just messing around. He was released without being charged for any wrongdoing. His parents are looking into legal action, as one does in the U.S.
In an effort to save some face, school superintendent Erv Weischedel said that the whole thing was “a wonderful chance to review our emergency procedures” and “a good drill that went very, very well.” Nice save (almost).