On my ride out last week, the first call was a low priority, a request to deal with a balloon. Not a hot-air balloon, but a regular one. A popped one.
A resident had found it in a patch of scrub near his home. It wasn't the balloon itself that bothered him, more the powder spilling from it. Another unit got there before we did, a rookie, and this is the conversation that ensued between him and my officer, AJ:
AJ: What does it look like?
Charlie: Errr, a balloon.
AJ: No, fool, the powder. Is it black?
Charlie: No, it's white.
AJ: So if it's heroin, it's China White. Balloons and heroin go together, but it maybe cocaine. How close are you?
Charlie: Standing right over it. Why?
AJ: It could also be anthrax.
Charlie: Holy s*#@, really?
AJ: Nah, just messing with you.
Turns out it was none of those things. Just some flour some kid (probably) had put in a balloon to throw at one of his buddies. I guess you'd call it a false alarm, of sorts, but I did suggest AJ taste the stuff just to be sure. He declined, and we went on our way.