Oddball ogling from an unusual source

COLUMBIA, 6/22/12 (Beat Byte) -- "It...was....beautiful."

An adoring aside about a striking sunset? An ode to a harvest moon? A nod to a perfect competition capped with a stunning victory?


Try a Facebook post about the May 27 Brookside Apartments fire from -- get this -- a City of Columbia 911 operator whose Facebook page describes the Joint Communications job as "making attempts to understand the other person screaming on the phone for generally no reason. I don't care how many times he has beat you...."

Ah, empathy. Thine light shineth bright.

After expressing admiration for the multi-alarm inferno, the 911 operator teased neighbors near the blaze. "Why did you set that apartment building on fire? Nyuk nyuk!"

"Not even funny!" one neighbor snapped back. "There is gross smoke and water all over our block. Pretty scary."

"Hehehehe," the 911 operator replied.

Memorandum for Public Safety Joint Communications board members now considering -- what else -- a tax increase to fund what they are characterizing as a flagging operation.

First job for the new revenue: TRAINING, in both appropriate and inappropriate ways for public servants to represent themselves in public.