The other day, when on the phone with my sister, I said, "Are you okay? You sound distracted. Does someone have a gun to your head and you're trying to let me know to send help!?" She said no, she was fine and not to send help, but from there I decided that we needed to decide on our own code in case the situation of a big man with a fun ever arises. Or woman, whatever. I'm not sexist when it comes to crazies with guns.
Yesterday I called her again and before we hung up I said we should practice and pretend like it was one of those terrifying situations. At first, instead of deciding on what we would say, we just jumped into the role-playing*:
Scarlet: "Okay, well, I'll talk to you later!"
Ali: "...Okay. I'll talk to you...llaaaattteeerrrrrrrr."
Scarlet: "Oh No! Does someone have a gun to your head!?"
Ali: "Scarlet, if someone has a gun to my head, I'm not going to be able to answer that."
So we tried again. This time we switched roles**:
Scarlet: "Bye! I'm going to go take a nap now."
Ali: "Scarlet, that doesn't flow very well. The guy with the gun is going to know you're trying to let me know what's going on."
Scarlet: "Oh, true, but I was just trying to think of something that you would know I'd never do."
Ali: "Good thinking. Let's modify that. Try again..."
Scarlet: "Bye, Ali!"
Ali (now she's the one with the imaginary gun to her head, in case you lost track): "Bye! Enjoy this amazing and beautiful spring weather!"
Scarlet: *dials 911 because no way in hell would either of us utter the above sentence.* "Haha, wouldn't it be funny if then the gunman adds on, 'Yeah, it's so nice outside!' I wish I could be outside enjoying the warmth."
Ali: "Well, he's a crazed gunman, of course he'd like spring."
So, we're set. If I ever call Ali, or she calls me, and one of us mentions the "nice warm spring weather" we will know to call 911. Hmmm, this will only work until June and then we'll modify it to "this nice 100 degree weather!"
*Although, is it role-playing if we're playing ourselves?
**Well, I was still Scarlet and she was still Ali.