Did You See This?

Calling From a Tree

A man was trapped in a tree by rising floodwaters, but that didn’t stop him from signing up for a local news interview.

A couple things leap to mind watching the local news clip above.

First of all, the guy on the phone, Kerry Packer, seems to have absolute faith in his local emergency services and his own abilities, since he’s so totally chill about his predicament. “Thankfully there’s a nice, sturdy tree here,” he says. “It’s a little cold, but I did Boy Scouts for 20 years, so I know how to keep my energy up and keep warm, so I’m doing fine.”

In fact, he’s so calm it takes the newspeople of TV station KVUE in Austin, Texas, a few minutes to process where he’s calling from. You can see the realization spread across the faces of anchors Bryan Mays and Yvonne Nava, gradually turning to concern, then mild horror. Who knows what their producer was screaming into their earpieces? Maybe something about letting the guy pay closer attention to his predicament and not getting the station involved in a lawsuit over a drowning.

The second is that Packer is a local news caller uniquely suited to our times.

He calmly recorded his car being washed away instead of getting the hell out. Next, Packer called his wife, Cecilia, who reached out to KVUE over Facebook to set up an interview. (Oh, and she called the authorities, too.) Clinging to a tree with raging flood waters all around, Packer then blithely phoned into the station to get himself a few minutes of fame. Of course he took a selfie.

Just before 3 p.m., EMS confirmed to KVUE that Packer had been rescued and was doing fine after being up in the tree since around 9 a.m. He was no worse for wear. And Internet famous.