Held hostage: what do you do? (inspired by Missing Coworker thread)

Inspired by these threads:
Missing Coworker Thread 1
Missing Coworker Thread 2

Hypothetical situation:
“MC” is being held against her will by Bag Guy (BG). MC is told by BG to call Friend and ask Friend to wire money. BG will hurt or kill MC if MC says anything to indicate she’s in trouble.

Scenario I: You are MC. How do you alert Friend that you need help, without angering BG?

Scenario II: You are Friend. How do you get MC to indicate she needs help, without angering BG?

Scenario I: Mispronounce Friend’s name in a way that I know pisses Friend off, and that Friend knows I would never do.

Scenario II: Ask MC if I should check with MC’s boss to make sure she’s covered at work?

P.S. Assume that Bad Guy is on an extension phone, listening to conversation.

Standard options:
Ask about non-existent kids/pets/co-workers.
If recently divorced (me or her), ask if the date w/ hubby went as well as planned
Say “my stupid Volvo broke down” when I know from our road trip that she drives a Ford


Along the lines of Ethilrist, I’d pass a “panic” word.

In my case, I’d ask how the New York Rangers were doing, and if they drafted so and so.

Any red-blooded Doper would know that I absolutely hate the Rangers, and am in fact, an avid New Jersey Devil worshipper. I would hope that my asking about the Rangers would clue someone off. . .

It’s on my ‘safety card’ at the office too, just in case. It’s one of my “distress words”.

I heard a police training tape of a woman who was being held by her estranged husband. She called 911, but he got to her, and (apparently) forced her to recant the story. She went from crying “He’s going to kill me! Send someone now!” to “It’s ok. Don’t send anyone over. I’m fine.” in a matter of seconds. The 911 dispatcher asked if she was sure she didn’t want an officer to come by. She said yes she was sure. Then the dispatcher asked, “There are officers on the scene now. If everything is OK, tell me a number between 1 and 10.” The woman calmly said her name again, and IIRC, you could hear the police breaking down the door about 10 seconds later.

The point was that the dispatcher knew she was under extreme diress (sp?), and asked a question where an incorrect answer was a tip-off, but nothing that would sound like a giveaway from BG’s point of view.

Well, unless the bad guys were listening. Or had the woman on speakerphone…

Frankly, if I was, depiste my ninja-like quickness, in any hostage situation, I’m confident my alien overloards would beam in to help me.