Sat, 16 Jul 2005

Smoke Detector From Hell

Apparently, Friends episodes are based on true stories. Do you remember The One Where Phoebe Destroys Her Smoke Detector? My smoke detector must have seen it, and decided to recreate the episode last night. In the middle of the night, it started beeping, loud enough to wake me up, and just frequently enough to almost let me fall back to sleep before beeping again. I got up without putting on my glasses, followed the blurry glowing green light in the dark, and felt around for the button on it. Now, I know the button is to test the device, but for some reason I thought it might also serve as a "shut up, it's 3 in the morning" button. Remarkably, after pushing the button, and pissing off my wife (born without the ability the hear the ultrasonic beeps) with the squeal asserting to the world that smoke detector was still doing its job admirably, the beeping stopped.

Alas, sometime not much later I guess, the beeping resumed. I got back up, twisted the alarm off the wall, and tried to disconnect it from the mains. After struggling for a bit, I put on my glasses and turned on the light, vexing my wife considerably more, and successfully disconnected the alarm. I placed it on my desk, and went back to bed. Of course, that didn't stop the beeping; it has a battery backup so that it can keep beeping in the case of a power outage.

So, I took the alarm to the kitchen, closed the bedroom door, and retired to my bed once again. The little alarm persevered: the beeping was still loud enough for me to hear it. I got up, returned to the kitchen, and disconnected the 9-volt battery. The beeping continued. We have a small apartment. There wasn't anywhere to put the alarm farther away from my bedroom. I considered putting on some clothes and taking it out to my car. I also thought about putting it in the refrigerator. Or, I could leave it out in the hallway of my apartment building. I might still be able to hear it there, but at least I'd be able to share my hell with the guy across the hall whose alarm clock goes off for hours and hours every afternoon.

Feeling pretty clever for 3am, I decided to wrap it in a little blanket and sandwich it between two throw pillows. Finally, I was able to get some sleep. My wife still wanted an apology in the morning.

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The state is that great fiction by which everyone tries to live at the expense of everyone else. - Frederic Bastiat