This morning provided convincing evidence. To set the stage, I stayed up late last night. 1:30ish. No biggie. I can always sleep in. But I couldn’t get to sleep; the last time I looked at the clock it was 2:15. Finally … ahhh … to sleep. (I should mention here that I need 8-9 hours of good sleep to approach “civil” during the day, and I used to warn my son that the only unforgivable transgression in our house was waking me up.)
4 am or so. Quick bio break and back to sleep. Note to self: Don’t drink so much during that last TV show.
5 am. Huh? Why am I awake again? Oh, terrific … a smoke alarm is chirping somewhere. Why do those damn things always start chirping in the middle of the night!? Knowing it wouldn’t shut up by itself and that I wouldn’t get back to sleep till it did, I dragged myself out of bed and located the offender in the other bedroom. Dragged a chair from the living room, climbed up, and twisted the thing off the ceiling … but the wires were still attached. Fumbled around with the plug on the back; couldn’t get it loose. Pulled the wires farther out of the ceiling. Fumbled some more. The plug came loose, partially. The chirping continued. Louder, it seemed. Mocking me.
Dammit! I’m standing on a chair, in my nightgown, reaching high overhead, and still half asleep. Not good for the circulation, the balance, or the temper. Looking up makes the situation even worse, but I could just see the edge of the battery compartment. Aha, I thought, as much as one can think at that hour, I’ll pop that sucker out of there and end this nonsense. Well, you know that didn’t work; the wires were still attached.
If it costs me a smoke alarm and a house call from an electrician, I thought, I WILL stop this damn chirping! And voila, with one last tug, the plug let go and I stood there victorious, the offending appliance clutched in my fist. I took it to the kitchen, left it on the counter, and went back to bed.
Impossible! I headed for the kitchen, some good lighting, and the junk drawer with the new batteries and the hammer. I was going to end this fiasco, one way or another. I ripped open the pack of new 9-volts and while I was squinting to see the teensy + and – signs in the battery compartment … Chirp!
No, it wasn’t some sort of weird residual electrical charge in the smoke alarm, as my foggy brain had by now hypothesized. It was the smoke alarm in the hall! Gah! A second smoke alarm had started to chirp within minutes of the first. What were the odds?
I repeated my alarm disarming procedure and, with two smoke alarms, sans batteries, resting on the kitchen counter, I crawled back into bed and finally managed to doze off. If I’m lucky, I thought, my son won’t call on his way to work around 9:15 … z z z z z z
8:30 am. The painter I haven’t heard from in two months called. He’ll be here sometime before Thanksgiving.
9:30 am. “My” state representative that I didn’t even (and now won’t ever) vote for autodialed with a friendly reminder. It did no good to ignore the ringing; the answering machine picked up. So I answered quickly and hung up, hoping to stop the voice. But the recording had started, so now the machine was beeping proudly with its new message. Gah!
9:32 am. I gave up and started the coffee.