Friday, September 16, 2011

Fire! Fire!

How do you know when it's going to be a long night?

When you just get settled down to sleep (on a Monday night) and one of your smoke alarms starts chirping (the battery is going dead).

After trying to ignore it for an hour – you get up and get a broom to beat the crap out of it.  This does nothing except wake the baby who is sleeping and cause the dogs to bark because they think someone is knocking on the front door.

You decide you are going to have to take it down.

You have 12ft high ceilings.

You call your husband – at work – your brother – who lives a few miles away – and your dad who’s an old man who can’t hear very well and lives about 30 minutes away……and it’s almost midnight.

The only one who can/will come is your dad.

Me:  Dad – my smoke alarm keeps beeping because the battery is going low and we can’t get any sleep around here.  I’d unplug it, but the ceiling is too high to reach. 

Dad:  You’re smoking what?

Me:  No – my smoke alarm is beeping.

Dad:  'S' – what’s a coke charm?


Dad:  Oh – the batteries are probably going dead – just unplug it.  (Note:  Go back and read the very first thing I said to him.)

After repeating myself a few times and pleading with him – he agrees to come over.

He comes over – with his painters ladder that’s sounds oh, so quiet being drug across my tile.

The whole time he is mumbling:  I mean it’s almost midnight for crying out loud and you’re telling me you can’t sleep with a  little chirp.  I’ve been here five minutes and it aint chirped once.  And what’s the point of having 12ft tall ceilings and putting your smoke alarms there if you can’t reach them.  Your brother should be coming over here – he lives right down the street…..and so on and so on.

So – he reaches the alarm and apparently it’s a lot newer kind than what most of us had in our house growing up.  It is wired in, in addition to having a battery.  It also has a clip in the lid – so it doesn’t just screw down.  Luckily dad read the part about unplugging it before you take the battery out – so you don’t shock yourself – right before he almost killed himself.  He’s also trying to balance himself on the top of the ladder and mumbling the whole time:  I mean, what kind of alarm is this – I can’t work this stupid thing.  And I sure as hell can’t read all the writing that’s on it.  Now, I have to go get my glasses and a flashlight – I mean I can’t see crap.  This is just ridiculous; I mean, your brother should be coming over here.  It’s midnight for crying out loud….and I still aint heard this stupid thing chirp yet.

About 15 minutes later, he gets it unhooked.  He gets the battery out and is fixing to leave when we hear the chirp again….but it’s not coming from the alarm that’s dismantled on my counter.

Dad:  'S'!  You don’t even have the right damn alarm!  I told you that thing hadn’t chirped since I got here.

So, then he walks around for a few minutes staring up at the ceiling trying to determine which one is chirping.

He locates the dying alarm and drags the oh-so quiet-ladder across my tile to do the second one.  And here is mumbling again:  Don’t you have a husband?  I mean, I live 30 minutes away and who’d ever thought of coming over to fix a smoke alarm at midnight.  And I spend 15 minutes unhooking the wrong alarm.  You better have some ear plugs because if this is the wrong one, I aint coming back over.  Your brother lives right down the street – he should be doing this.  I’m leaving my ladder here because if another one starts chirping – you fix it!

So – before he left, 2 smoke alarms lay dismembered on my counter and I swear five minutes after he was gone – they both chirped!

I just said, “F-this” and closed my bedroom door and went to sleep.

About an hour later………..

'A':  'S' – I can’t sleep.

Me:  Why not?

'A':  There’s a ghost in the house that’s chirping like a bird.

Me:  It’s the smoke alarms – there’s something wrong with them.  Just close your bedroom door.

'A':  Maybe there’s a fire.  I mean, that’s why smoke alarms make noise.

Me:  No – there’s no fire; just go back to sleep.  (It’s about 1:30am.)

'A':  Are you sure?  I think I smell smoke.


'A':  Ok…………SLAM!

Now the dogs are barking and the baby is crying.

An hour after that – everyone is asleep again……but me.  I cannot sleep because somehow the chirping smoke alarm sounds are able to come through my closed bedroom door and walls.

Later on – early that morning – Hubby comes home…….

Tommy:  'S' – why are the smoke alarms lying on the garage floor and whos ladder is that in my hallway?

Me….mumbling:  It was midnight for crying out loud.  Had to call my dad – you know he’s almost deaf.  And you know he wasn’t happy.  And here I have a husband….and for what?  My own brother wouldn’t even come over and he lives right down the road.  You think I don’t have to get up and go to work too?  And I have kids waking me up all hours of the night.

I think before I go to work tomorrow – I’m going to hide those smoke alarms in the bedroom somewhere – while he has to sleep during the day.  J