Tuesday, May 24, 2005

And I don't even *have* a bust of Pallas above my chamber door

I arrived home last night after a numbingly long day at work. Having already missed a deadline that day and left work too late to get in my usual after-work time at the gym, I was looking for nothing more than to make some dinner and tidy up a little prior to going to bed early. I was kind of tired since my inadvertent nap on Sunday had messed with my circadian rhythm – resulting in my not falling asleep until about midnight on Sunday night….

BIP!!!!!

That’s when it started…

A nondescript, but mind-numbingly loud short beeping sound echoed through the condo. So short, in fact, that it was almost impossible to locate the source. At first, I thought it might be the smoke detector, but after dragging out the ladder and examining said fire detector closely, it turned out that the smoke alarm was not, in fact, beeping at all.

BIP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The beeps were coming about once a minute now. And they seemed to be moving, one time I swore they were coming from the front of the house, another time they seemed to be coming from the kitchen. I felt like I was Ridley in Alien, surrounded by little aliens scurrying through the walls, pausing every minute to shriek their tiny cries of rage in my direction…

BIP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

By this time I had pretty much figured that the source was coming from the rear of the condo, back in the living room/kitchen area. With each beep, I moved closer and closer to…the furnace closet! Flinging open the doors I lunged inside, tossing aside mops and rags in a violent rage, crying “What do you want from me!!!???”.

BIP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That was it. There it was, glaring down at me from on high – a complete second set of another smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector lurking above the furnace! With its one glowing red eye, the smoke detector glared down at me, as if daring me to approach…

BIP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I raced down the hallway to get the ladder, set it up in the closet and reached up to extract the smoke detector. It was hard-wired into the ceiling, and I wasn’t able to figure out how to unhook the plug where it jacked into the back of the detector (not unlike how Neo jacked into the Matrix, actually). The detector sensed my frustration, and looked at me accusingly. Venting the torment of hundreds of years of domestic household appliance servitude.
BIP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Enraged at this point, I fumbled with the plug. Jerking, tugging, begging, pleading, demanding. Finally, with a cry of joy, I managed to unhook the plug from the back of the smoke detector. Taking it down from the ceiling, I took it over to the counter, and began looking for the battery compartment, figuring that a low-battery backup was causing all the ruckus. While it wasn’t obvious, it appeared that I’d have to compress three small tabs inside the housing using a screwdriver and then rotate the housing slightly to get it to release from the sensor body. That would, I theorized, reveal the battery for replacement. Doing so, I worked carefully to ensure that no tabs would break, and slowly revealed the underside of the detector to reveal…

BIP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

THERE WAS NO BATTERY!!!! Not only that but the stupid beeping was still echoing through the house! Obviously an attempt to drive me insane, I felt like some sort of lab rat who continually was pushing the wrong button. Abandoning the smoke detector, I ran into the office trying to find the instruction manuals for the security system. There had to be a simple solution for this. I had seen the guy come in and set up the system to begin with and he was not the brightest bulb in the chandelier. Surely I with a degree from one of the nations best liberal-arts colleges and a master’s degree could figure out how to stop the incessant beeping, beeping behind my furnace room door…

BIP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

To my office I ran screaming, through the drawers searching, seeming,
Desperate for the way to stop the beeping I abhorred.
Yanking open folders dusty, using research skills long rusty,
Seeking explanations from tomes of forgotten lore.
Yet in my desperation frantic, seeking answers though pedantic,
I failed to find the one specific book needed more and more.
The security system manual was lost…forevermore.

BIP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Back into the kitchen dashing, pondering smoke detector bashing,
Snatching up the plastic from its place upon the floor.
Climbing up the ladder slowly, reconnecting wires wholly,
Restoring then, the smoke detector’s place above the door.
Once completed back I shuffled, feeling entirely kerfluffled,
Curling in a small defeated ball upon the floor.
The thought of crashing at the GF’s thinking more and more.

BIP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Suddenly, a realization – faster than a dog smells bacon
In my mind a thought becoming clearer all the more.
It is not the smoke detector, in the role of home defector
Traitorously keeping me from the sweet slumber I adore.
Instead the only thing must be is the other sensor, dusty
That keeps carbon monoxide poisoning away from my door!
That infernal CO detector up above the door…

BIP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Back up the ladder seething, barely thinking barely breathing,
Ran I to remove the cause of sounds I just could not ignore,
Trying to prevent my teeth from gnashing, with its one red LED eye flashing,
It glared at me with rages I’d ne’er seen heretofore.
Quickly cracking the side panel, all the better to dismantle
The battery that was causing me to call its mother “whore”
Quoth the CO detector “BIP!” no more…

All told it took me about two hours to go through all these motions and finally neutralize that stupid beeping. Another night of “no bed before 11:00” for me, alas. I can only hope that I can reassemble the stupid thing tonight once I’ve bought a new battery.

3 comments:

J.Bro said...

The CIA's gonna be pissed to no end when they find out what you did! I'd move.

J.Bro said...

Hmmm...my comment about the CIA doesn't seem to be showing up on the main page. Is anyone surprised by that?

grrrbear said...

It's all part of the conspiracy. The CIA wants to ensure I suffer from massive sleep deprivation.

After all, Elmo seems equally disinterested in both...

I have a hard time believing that Elmo was traumatized by Katy Perry's decollatage after discovering that he had already "been arou...