Friday, October 13, 2006

to be opened monday

My first words of the day were, "Oh shit!" Sunlight was streaming in on my face, trucks rumbled by, children playing - all indicators of late-early morning, i.e. I had overslept. In the summer, 6:30 a.m. (when I usually get up) can look like 8 a.m. (when I was getting up), but not in October. I got up, muttering swears to myself and started to get ready.

Then I heard the shrill BEEP!! of my smoke alarm. There was no fire. You see, the smoke alarms in the house are hooked-up to the electricity. So, they're operable when the batteries die. BUT, you should have working batteries in the smoke alarm in case a fire disrupts your electrical service. When the battery dies, the smoke alarm will BEEP!! every, I don't know, 30 seconds. Even non-electrically-hooked-up smoke alarms will do this, but in the latter case it's a few beeps before dying. My smoke alarms will continue to beep for all eternity, provided the grid is still providing juice, I'm paying my electrical bill and I don't put a new battery in the smoke alarm. At that point, the smoke alarm, sated, will be silent until there's a fire or the new battery dies.

Last night, living room smokey started beeping. Fine. I went out to dinner with theMonica and family and then to a bar for some drinks and at some point theMonica procured a 2-pack of 9-volt batteries. We returned to my apartment and I, gleefully, proceed to put a fresh battery in smokey, so as to silence the intermittent BEEP!!. Good plan.

Well, it was a good plan until it didn't work. Smokey had a fresh battery, yet she wailed. WTF? At first, I was perplexed. Battery in correctly, connection achieved, tested properly, what's the problem here? BEEP!! Hmmmm. Maybe the battery was a dud? I mean, probably not. But I'm sure in all of batterydom, this happens regularly enough, right? BEEP!! Oh, you little bitch . . . Ok, I get the other battery from the package. Put that one in. Pat myself on the back. BEEP!! Fuck.

And it kept beeping. Now, I am a calm guy. People don't make me mad, but inanimate objects can, very easily. I understand how inanimate objects are supposed to work. If I am unable to operate them properly, it upsets me. People, I have no clue about. I don't know how people are supposed to work or what possible convoluted reasoning they could have for their actions. I enjoy trying to decipher their unspoken motivations, but since most logic is specific to each person, it doesn't bother me when they behave differently than I think they should.

So, rocks and dead sticks and stuff have the power to engrage me when they aren't doing what they're supposed to. This is especially true if I can't figure out WHY they won't do what I want. BEEP!! (deep breaths). With battery replacement, I don't have a lot of theories. Positive/Negative, new battery, ok, all out of ideas. BEEP!! (anger building) I tried the battery 12 different times, Monica another half-dozen. It was making me sooo BEEP!! pissed off. I was ready to take the whole place apart ala Gene Hackman during the final scene of The Conversation. Actually it would have been nothing like that. It would have been more like, "HULK MAD! HULK SMASH BEEP!! THING!"

Fortunately, I was beeped - I mean - buzzed. I went to bed and was able to fall asleep quickly enough. And then the morning came. And Alarmie not ringing true. And Smokey still BEEP!!ing. It did not calm me. Despite the fact it doesn't matter what time I get in, as long as I put my time in, I like to be in early so I'm not there late. It's a better way to start the weekend, I find. I ran around my apartment getting ready as quickly as possible. Cringing every 30 seconds or so. BEEP!! All the while pondering why the alarm didn't go off, nearly positive I had set it.

Eventually, I got into work and related my tale of woe to a work buddy. He reminded me that it was Friday the 13th and that must have had something to do with it. And in the background I heard the menacing howl of the werewolf of inconvenience. Damn that vile beast and it's alarm clock knavery!


Blogger djn said...

I've been willing away something like this to happen to me but now that I've read it and now acknowledging the fact that this never happens to me, it will happen. Right? I'm not usually this negative but I know this is how the world works.

Anyhow, Roger, you're much more patient than I am with inanimate objects. I don't put up with that kind of behavior from my non-breathing little friends.

12:57 PM

Blogger Nukie said...


I loved the conversation. The ending...BEEP....was fantastic.

11:41 AM


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