Friday, September 29

Perfect timing

This time last night I posted an entry about being driven nearly to insomnia during my first year of college by nocturnal noises I was powerless to stop. And at the end of the entry, I expressed my gratitude for my own apartment, in which I can sleep soundly with no annoying noises to keep me awake all night.

Well, tonight as I was sitting on the couch, winding down after work, I heard a loud, high-pitched chirp come from the hall. It scared the shit out of me.

It was my smoke detector, screeching for a battery replacement.

And now I can't sleep because that thing is beeping every 90 seconds and it is so loud and I can't reach it to take the battery out because it is so high up on these confounded walls. I have one chair to stand on — my desk chair — and it's not nearly tall enough for me to be able to reach the ceiling, practically where the detector is positioned. I tried bashing the stupid thing with a broom but nothing happened.

Of course it's 2 in the morning so I can't call my maintenance guy to get him to come over.

So, yeah.

The universe sure does have a funny sense of humor sometimes.

Update, 3:30 a.m.: I win.

I win

I laid in bed for a while, fantasizing about smashing the smoke detector, then about Sacha Baron Cohen coming over to help me smash the smoke detector. I had my iPod blaring to drown out the chirping, then I realized that I was lying there trying to fall asleep but my heart was racing and my face was all cramped up and tense. So I darted out of bed and got the broom again, thinking I could really try to smash the damn thing, but you'd be surprised how resilient those little plastic bastards are when confronted by cheap-ass Dollar Tree brooms.

So I sat on the floor and tried to go all MacGyver and shit, looking around at my possessions to see what could be stacked to boost me up to the smoke detector's level. I saw potential only in my desk chair (with wheels, which is tough to use as a ladder when you have hardwood floors) and my little tiger foot stool. (I find it oddly coincidental that I've been getting into Le Tigre lately.)

So I pulled a rug close for traction, and built my little makeshift ladder:


I'm so happy about my victory that I spelled "incessant" wrong and I don't even care.

Below the chair is a rug for traction and a flip-flop beneath two of the chair's wheels for extra non-slip protection.

The ladder boosted me up so that I could at least reach the bottom edge of the smoke detector. I pushed and pulled and prodded and cussed and feared for my life as the stool and chair wobbled below me with every ounce of pressure I placed on the detector to try and pry it from the wall.

But finally! It popped off with a satisfying crack and I held my breath as I stood tippy-toed on the tiny tiger (heh, sorry) and plucked the sapped nine-volt from its cradle. And, once the battery was removed, the damn thing chirped at me again. So I took a big swipe at it and the whole thing came crashing down off the wall with an impolite clatter on the floor, which I hope my downstairs neighbors didn't mind too much.

And as the victory swelled in my throat and I tried to ease down off my Perch of Necessary Danger, all I could think was, I gotta get the camera and remember this bullshit FOREVER.

So there ya go. An inspirational story we can all enjoy. Or just me. Whatever.

The moral of the story is: You don't want to fuck with a face like this.

don't eff with me 2


Blogger Serrabee said...

Thanks for sharing this beatiful tale of danger and daring. I am inspired. To what, I'm not sure yet.

Fri Sep 29, 06:57:00 AM  
Blogger John H said...

I'm kinda trembling right now just writing this.

Homer (the greek one, not the cartoon one) should be so lucky to tell this story..

congratulations. Are you sticking with this story when you ask the maintenance person to fix your smoke alarm?

Fri Sep 29, 09:13:00 AM  
Blogger David Holt said...

Three Cheers for you!!!

Fri Sep 29, 05:37:00 PM  
Blogger J. R. said...

Why is this a word?

Fri Sep 29, 11:03:00 PM  
Blogger theogeo said...

Thanks, all, for the congrats.

I'm sure when I finally do something stupid enough to kill me, and my life flashes before my eyes, this incident will be in the reel in full.

Incidentally, I can't believe no one has cracked a joke yet about "smash the smoke detector" sounding vaguely euphamistic, considering the context. Hee.

And JR, I don't know. Perhaps because God really is dead? Sigh.

Sat Sep 30, 11:44:00 AM  
Blogger David Holt said...

Because we are innocent souls whose minds aren't in the gutter like you. :-P

Sat Sep 30, 04:56:00 PM  
Blogger John H said...

Art imitates life..

Tonight on the new ABC show 'Brothers and Sister' (a somewhat 30 Something-ish show with a big brilliant cast featuring Rachel Griffiths, Calista Flockhart, Sally Field and many more), the smoke alarm started beeping in Sally's (the mom of the brood) kitchen. She was talking on the phone and had to get off because the beeping was annoying. She picks up a mop and tries to knock the alarm off, but she can't reach it. Finally, she gets on a chair and smashes the alarm to pieces on the floor, ending up with a picture much like the one you posted above.

I would be thinking that the writers are reading well-written blogs for plot ideas, but I have to think that this show was shot before your piece..

Having never read about, nor seen, anybody breaking a smoke detector out of frustration at the 'beeping', I was fairly amazed at the coincidence, if not synchronicity in my life. I tried to 'splain all this to Lynn, but she kinda glazed over. Nonetheless, I'm impressed.

Mon Oct 02, 12:40:00 AM  
Blogger theogeo said...

John, that is awesome! I can't believe that was a storyline in a new show. Usually my life imitates old and busted sitcoms, but this??! This is a step up!

Mon Oct 02, 07:18:00 AM  

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