Monday, May 18, 2009


It was one of those nights. I couldn’t seem to get comfortable…I was either too warm or too cold. The dog’s snoring kept waking me up. Note to self: Ask vet if dogs can have allergies.

Then, at around 3am I hear a loud *chirp* sound coming from the hall. I know this sound…and I groggily wonder, not for the first time…why detectors’ batteries always seem to die in the middle of the night, instead of at a more civilized hour….say, between noon and 5pm Eastern Standard Time.

After a few ear-splitting *chirps*, it is silent and I sleepily decide that it can wait till morning. Approximately 30 minutes later, I’m blasted awake by yet another series of ear-splitting *chirps*, which by now I am counting…there are five in a row and then it’s silent once again. I drift back toward sleep…dreaming detached dreams about wading through a sea of walking, talking 9-volt batteries. When it *chirped* and startled me again at 4:30, I stumbled out of bed and after grabbing the stepstool from the closet, I practically tore the detector off the ceiling, pried open the cover and dumped the batteries and empty casing onto the floor of the office. I slammed the door smartly on my way back to bed and managed to accomplish all of this in under 90 seconds.

You can imagine my annoyance when 30 minutes later, I was once again roused from a restless sleep by yet another *chirp*. I’m thinking, “What the hell?”…followed in quick succession by “I must be dreaming”. This time though, there were only three *chirps* before my feet hit the floor and I found myself stumbling back towards the office, ready to pummel the discarded detector…which obviously had some kind of deceptively-placed backup battery…probably invented by some sick, twisted, underpaid Kidde employee who hates his job and is determined to get his jollies by randomly driving mainstream America to its knees by summarily programming the main batteries to discharge only in the wee hours of the morning and only then deviously allowing an undetected backup battery to drive unsuspecting consumers completely over the edge by continuing to elicit a *chirp* long after said main batteries had been angrily removed by said half-insane consumers.

That’s when I realized the *chirp* was still coming from the hallway. I re-traced my steps…to the end of the hall to get the stepstool…then doubling back down the hall, to stop and stand…glaring up at the ceiling, wondering if there was one of those little “inspected by” stickers anywhere and if I could somehow track it to the inspector’s residence…where I’d then order three dozen pizzas to be delivered first thing tomorrow.

I was tired. I was fast developing a headache. I was pissed. That’s when I spotted the second detector mounted to the ceiling….as it let out one final *chirp* before I summarily tore it from its mount, relieving it of its 9-volt…and threw it on the floor of the office…where it rolled and came to rest next to its buddy, detector #1.

By this time, it was 5:30…and it didn’t seem worth it to try and get any more sleep.

Note to self: Buy more batteries.

jh said...

Ugh, I thought for sure it was going to be a little birdy!

kathryn said...

Nah. That would make way too much sense.

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