Friday, January 25, 2008


It's 3 AM. You are tired, you are very tired. BEEP. The sound awakens you instantly from a deep sleep. Wide awake. Not even slightly drowsy. You rest your head back on the pillow and close your eyes. BEEP. You roll over and push your face into the pillow and try to drift into slumber land. BEEP. You kick off the covers and throw your pillow on the floor. BEEP. You look at the alarm clock for signs of activity. For some unknown reason you check out the ceiling fan - reach up and tug on the short chain. BEEP. Darkness fills the room and impedes your visual search. BEEP. You grab your cell phone from the nightstand and stare at the blank screen. BEEP. Wide awake - so completely wide awake you trot out of the bedroom into the kitchen. The dog wags her tail and walks to the door. It's 3:15 AM. You venture outside to walk the fool in the crisp cool air with a slight breeze - in just your thin nightgown. Mission accomplished you walk back inside and snuggle beneath the soft warm covers. BEEP.

Your eyes travel to the space above the bathroom door and you see a very very small red light blink. BEEP. The smoke alarm - needs a new battery - at 3 AM in the morning. Are they programed to ALWAYS need a battery replacement in the wee hours of the morning? A time when you should be in REM sleep. Now, I remember this is the time it always happens. WHY? What evil engineer devised this program? Was he sleep deprived? BEEP.

You can't reach the little round plastic BEEP from here. You can't go back to sleep with the annoying BEEP every 40 seconds. You need a new battery and the step stool. It's dark your cold and tired. You just want to get some sleep. You trudge out in the garage and hunt for the step stool. You find it hidden beneath the pool floaties, the beach chairs and the dog bed. You drag it back into the still darkened house and flip it open. BEEP.

Working in the dark (why?) you set up the step stool and climb aboard. You remove the plastic cover, drop it on the floor and fight with the 9 volt battery. You pull it to the left, you pull it to the right, you give it a jerk. BEEP. Defeat. You climb down from the step stool - in the dark (why?). BEEP. Let there be light.

Life in general is so much more compatible when you can see what you are doing. BEEP. You climb back on the step stool fight with your rectangular component - it's 3:45 Am. BEEP. You snatch the little sucker out and climb back down the step stool. Crunch - there's the lid to the smoke alarm. And then there is silence. You can't remember where you left the spare 9 volt? You climb back in bed and worry about - what would happen if the house caught fire and the smoke alarm was not functioning? Silence at 4 Am and 5 and then 6.

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