While I was Wandering: The Offensive "Alarm Clock"

Things that go Beep in the Night

Last night I was watching a re-run of a Friends episode. During the episode the battery in Phoebe’s smoke detector died in the middle of the night. She went on to open the battery compartment – it still beeped. She then pulled the smoke detector off the wall – it still beeped. She banged it to smithereens with a hammer – it still beeped. She bid it a not-so-fond farewell and tossed it (still beeping) down the garbage chute in her apartment building. During this whole episode I wondered why those detectors always beep at night, never ever in the middle of the day.

Well, my life went on to imitate art last night.  Yes, believe it or not, I was soundly sleeping at 3:30 am this morning and then…Beep. Beep. Beep. The beeping was coming from the smoke detector in the kitchen.

Luckily when I went to look in our battery drawer I found a single 9 volt battery. I figured out how to open the detector battery compartment and changed the battery. Time to go back to sleep.

Beep. Beep. Beep.

Are you kidding me?

Now, I did notice that the new battery was the same brand as the old battery. Odds are good it was the partner in the two pack of batteries we bought the last time a smoke detector battery died.

Well, now it was time to wake up my husband. In my opinion he should be sharing in this special moment. After some arguing over whether we both needed to be awake for this – much like I imagine parents of newborns argue over who takes care of the baby in the middle of the night – we were both awake and trying to stop the beeping.

I finally figured out how to pull the detector down from the ceiling and unplug it.

Finally. Peace. And I didn’t even need hammer like Phoebe, but I did think about it.

The offending detector and batteries were on the counter when I woke up this morning. Now, this detector is in the kitchen and does get used more than the others since it is rather sensitive. I find my cooking sets it off about once a month. No, I don’t burn the food (don’t listen to my husband). It is just a sensitive detector.

Now it has a new battery. My husband and I have notifications and reminders on our calendars to change the batteries every 6 months.

But, this got me wondering. Who was the evil engineer who built some kind of clock into every smoke detector so that the batteries NEVER die during the day? They ALWAYS die in the middle of the night. That engineer has a sick sense of humor. I bet he had a newborn at home and was the one who had to get up the night before he designed that evil smoke detector clock, and thought “if I have to be up the middle of the night everyone else will have be up in the middle of the night”.

Well, I sure am looking forward to good night sleep tonight, and yes, if another detector’s battery dies tonight it is my husband’s turn to get up and take care of it.



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