Four Alarm Crazy

Around 10:30 last night, I found myself holding a ladder for John while he yanked the wires of each and every one of our smoke alarms free from the electrical system. Yes, that’s right. Daughter of a fire fighter and I endorsed this bold move. Actually, it was my idea. We were watching Red Dawn and I was in a “take no prisoners” kind of mood. (side note: worst ending to a movie ever? total disappointment)

Don’t worry; all the smoke alarms still had fresh batteries, so they were in working order. (I made John test them to prove it) I don’t like to live that far out on the edge. But aside from the extra aggression I felt from watching Patrick Swayze throw hand grenades at enemy tanks, I actually had a very good reason for wanting the alarms ripped out of the electrical system.

Let’s back up to the night before, when the smoke alarms went off (and I mean ALL of them, simultaneously) no less than 5 times beginning at 2:30 in the morning, and ending at 5:30 in the morning. This has happened to us at least once or twice a year since we moved into this house. It NEVER happens during daylight hours, and despite checking and re-checking the system, there is apparently no reason why it occurs.

And let me tell you, when all 10 of those alarms go off at once, it blasts you (and your screaming, terrified children) out of bed and about 10 feet into the air. The next hour is spent calming children and popping beta blockers to keep from having a heart attack. By the time we fall asleep again, BLAST, it happens again. This usually goes on for 3 nights and then never happens again for 8-10 months. And just when we are lulled into a life of deep, uninterrupted sleep…BLAST. It’s a fake fire alarm all over again.

I have a theory that the people who sold us the house have wired every single automated system to purposely piss us off. I’m just sayin’–this house came with a bunch of extras we could care less about. And they all seem “wired” to make us crazy.

Take, for example, the sprinkler system we never turn on because we probably couldn’t afford the water bill. We’re left with a bunch of pipes running through our yard that make it almost impossible to dig any landscaping. The house also has an alarm system that beeps every freakin’ time someone opens a door or window, despite the fact that we have never activated it and have no idea what all the codes mean. Many times during the day, when I’m ALL ALONE, the alarm system will indicate to me that the back door or an upstairs window has been opened. I mean, Holy Shit, what am I supposed to do with that information when I’ve been sitting quietly in my office? I’ll tell you what I do with it–I write illustrious stories of murder and gore in my overactive imagination.

And this house HAD a programmable digital thermostat but we finally made the HVAC guy rip it out and put in a good old regular one. I mean, I know the previous owners paid good money for that thing, but seriously, no matter how many times I reprogrammed it, the thing insisted that we wanted it to be 62 degrees at 2 pm every day in January.

So what was my point? Oh, that’s right: after a night of zero sleep on Wednesday, last night we had settled down in bed watching Red Dawn, when suddenly the alarm, which had made zero noise all day, goes off in full force. I just couldn’t face the idea of it going off every hour all night–no doubt the evil plot of some man I met only once, 5 years ago (what? I’m not crazy, I swear!)–so we “unwired” the system.

Then, satisfied with our handy-work, we snuggled down for a long night of peaceful sleep. And….about 10 minutes after I had drifted off, Thomas comes in shining a flashlight in my face and crying that he can’t sleep. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

You don’t even want to know how I handled that. I mean, we have rules in this house and you have to be less than six weeks old or dying a bloody awful death to wake us up in the night.

I drifted off again plotting how I would be waking Thomas up bright and early in the morning. Possibly by testing the smoke alarms. Kidding. I’m kidding….

Don’t mess with Swayze. Nobody puts Baby in a corner. (I know, wrong movie, but I never pass up an opportunity to say that)

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