An irritating, buzzing alarm signal went off just as we were finishing dinner tonight.
What was beeping? Could it be the microwave oven telling me something was ready? No, as I opened the door to check. It was empty. The toaster oven? Another blank. Nothing in there.
Aha, I thought, “it must be time to change the smoke alarm battery.”
” I’ll get the ladder if you stand there to help balance me,” replied my husband. Meanwhile the beeping became more insistent. He carried the heavy aluminum ladder across the house from the hall closet to under the alarm. This appliance was right above the entrance to the downstairs basement workroom. ” Please be careful not to get too close to the steps,” I warned. I couldn’t help thinking of our neighbor, Kevin, who fell off his ladder this summer and broke two bones in his foot. The poor guy spent two months on crutches.
When Harvey unscrewed the alarm cover the sound screeched again. But it was not coming from the ceiling, where the ladder was awaiting the job of installing a new 9 volt battery. So where was it coming from?
That’s when our search for the sound origin began. “Where else is there another smoke alarm? Or could it be the carbon monoxide detector?” There was another smoke detector in the hall outside the bedroom. But as we stood under that one, the beep sounded again from back at then original site. “It has to be the first one you tried,” I reasoned. And back we went, approaching the offending sound, determined that it would not keep us awake tonight, as it had done then last time the alarm sounded. Once again, up the ladder, alarm cap unscrewed, when the sound loudly bleated right behind me on a long counter separating the kitchen from the family room.
But there is no smoke alarm over here! This was getting tiresome, especially since we had a rented movie we promised each other we would watch tonight. I quickly spun around to where the sound came from and saw a cordless telephone lying there. “Boing!” Mystery solved. A phone that was begging for attention, hoping to be recharged, beeping to be placed back in its telephone cradle.
What a relief; a quiet, beepless house once again. Time to get the popcorn popped and the DVD player set up. It’s movie night!