Friday, January 18, 2008

blonde moment of the week; or the smoke alarm Part II

So, I pouted about the smoke alarm all day yesterday.

I called up my landlord and made a fuss.

I wrote a relatably frustrated blog post about it, to which several nice blog friends have replied (thanks for the support, all.)

And when the Mathematician finally got home last night at 7 p.m., I made him get immediately up on the chair to "deal with that freaking thing." I watched from below, and barked suggestions up to him as he pulled the alarm out of the ceiling, ripped out the battery, and pushed every last button on its exterior white casing in an attempt to get it to stop beeping.

Miraculously, it the smoke alarm chirped on.

So, we left. We went to dinner, the to the movies, and while we were out, we picked up a replacement battery for the smoke alarm. We could still hear it chirping from the foyer of my building when we got home at 11:30--and we live on the fourth floor. And the minute we crossed the threshold into our apartment I forced the Mathematician back up onto the chair.

"Fix it!" I cried. "I've been hearing that goddamn thing chirp every five seconds since noon today! Fix it, goddamn it, fix it!" I stomped down the hall to the bathroom, hands over my ears. Earlier that the afternoon I felt annoyed at the smoke alarm, for how helpless it rendered me, being so high up on the ceiling and so broken. I hate feeling like a damsel in distress, I thought, waiting for my boyfriend or my paternalistic landlord to come home and fix my problems. My Sarah Lawrence friends would be ashamed. Post movie, however, these feminist thoughts were long gone. By 11:30 p.m., I felt like the kind of stark-raving mad female main character you might find in a Bronte novel. Thank god the Mathematician was there, to save me -- and the building-- from myself.

The Mathematician climbed up on the chair in his dutiful way, and commenced tinkering with the smoke alarm. He installed the new battery. The alarm chirped on.

"Rip out that white wire!" I ordered. The alarm kept chirping. "Try that one now," I snapped impatiently. The chirping could not be stopped. Finally, the Mathematician stepped down from the chair, disassembled alarm in hand, and announced:

"I don't think that sound isn't coming from this. It's coming from somewhere there." He pointed to the guest bedroom.

Seconds later the Mathematician held the real culprit in hand -- a carbon monoxide monitor with a dying battery. Guess where he found it? Plugged into an outlet behind the guest bed, about a foot about the ground. Well within my reach.

I believe that qualifies as the blonde moment of the week.

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