We came home and discovered we’d suffered a power outage. Which the security system does not like.
I attempt to reset the alarm while my better half gently peels the cat off the ceiling. (How long was the alarm beeping? Days? All week? Naw, the pet sitter would have called us, right? Is that fur on the ceiling?)
System battery low.
Well, that stinks but it’s not the end of the world. It’s a battery, right? No big deal. We then proceed to set and reset the microwave, stove, coffee pot, and all the other gadgets that insist on containing clocks that don’t need clocks, along with finally, our clocks.
Then begins the fun part of unpacking the car and putting away cartons and bins of all the stuff we “needed” on vacation. My husband commences the Herculean task of carting down the bazillion loads of dirty laundry into the basement (Did we really take this much stuff with us? Who wore it and how did they get it so dirty?) and soon enough we are churning enough loads of laundry to compete with the cleaners down the corner.
I put all the other non-clothes stuff away, while making dinner and reassuring the aforementioned shaking scaredy cat.
Husband returns from the basement – smelling oddly of bleach– whereupon I hand him a beer and we plotz together on the sofa, literally crying in our beer. Just one more vacation day – tomorrow, Sunday – left. We dab our eyes and no sooner have our noses in our Kindles when I hear my dearest snoring peacefully alongside me. This looked like a pretty good idea, so I joined him.
We jolt awake, knocking the beer over on the cat as he flees from the alien sounds (although curiously he has grown accustomed to our tandem snoring).
Apparently the dishwasher, microwave, dryer, oven timer and refrigerator warning chimes all went off at once (well one of these
was my bad; I hadn’t closed the door all the way while getting our beer). Either that or they had figured out how
to talk to each other while we were away.
I rouse myself and pull out our dinner. My husband gets up and pries the cat’s nails out of the ceiling.
Later, dinner over, we’re falling asleep on the sofa again and all is right with the world. We wake up to put our jammies on and hop in bed. The last night of no alarm clocks. The last morning to sleep in.
I look at the clock – no power outage here. And wow, it really is 3:00 a.m.
“It’s the alarm. I’ll get it,” I say and shuffle downstairs.
I hit the disarm button.
System disarmed. System battery low.
I give the alarm the evil eye, and trudge back upstairs. A furry, black shadow flies past me. Well, at least the cat got down from the ceiling by himself this time.
I shove the cat over from my spot in bed, and we all lie down. Just the three of us.
Rinse, lather, repeat.
By six o’clock I’d walked enough laps up and down the stairs to have worked off all my vacation Margaritas. I’d also finished reading the novel I’d began last night.
By seven o’clock I was on the phone with the security company, while my husband was making coffee with the cat on his
head. While I stare at my husband and wonder if I have stumbled upon a happier cure for balding men, the
security company cheerfully informs me they can have a man out to replace the battery first thing Monday morning.
I promise the person on the other end of the wire all sorts of things including sending the chef husband to cook for her if she will
for-the-love-of-God-and-my-sanity please send someone today?
“I’m sorry Ma’am but our technicians’ hours are Monday through Friday.”
I sorrowfully agree to their first appointment Monday morning and hang up the phone, as my husband and cat turn to me, looking
exhausted. Well, the cat looked exhausted; he hadn’t had any coffee.
“What’s the story?”
I tell him.
My husband strides down the hall to – again – reset the stupid alarm, muttering something about napping and sheds.
The cat had other plans and fled to the basement.
Miraculously, for the rest of Sunday, not a peep. I mean, a beep. That didn’t start until about 4:00 a.m. Monday. Which was good because we had to get up at 6:00 a.m., anyway.
This was probably why we badly overslept and wound up hurling ourselves in and out of the shower and clothes
and making coffee and lunches like athletes training for a bizarre commuter’s relay race. I was just thankful I
wound up using my own toothbrush. Although I think the husband did, too.
Husband leaves, and I realize it’s the first of the month. We’ve got bills to pay. Lots of them. Before tonight. I launch into accountant mode upstairs at the computer, when the phone rings. I look at the useless phone on the desk next to me (well, it’s not entirely useless, it does have voicemail, and it holds down my filing pretty well) because its battery is shot, too (maybe the security guy will have an extra?) and race downstairs for the kitchen phone (which is an actual phone, with an actual cord, attached to an actual wall –insert Luddite comments here). I answer just as the message machine is picking up. I hear my own canned voice and swear softly under my breath, just as the message ends and the man on the other end chuckles.
“Don’t worry; mine does that all the time.”
“It’s Mike, I’m your security tech. I’ll be there in a few minutes.”
I hang up and dance a jig and run back upstairs to finish the bills. The phone rings.
I grab the receiver downstairs on the fourth ring (hey, I’m getting faster!)
“I’m sorry, honey.”
“I’m just cranky. I really didn’t get any sleep.”
I yawn. “It’s okay. What did you mean about a shed? We don’t have a shed...”
I go back upstairs and turn back to the numbers which unfortunately have decided to paint themselves red.
Let’s see; if we pay this company now, but that service a few days later…
The phone rings.
I retrace my rut down the stairs, wondering if I weigh myself now, how much less I’ll weigh in the next
“Hi, it’s Mike again, I’m just outside your front door.”
I throw down the receiver to let Our Savior of the Security System in to do his techie voodoo. Insert mental
Genuflect with Phillip’s head, here.
Mike no sooner has the panel open and the battery replaced than the cat is wriggling on his back at the guy’s feet.
Correction; on the guy’s feet. Which is weird because our cat doesn’t come out for anyone, except
But our cat’s no dummy. He knows which side his beep beep’sbuttered on.
“Hey, you must smell my kitty.”
Sure, I think. What he smells is the sound of silence.