Friday, February 27, 2009


     The other morning, Tuesday morning to be precise, I rolled out of bed in the Worldwide Headquarters and was engaging in my usual morning ritual of hating life and frantically searching for my pants. It was during a lull in this exciting adventure that I heard a little squeak coming in from the hall. It sounded exactly like the sound a basketball player's shoes make on the hardwood basketball court when they make a cut. Now, the hallway outside the Worldwide Headquarters is not a basketball court. It's not even wood. It's tile that's older than me and my mom combined, which is fine. But I have heard the right combination of shoes and tile make that sound, so I just assumed that it was someone going off to work or school. Perhaps a small child. But that sound usually only comes when someone is booking it up the stairs into their apartment. And no one is coming home at 7 am unless it's me on the weekend coming home from the hotel. But I still chalked it up to some kid running around. Until I heard it again.
     And then again. And again. At regular, widely spaced intervals. That's when I figured out what it was. It was a smoke detector. You know how your smoke detector beeps slowly when it has a dying battery until it annoys you into changing it? Well that's what this one was doing. So I did my civic and lazy duty and called the landlord from work. Or at least I called his business, because that's the only number I have for him. But the nice lady who answered the phone told me that the landlord was not available. Neither was his wife. They were both out of town for like a week, which meant that I guess it was on me.
     So I went out into the hallway and deciphered that it was the smoke detector on the second floor landing that was the problem. So I disconnected the battery and went on my way. But when I came home I could still hear the beeping. So I replaced the battery in the second floor smoke detector and pulled the one on the third floor, outside my apartment. I figured that since the apartment next door was vacant, I was the only one hearing that detector and thus the only one with a problem. Also, I didn't know it was there for a day and a half. So I pulled that battery and nothing. I pulled all the batteries on all the smoke detectors in the stairway. I pulled the batteries from the smoke detectors in my apartment, even though I knew it wasn't them. And still that little "tweet." That's when I figured it out.
     The offending smoke detector is in the empty apartment next door. Yeah. The one that no one has a key to except the landlord who is God-knows-where for God-knows-how-long. Yeah. Only in my life. So I have been making a valiant attempt to live with it. And it's not working. I am going a little nutso. Actually, I am going a lot nutso. Sue Too hit the proverbial nail on the head when she said it was torture. That's exactly what it is. So I have been weighing my options. I could go stay in a freezing cabin with no heat, electricity, running water, or TV. That would be better. I suppose I could just wear headphones at all times. I just thought of that one and I like it. My favorite option is to kick the door open Chuck Norris-style and just pull the battery. After I poke around a little bit of course. But I am pretty sure I'd be in some deep shit for doing that, and that's the last thing I need with the way things have been going lately. Knowing the state of my crappy apartment, I am thinking that my best bet is going to be to try and crack in through a window or something. Maybe use the credit card trick on the front door. Because this has to stop. And I know the battery is going to outlast my psyche. And so it is. It's down to my becoming a criminal or becoming a mental patient. I know, most of you are going to say that I am much closer to becoming the later, but let's be honest, I am about one freak out away from being both. So it's on. So the detector can be off. Because I can't kick the door in. And I don't look good in headphones.

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