Three angry smoke detectors
Set the Way Back Machine to last Wednesday, Mr. Peabody. I had just transplanted the yet-to-be-installed batch of smoke detectors from the granite-topped dining table to the kitchen which, I’m reminded is a (my) flawed version of cleaning. During this, I commented cleverly to my wife that smoke detectors were not to be used as kitchen timers during food preparation. We (she) had a good laugh as I gathered myself off the floor and wondered in breathless silence where she found the time for martial arts lessons. Luckily for me, it was only a glancing snap kick to the solar plexus.
Anyway, allow me to get to the point, Sherman. Upon surveying the list of things on my (her) home improvement list I thought it’d be safer fire-wise to temporarily place the ‘lil beeping wonders in the kitchen on the top shelf of the spice rack, where from on high they could detect and harshly critique any cooking related anomalies. Besides, on the table their batteries would die of boredom waiting for granite to ignite. Most likely, shuffling the smoke detectors from one room to the next was a subconscious ploy to delay installation by getting them out of nagging view. I’m kinda smart like that.
On Thursday, I arrived home and was making my way up from the garage to the living room when I heard a shrill, yet familiar wailing (not my wife’s, her pitch is different). Bounding the steps three (one) at a time, I opened the door and was met by our dog Heidi who I quickly surmised was not the source of the screeching, but was clearly distraught with it nonetheless. The alarm sound I was hearing wasn’t the typical angry triple beep of a smoke detector, but resembled the mind-numbing continuous tone which proceeded a test of the emergency broadcast system. Heidi glanced in the direction of the noise then looked at me as if to say, “For the love of Dog make it stop!” Anything for you, pretty dog.
Had I seen the glow of flames or billowing smoke (there was none) I’d have sprung into action and put to good use the fire fighting skills I’d learned in the military. I made a mental note to buy a fire extinguisher, then cautiously rounded the corner. From the kitchen entrance I stood and bore witness to my wife desperately fanning two dish towels, meanwhile all three smoke detectors chirped loudly, but not in unison from their high shelf perch. Her flapping efforts indicated smoke dissipation or a flight attempt. Since no smoke was visible, I thought she’d need much bigger wings. Meanwhile, the smoke detectors seemed to cheer her on to flap faster, but I suspected they couldn’t care less if she ever got airborne.
“Hi Honey!” I said noting the floor fan set to high, and the open balcony doors facilitating smoke evacuation. “Oil got too hot” said she rather loudly. Yep, oil’s fault again, I thought. Bad oil! No smoking in the house! Rubbing my chest thoughtfully, I thought it best to keep this comment to myself and instead muttered, “Mmm-hmm” sounding as sharp as Slingblade in my response.
To be honest and ruin a good story with facts, my wife is a good cook, doesn’t hit me, and only rarely nags at me when I truly deserve it. Oh, yeah, almost forgot. Until I get the proper tools and off my butt to get them mounted, the smoke detectors’ new home is on the window sill in the bathroom adjacent to the kitchen. From the only seat in the room I can see them mad-dogging me, as a daily reminder that they’re still not in their proper place. I hope for their sake that they can only smell smoke. Until later my peeps.