So I’m standing in the kitchen, making some sort of macrobiotic vegan meal with the recommended balance of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids and all 9 essential amino acids — ok, just kidding, I was waiting for a frozen burrito to heat up — when I hear an electronic chirp sound from down the hall. I don’t keep birds, especially battery-powered birds, so the sound must have come from a smoke alarm.
On my way down the hall, I hear the sound again, coming from inside my office. Inside, I step up on the chair and twist the alarm down from the ceiling. It chirps again, loudly, and I nearly topple over in surprise. I recover my balance, step down, and pull the battery out of the back of the unit.
Returning to the kitchen, I’m checking on the state of the frozen block of pureed vegetable goo in the center of my entree, and I hear a chirp sound from down the hall. I pause, considering my options. Without moving my head, I slowly scan the room with my eyes: Who’s fucking with me this time?
Back in the office, I double-check the alarm I’ve just eviscerated. The battery really is disconnected. I put it back in. The alarm chirps at me, loudly. I take out the battery. Then I hear a chirp from the hallway — ahh, the other alarm. What are the odds that both alarms would die within minutes of each other?
I resolve not to repeat my grab-and-spin dance to retrieve the second alarm until after dinner. And I retire to the lanai for a refreshing meal, except for the cold part in the middle.
Later that evening, I relate the above story to my wife, and, reminded of the unfinished business, arrange a stool and climb up to check on the remaining alarm. I flip open the cover to face an unexpected surprise: the battery is disconnected. A centimeter of air separates the battery from the terminals. I don’t see any tiny 9V sparks bridging the gap.
“That can’t be right,” I say stupidly as I push the battery forward in its track until it makes contact. The alarm responds with a full-throttle shriek, as if, just before connecting the battery, I’d set fire to my hair. In surprise, I nearly topple from the stool, but recover (with surprising grace), to immediately document the event upon this website, along with the question: Which one of you is doing this?