Sometimes, late at night, I fantasize about my response if we were ever to have a fire. What’s my first move? What’s my most heroic move? Mostly I just envision climbing down a blanket rope with Elijah, Luca, Diana and Grover on my back. Plus all my Star Wars guys.
Well, my fantasies took a beating the other night when our fire alarm went off at 1am. Thankfully, there was no real fire, which would not have been great given my response time. My initial reaction was to put my blanket over my head and hope the fire would consume me before I had to put sweatpants on. But Diana eventually roused me.
This particular smoke detector was an original that came with our house, wired directly into the ceiling. However, this detector was positioned over our new staircase. It was two floors of empty space straight down.
Oh, did I say beeping? Not just beeping. This relic also included a pre-Siri disembodied voice that repeated, “Fire! Fire!”
The only way to access the detector was to position a ladder on our landing and then stretch way out into the void. Diana held onto the ladder with all her might and I extended like a middle aged Cirque Du Soleil acrobat. If I really put myself at death’s door I could just brush the bottom of the detector with my finger.
“Fire! Fire! Fire!”
At some point, Luca emerged from his room to say, “Turn that off. I’m sleepy.” Thanks for the tip. Eli never did come out of his room. I made a mental note to rethink our fire escape plan.
Finally, I managed to extract the 9 volt battery from the base and the noise stopped. Diana looked around for a 9V replacement, but since it wasn’t 1977, we didn’t have any. Exhausted, I suggested we all go to bed. Diana asked if there was a chance the thing would go off again since it was technically still attached to our wiring. I said no way.
CUT TO 3am.
“Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire!”
Back to the ladder. I stretched out as far as I could and Diana calmly handed me a hammer. I smashed it to bits.
It was one small, and probably our last, victory against the machine uprising.