Smoke Alarms and Sudafed

Early the other morning, sometime around the 4AM mark, I was awakened by the desperate bleat of a dying smoke alarm battery; the smoke alarm securely bolted to the ceiling right outside of our bedroom door. What kind of an asshole would think that a good place for a smoke alarm? Close to the bedroom, yes, I get that. But I’d rather the smoke alarm was a bit further down the hall so that, maybe, I still have a fighting chance of getting out without being burned to a crisp but also not have to be tormented in the dead of night by a incessant beeping sound that makes me wish that I was already dead.

I understand that these beeping sounds are designed to irritate the living shit out of us but damn! Anyway, can somebody tell me why this battery dying bullshit never happens during the day? Like at a time when when I can do something about it?

And who has random 9 volt batteries just sitting around the house anyway? My wife, “Can’t you just change the battery?” Me, “Sure, let me just access my secret lair where I store our 9 volt battery hoard.” You can’t buy these things ahead of time and keep them in a drawer waiting either; they’ll expire because they don’t work with anything else. 9 volt batteries are good for two things: smoke alarms and remote control cars. There are also the people who enjoy putting the connectors of the 9 volt on their tongue and mildly electrocuting themselves. Without these three demographics — smoke alarms, toy cars and dumbasses — there would be absolutely no use for 9 volt batteries.

Why do people find a thrill in sticking a battery on their tongue. Kids think it’s pretty cool to do this for some reason and the fact that they find this bad-ass explains a lot about why kids are such pussies these days. Let me tell you what we did when I was a kid. My buddy Jimmy and I went to the drug store and bought up every thermometer they had. We took them home and shattered them open in order to play with the mercury inside. You know what mercury does? It causes cancer. Like the really bad kind of cancer. The kind that feasts on your bowels and renders you a skeleton with an uncontrollable shitting problem. We didn’t care. Really we didn’t know it did that but we would never have been caught dead garnering such amusement from mildly electrocuting our tongues.

Why can’t a smoke alarm simply plug into the wall and sit on a shelf or a desk top? My god damned doorbell plugs into the wall and you mean to tell me a smoke alarm can’t? No one has come up with the technology for a smoke alarm to run on anything but a 9 volt battery? Good luck with finding a cure for the whole cancer thing. We’re fucked. Even my iPhone has a god damned compass built into it and can even tell the government where I am at any given time but you mean to tell me it can’t tell me when my house is burning down? I can transfer money across the world with a click or two. Change the temperature of my house while I’m driving home. Bring up a naked picture of any female celebrity in the history of celebrity but we can’t find a better way to power a smoke detector?

Some smart ass with their shit together decided that we’re supposed to change smoke alarm batteries every time daylight savings kicks on and off but what am I supposed to do when a battery dies in, say, September? Am I then supposed to change it again in November when we “fall back?” I feel like that’s a giant waste of an already expensive battery. They’re like 4 bucks apiece for Christ sake! There is virtually zero chance of these two battery changing universes to ever come together for me and I will, thusly, more than likely, die in a raging inferno because I have disconnected all of the beeping smoke detectors in my house because of daylight savings time.

What genius decided that smoke alarms had to be attached to the ceiling anyway? In my case, it’s 4AM, the battery is dying and beeping. My only hope of getting a decent night’s sleep is to change the battery and get back in bed as quickly as possible without coming completely out of my sleep trance. You cant just disconnect the battery anymore because this same genius decided that there should be a back up battery that can literally go on beeping for weeks. Anywho, I’m already groggy and now I’m seething inside. That kind of anger that makes you do stupid things. Without a doubt, angry and in a sleep induced daze is the perfect time to get up on a step ladder in the pitch blackness of the night. Not to mention that I was all hopped up on alcohol laden Nyquil.

Cold medicine does not work for me. I hate taking medicine. Everybody is always like, “Dude, why suffer. Get some Advil Cold & Sinus. It works like a charm.” So I tried this stuff and let me tell you a about what it does to me, not for me. First of all, by my way of understanding, this stuff is supposed to act as a decongestant and, at the very least, make it so it doesn’t feel like someone is driving a railroad spike into your forehead. In my case, however, Advil makes a beeline straight for my genitals and renders me unable to take a piss. After a day or so of taking this chemical obstructor, my bladder has the feel of a ripe melon left out in the sun. Advil may, in fact, bring you people some relief from a cold but to me it’s a pharmaceutical tourniquet tightly wrapped tightly around my urethra. So now I can’t pee and my nose is still stuffed up so, fuck me.

As long as we’re on the subject of my private area, I recently had my yearly physical and as I have also recently turned 52, was reminded that it was getting rather important for me to have my colon investigated for ass cancer. Now, in spite of my telling this doctor woman that there is zero instance of colon cancer in my family, just to shut her up, I acquiesced and agreed to allow a complete stranger unfettered access to my anal cavity. Now, I have yet to follow through on this and chances are pretty solid that I will report in for my 53 year old physical with an still unmolested balloon knot but since I deceitfully placated her by agreeing to this violation, I have been getting calls from just about every clinic in the city all hellbent on sticking a camera up my rear end. It’s like my doctor sent my rectum out for quote on Craig’s List and now I have every pervert in the city calling me begging to ravage my butthole.

Remember when you could just go buy cold medicine and people didn’t look at you like you were running a meth lab. I just want to unclog my nose, it fucking hurts and you want my drivers license so you can keep record of my pseudoephedrine volume? This stuff costs like 9 dollars per pack. How good do you think I’m willing to feel for that price?

Did you know that people can get addicted to nose spray? Apparently there’s an ingredient in your standard OTC nasal spray called Oxymetazoline and this shit is addictive. This chemical that I cannot pronounce can lead to mouth sores, nose bleeds, fever, vomiting and wounds that refuse to heal. I just wanted my nose to not be all clogged up but now I can’t stop using this shit and I’m puking everywhere. What kind of medicine is this? Isn’t there a code of medical ethics that says do no harm? Festering and gaping wounds that refuse to heal seems like harm to me. Maybe the people who bottle this sweet elixir aren’t beholden to such standards of actually fixing my fucking stuffed up nose and are more interested in me selling my sexual dignity for a quick fix of Afrin. Jesus!

Epilogue –

In the end, given that I don’t care to die a fiery death, I bought 2 9 volt batteries to the tune of 8 dollars. 8 dollars for a couple of batteries?!?! It almost seems cheaper to let the house burn down and just pay the deductible.

Anywho, having spent a ridiculous amount of money on these batteries, I climb up the ladder and in the process of changing out the batteries, proceed to drop the smoke alarm on the floor shattering it into a million pieces. Wonderful! Now I have 8 fewer dollars and two 9 volt batteries with nothing to put them in.