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...and they lived happily ever after. Smith & Lady: poets, artists, photographers & adventurers.
Our relationship was forged to the soundtrack of Yoko Ono's magic,
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5-alarm non-fire

The 5-Alarm Non-Fire
or the smoke detector that wouldn’t die

Asleep 90 minutes and the fire alarm goes off. We have ADT home security so the smoke detector is tied to a very loud penetrating abrasive screaming beep alarm.

We get up. I smell wood smoke, check every room, closet, pull ceiling stairs down , look in the attic, prowl the basement, then go outside in my underwear and inspect the roof and grounds. No smoke, no flame, but do smell wood smoke coming from the southeast. While I’m doing this, Lady is explaining to ADT we have no fire so please don’t send the fire trucks.

One late late night last fall our foyer door wasn’t quite latched and a hard wind pushed it half an inch and the alarm went off — by the time I managed to turn it off, there was a cop car out front flashing, so I open our front door in my undies and convince the lady cop I live here and it’s all cool.

We go back to bed.

30 minutes later it goes off again. We convince ADT to not send any firetrucks no matter what for another 6 hours. I’m quite awake so sit in dark, toke, write lowku, go back to bed.

Hour later we gooooooooo again, so I get ladder, take smoke detector down from ceiling, and the alarm control panel goes crazy screaming “tampered” message. I reset yet again, put detector downstairs, tell Lady it still has batteries in it so could still technically go off.

At 3:30 a.m. it starts its screambeep again so I come down, take a fork and pry its 2 batteries out, slipping once and poking a bloody hole in my hand.

By this time there’s no smell of wood smoke, no probable cause to scream.

We go back to bed.

At 5:30 a.m. it goes off again — no batteries in detector. Without my reading glasses I can’t rsee the message the ADT control panel is flashing as I insert our PIN to shut it up. Look later and last alarm msg says HEAT while previous ones all said SMOKE. We have neither.

Now we’re up, sipping coffee, is almost 7 and alarm’s been silent for 90 minutes, but have feeling we’re not done.

Achh, microwave beeper went off and I thought it was the Attack of the Never-Ending Fire Alarm again.

After false fire alarm
waiting in dark
watching

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