The Infernal Machine


The Infernal Machine

There is a devil device that lurks in our homes. Perhaps you do not war with it as I do. Perhaps I alone have drawn the ire of this of insidious mechanism. But I know the truth.

Smoke detectors are evil, vindictive machines.

You may ask how I know this. I know this because, for my entire adult life, every smoke detector battery that has ever died and needed changing has been on Saturday night, or more likely, the wee hours of Sunday morning. A crucial detail here is that I’m on staff at a church, which means Sunday is one of my early mornings up. This has led to many events of stumbling through the house trying to find a 9v battery. There are NEVER 9v batteries when you need them.

Middle-of-the-night-wake-up-calls by chirping fire alarms are low on the list of things I like.

Which brings me to the current story.

Last Saturday night at about 11 PM, a smoke detector starts to beep. It’s okay, I think to myself. It’s earlier than normal, and I have a 9v battery on hand. I get the step ladder out and replace the battery. Easy as pie. I press the button to test it. It tests okay and the other smoke detectors in the house chirp in response.

Problem solved.

Then one of the other smoke detectors chirps again. I pause and wait, hoping I’m just crazy. It chirps a second time, and the madness sets in. The test drained a second detector’s battery, and now it wants a fresh one too.

There are no more 9v batteries.

My wife laughs, but I think this is mostly so that she doesn’t cry. She gets woken up too.

At 11:15 PM, I set out for Wal-mart, in search of 9v batteries, dejected, and broken in spirit. Yet again, I have been defeated by my arch-nemesis. They are devilish machines, and more clever than I. But I do remember to buy a bigger pack of batteries than normal.

I hate smoke detectors.

Michael KaneComment