Haven’t had internet in forever because Telstra are like pigeons. Useless and makes me want to vomit.
So the other day, when I’m all stressy and gross because of my lack of internet and the fights I’m having with Telstra and racking up an astronomical phone bill, I hear what can only be the sound of a smoke alarm battery dying.
We’ve all heard it. That infernal ‘beep’ every 30 seconds that wiggles inside your head and makes you want to stick your head in an oven.
I knew it definitely wasn’t mine because I had taken the battery out when I first moved in which is probably illegal but then isn’t suicide in some cases? So this beeping was Definitely not in my house. But because I live in a stupid unit, I can hear stupid everything from my stupid neighbours. And yes, they are all stupid. And all seem to have about 100 children each.
So I spend the next 20 minutes trying to find the source of the beeping by standing outside each unit one by one, listening, and looking really dodgy. I finally track it down to the little old man two units down who hated on my scones.
So I knock on his door and say in my best Neighbour Voice, (it’s very mature and kinda perky) ‘hi there! Sorry to bother you, but I think your smoke alarm is running out of battery! I can hear the beeping!’
Little Scone Hating Man flatly refuses to believe it’s his alarm. Even though as I’m being all perky and neirbourly I can actaully see the infernal thing flashing and beeping away on the ceiling above his head. He refuses to believe this because he is deaf and he can’t hear it.
Him: Well now, I don’t think it’s mine. I can’t hear anything.
Me: I’m fairly certain it is yours. I can see it flashing. Oh, yes, and it just beeped again.
Him: No, didn’t hear it.
Me: Lucky you!
Him: I don’t think you would be able to hear it from your house, if I can’t hear it from mine.
Me: I think you’re just going to have to trust me on this one. I can hear it. Every 30 seconds. In fact, in about 7 seconds I’m going to hear it again.
Then he tells me that even if it is his, there’s nothing he can do about it until Thursday when his daughter comes to visit because he is much too Old and Frail to go hunting after beeping noises.
So that’s how I ended up on a chair with a broom whacking at the damn thing trying to bring it down. After I while, I did. It fell off the ceiling and bounced on the floor, bouncing the battery out of it. Little Old Scone Hating Man stares accusingly up at me.
Him: YOU BROKE IT!
And THEN, he picks up the battery and tries to jam it back in.
And he manages to do this in such a way, I can’t get the battery out again without banging it against my knee and swearing while Scone Hater looks at me disapprovingly and starts talking about his hearing aid battery and how batteries are delicate and you shouldn’t ‘bang them about’.
But eventually, mission accomplished. Until I tell my mother this story and she gets all, ‘what if there is a fire now? and the little old man dies?’ So I explained to her it wouldn’t have made a particle of difference because clearly he wouldn’t have heard the alarm go off anyway. And it’s past Thursday now so I am telling myself the daughter arrived and re-batterised the damn thing. And I’ve just discovered I didn’t invent the word ‘re-batterised’ because when I wrote it just now, no red squiggly line came to tell me it wasn’t a real word. But it does when I just write ‘batterised.’ WHO KNEW?