What I Have To Say Is Alarming

Dear Neighbors,
I would like to apologize for the events that transpired on Saturday night at 10:06 central time.

You see, as I tried to explain to the neighborly strangers on my doorstep, my house has a security system. But it’s never been…um, put to the test. But all this week it’s gone off every morning at exactly 6:15 a.m. Just an annoying little beep—like a loud alarm clock. And lo and behold, the sound stops if I punch in my ATM pin number. Yes, I know it’s random, as this isn’t any programmed code. But what a mathematician I must be to deduce the sequence of numbers of the code on the first try.

Anyway, I decided I was sick of that annoying beeping at 6:15 (It’s summer. This girl needs her sleep.). So there are three big buttons on the key pad. Tonight, after six years in this house, I mashed down two of them. What? I had such good luck with the pin number and all. What could go wrong?

And then…my whole world exploded.

A sound louder than the school fire alarm came from outside my house. It was a warning signal coming from a speaker above my garage. Loud enough to wake the dead. It was like it was Armageddon and my house was solely responsible for sounding the alarm.

Well, poor neighbors, I had been ready for bed, but knew everyone within the four state area would be over to see what the hideous noise was.

So I panicked. I knew the police would be on their way. I knew the 80 year old man who drives the Neighborhood Watch minivan would come too. I had to find some decent clothes. But with all the house noise, I couldn’t think.

I need pants. Where do I keep them? I need a bra. Bra, bra, bra. I ran to drawers, ran to my closet and stood there without comprehending that yes, there were clothes in there. I grabbed a pair of khakis, then remembered they made my butt look big. Not kidding. This literally went through my head.) I ran back to the bathroom, grabbed a pair of yoga pants. Where I found the rest is a blur. All I know is I looked down and I was dressed.

Next, with the tornado alarm on top of my house still blaring, I ran into the garage, finally realizing there’s a box thingie in there. And within it are switches, and hopefully flipping some combination, even though none said “Apocalyptic Alarm,” the thing would go off before someone called the po-po. I raked my hand over the switches and just flipped them all.

I was plunged into darkness (which is SO dangerous in MY garage).
But the alarm stopped. Only the annoying small alarm remained.
And I heard people on my front porch.

So I ran in the dark back into the house. Then realized I couldn’t meet the neighbors in the pitch black, so sprinted back to the garage (ran over something—sorry kitty), and flipped the switch to get the porch light on.

Then you, sweet neighbors (who I’ve never seen before in my life, by the way. Welcome to the neighborhood!), came to my door and asked me if I was okay.

And I meant to say, “It’s my house alarm. It’s been going off all week and somehow I set off this big daddy alarm tonight. It not longer accepts my ATM pin.”

But instead it came out: “OH MY GOSH! I’m so sorry. My alarm. My scary, scary alarm. Loud. Very loud. Is God punishing me? I know I need to move for the sake of your property values.”

And I’d like to apologize to Mr. O’Grady, twelve houses down. I’m sorry the noise interfered with your pacemaker. It hurt me too, though. It hurt my ears. And of course you’re right, the heart is a big deal, but still. I think my two ears beats your one heart.

And little Bobby across the street having the fun birthday party with the cool inflatables. Even though you didn’t invite me, I’m still sorry for the scary noise. And I’m sorry it made you cry, but even though this wasn’t the end of the world, wasn’t it fun to act like it was? It is going to happen sometime, so you might as well practice now. And maybe it did ruin your birthday, but chin up, little skipper. You’ll have another birthday next year.

And God, I’m sorry for what I said when my house nearly exploded with the noise. I didn’t know I knew that particular word combination either. Nor did I know my house was wired with the same warning system as a nuclear reactor.

So it’s now one a.m., and I am wide awake. But I would like to thank my family for their keen electrical work tonight to permanently fix the problem and stop the full house of tiny beeping that followed the BIG beeping. Because even if you turn the power off, there’s a backup battery. WHO KNEW??? And who knew there was a speaker on the outside of my house? My garage door barely opens on a daily basis, but this dumb, hidden speaker works like new after six years of no usage. That’s some fine craftsmanship.

And thank you po-po, for not stopping by. Though you only live ¼ of a mile away, and tomorrow I will question your commitment to protect and serve, right now I’m awfully glad I didn’t have to greet you in my stretched out yoga pants and XXL high school drama t-shirt.

Again, my apologies to my neighborhood and the poor unsuspecting retirement community in which I live. Apologies to Arkansas and the U.S.A. And apologies to NATO, who probably took the siren as an aggressive act of terrorism and will be storming my house any minute, so I better go vacuum or tidy up.

Good night.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 7 comments
Salle - June 24, 2007

That’s hilarious…..But to make you feel better…Your ears are a major organ 🙂

Anonymous - June 24, 2007

Was the “Big Butt” thought the only thought going through your mind when you put on those khaki pants?

Laura - June 25, 2007

Oh Jenn! How scary to be all by yourself in the house when it happened..you totally needed a girlfriend screaming partner to get all freaked out with you! My parents house has an alarm system and your heart totally jumps in your throat when it goes off.

Tina - June 25, 2007

That is so funny but I’m sorry for your inconvenience, they need to make a less annoying alarm. Oh, how about a robot that wakes you up when it knows that there is truely wrong with the house or something. That would be a whole lot better than an alarm that sounds like the school fire alarm. (Now those can drive you insane!)Hope you got your sleep!

Heather - June 26, 2007

Too funny for words. Thanks for all the vivid mental pictures!

Jenny B. Jones - June 26, 2007

I would think true friends wouldn’t laugh. This was a traumatic, difficult time.

Yes, I did need a friend to scream with. Or to slap me out of it and say, “You KNOW where you keep your pants! It’s where you ALWAYS keep your pants!”

Tina, great suggestion about the robot. But I’d rather he just clean the litter box.

Jenny B. Jones - January 31, 2008

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