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Ormond Beach Observer Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013 5 years ago

Holy smokes: No cause for alarm

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Here’s the problem with smoke detectors: They’re selfish.

Whether you’re sleeping, making pillow forts, cooking, they don’t care. It’s all about them.

So there I am, minding my own business, whipping up a full-course brinner (that’s breakfast for dinner, of course), when I start to notice some steam coming from the oven.

Now, I’m not sure if you’re aware of this, but I recently discovered that if you cook bacon in the oven, it takes a fraction of the time, and you don’t need to endure second-degree grease burns every time you flip a slice. Just pop that bad boy on broil. Slide your bacon in about three inches from the heat source. Bada-bing, and bada-boom, as they say.

The only issue with all this is, all that grease building up in your pan, it tends to get a little smoky.

“Hm, I really hope the fire alarm doesn’t go off,” I said to Mallorie, peeking an evil eye inside the oven as if to warn, “Hey, enough in there.”

And then my house turns into one of those “This is only a test” TV interruptions, with the rainbow color strip and the annoying “Ee-ahhs” and “beeeps.” Except, this test is at a piercingly high volume, and instead of hilarious TV hi jinx at its end, it could yield burnt bacon, and too-crispy waffles, and dried-out eggs.

So I did what any reasonable adult would do at this point. I panicked.

“Ah! Why! No fire!? Ah!” I screamed, ditching brinner and standing on a chair and pushing buttons on the nearest detector. But nothing changed. So I followed protocol, did what any homeowner worth his salt knows they should in circumstances like these: I ripped the detector from the ceiling and pulled out its battery and threw it clear across the house.

Only, the beeping still didn’t stop. This thing had a mind of its own. It was on a mission.

Like an acrobat, I flew off the chair, flipping and twirling as I landed, and ran to the second detector. I’m telling you, I was pulling off moves I didn’t know I was capable of.

There’s something about incredibly loud, grating sounds that, I think, somehow brings out a hidden truth in people. Me, for instance, in cases of extreme danger the same as mild discomfort, I become demanding and irrational.

“Save the bacon!” I screamed at Mal. “The bacon, for Christ’s sake!”

“Ok, Ok, jeeze,” she said, strolling to the kitchen and pulling on an oven mitt. “Calm down.”

I didn’t. “THERE’S NO TIME!” I yelled.

Then I ran across the house to the other detector and mounted a chair. Only, this one was screwed into a too-tall-to-reach vaulted ceiling, which spun me into hysteria.

“Why are these ceilings so high!?” I yelped. “Chairs should be taller! Why don’t we keep a ladder in the house?! My arms are stubby and I hate them!

At this point, I knew with all my heart that this entire situation had been rigged by some evil mastermind. Before, I only suspected it. But this ceiling was irrefutable proof. This evil genius, whoever he was, had been plotting this attack for months, I was positive.

“WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM MEEE?” I howled, my back ached toward the ceiling.

It was around this time I found a taller stool, stood on it and pulled the battery from the second alarm. Then the chaos stopped.

I took our food off the heat in time and brinner was saved. So I grabbed a piece of bacon.

“I honestly don’t know why you get so worked up about these things,” I said to Mal.

BY MIKE CAVALIERE | ASSOCIATE EDITOR

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