May 12th, 2005

What's New Pussy Cat

The Smoke Alarm That Cried Wolf or, I Have Great Legs

Effiency, Not So Efficient


I am going to murder my smoke alarm.

I am going to climb onto a chair and bludgeon it to death with a hammer.

Waking late this morning, but for some reason nevertheless in high spirits, my erstwhile good mood was shot down like a passenger pigeon while I made the dread mistake of toasting two slices of bread a little darker than I normally do. (Please note: I did not burn or sear said slices, let alone set them afire; I had no need to scrape off a layer of carbon before applying sweet, sweet butter. They were - no more and no less - two pieces of well-done toast.)

Still naked following my shower, I cursed then scampered to the door, hauled it open and swung it to and fro like some heavy, makeshift, wooden fan, while my penis dangled between my thighs like a metronome. I could only pray the door opposite mine remained closed and that no one chose that moment to saunter down the hall before the smoke I could not smell was diluted by the outside air.

At last, the alarm shrieked its last. I closed our door and returned to our kitchen and my now-tepid toast, muttering foul curses at the infernal machine that lurks, like some evil, parasitic bat, upon our ceiling over what I like to call our vestibule.

Do you remember those days - not so far in the past - when just about every new car (or so it seemed) came equiped with a motion-detector?

Brush up against a parked vehicle or even - heavens! - dare to approach one too closely and the monstrous beast would commences to beeping and wailing and flashing its lights in panic like some virgin at a porn convention.

All this in the name of alerting passers-by to thefts and break-ins by having the vehicle draw dramatic attention to itself and so frighten away the evildoers.

It must have seemed like a good idea to the genuises at the helm of General Motors. After all, what manner of creting would jimmy away at a window while his victim was screaming for help?

Like many theoretically sound ideas, car alarms proved to have unintended - and, at best, self-defeating - consequences.

Within what seemed likes weeks but was probably months, the universal response - from Amish grandmothers to goths toking up in an alley - was to mutter, "Oh for fuck sakes!" and otherwise ignore the the racket until it (eventually) ceased.

Even today, when buyers have have realized their status-symbols have made them objects of derision, almost no one who hears the cry of the rare, surviving, alarm pays it any heed. The Beemer on the corner? Fuck it.

Unintended consequences can be more serious, of course. Who knew, back in the day, that chlorofluorocarbons, introduced to protect people from the potentially deadly gasses contained in early refrigerants, would make of every Frigidaire built until the 1990s a destroyer or the ozone layer, upon which all life on Earth depends? Who knew that the convenience and pleasure of the automobile would not only lead to the disappearance of great swaths of farmland the world over through carcinogenic urban sprawl, but would also do its part to turning the world's climate upside-down?

But I digress. I was talking about my smoke-detector and why I will kill it, probably sooner than later.

You would think that the engineers - if not the poor bastards forced to sell the god damned things - would have taken into account the fact that over-sensitivity renders any device useless.

Like the infamous shepherd-boy who cried wolf when he stubbed his toe, the world rapidly grows deaf to pointless warnings. The car alarms will be ignored (if cursed) and no one will even notice until it is far too late when a car really is being stolen, or when my apartment really is catching fire, until it is far too late.

Ahem.

On a completely separate topic, I may be going bald but Collapse )