Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like

EZ solutions to bedeviling problems


Sometimes my 81-year-old mother outdoes herself.

Last week her carbon monoxide detector started chirping. She thought it would be a temporary thing, but every few seconds it chirped three times in succession, and that didn’t sound like a low-battery warning. It was trying to tell her something.

Should she run out of the apartment? Should she call somebody? Who? Plus, it was Sunday and the apartment complex office was closed anyway. It didn’t seem 911-worthy.

After an hour or so of the damn thing chirping three times every few seconds (and she was still alive, so it had to be a false alarm), she hopped up on her bed to reach the thing and, on tippy toes, was able to yank it off the ceiling. It still chirped.

She couldn’t find a way to get the battery out of there. Her arthritic fingers were no good at prying at the seams, and even though she knew there had to be a battery in there somewhere she couldn’t find the tab that would open it. There was a sticker telling her what the three chirps meant, though.

“Replace the unit.”

She put it under a pillow. Chirp chirp chirp.

She wrapped it up in blankets and stowed it in the closet. Chirp chirp chirp.

The dog was going nuts. Chirp chirp chirp.

She couldn’t concentrate on television. On reading. On her crossword puzzle. Chirp chirp chirp.

This was turning into an Edgar Allen Poe tale!

Chirp chirp chirp. Chirp chirp chirp. Chirp chirp chirp.

There was only one thing to do. She put the goddamn thing on the kitchen counter, got out her hammer, and smashed it to pieces.


Now, you might say there were any number of things she could have done instead, but I’m glad she chose to destroy the mofo. It tells me she’s still got plenty of moxie and can probably live on her own for a long time to come.

Moral of the story? Mother is the necessity of invention.

12 comments on “EZ solutions to bedeviling problems

  1. kingmidget
    November 14, 2016

    We had a kiddie toy that started making its noise (I don’t remember what it was anymore) and it wouldn’t stop. My wife put it in the freezer in our garage. End of noise.

    • Kevin Brennan
      November 14, 2016

      Brilliant! I’ll tell Mom about that for next time …

  2. Phillip McCollum
    November 14, 2016

    Puntastic. My family’s safety weighs heavily on my mind because I took the batteries out of a smoke detector that went off at the slightest hint of Saturday morning bacon, but, well… bacon.

    And don’t get me started on all of Angus’ battery-powered toys. I’m convinced it’s a funny little joke on the part of manufacturers to program them to go off every 54 days at 3:00 AM.

    • Kevin Brennan
      November 14, 2016

      It does seem like these things always pick the middle of the night to bust out an alert. They’re asking for the hammer treatment!

  3. Elle Knowles
    November 14, 2016

    Ha! Exactly what I would probably have done! That, or drown it in a tub of water! Your mother has plenty of spunk left! ~Elle

    • Kevin Brennan
      November 14, 2016

      I’m proud of her! I don’t think I’d have had the sense to beat the thing into submission.

  4. 1WriteWay
    November 14, 2016

    Too bad she’s not on Trump’s transition team 😉

  5. pinklightsabre
    November 14, 2016

    Better than flushing down the toilet and more satisfying I bet.

    • Kevin Brennan
      November 14, 2016

      Lots. I wish I could have been there to witness the execution!

  6. Woebegone but Hopeful
    November 15, 2016

    That’s the only language these devices understand!

Chime in

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


This entry was posted on November 14, 2016 by in Et alia and tagged .
%d bloggers like this: