We recently renewed the contract for another year on the house we rent. We politely inquired directly with the owner about cutting the property management company out of the deal because they’re stark raving assholes and don’t do jack shit, but she said no. I figured it would have been a good deal for her since she wouldn’t have to pay them for doing nothing.
They only handled one issue from us all year and that was a broken 35-year-old hot water heater. In our defense we do need hot water several times a year.
The owner felt she “didn’t have time” to manage the property herself. Eh? Wazzup?
Then the other night came a very alarming sequence of events.
We went to bed and, as is often my wont, I zonked out in less than 4.2 minutes. But, just on the precious cusp of unconsciousness, the smoke alarm went haywire.
BZZZZT! BZZZZT! BZZZZT!
I don’t know much but I do know this. That thing is louder than the Hindenburg crashing into my big toe. I leapt from bed screaming, “Oh! The humanity!!! The humanity!!!” Which is funny to mention because, you know. Fire and stuff.
There’s something about being woken up just as I’m being overtaken by sleep that pretty much guarantees I’ll never fall asleep again. Ever. So I came up with what I assumed was a clever plan.
The plan was elegant in its simplicity. Phase One was slug down a shot of tequila as fast as possible. Phase two was a second shot of tequila that could be enjoyed a bit more slowly as I waited for sleep to stalk me down and make the kill.
While waiting I put on headphones and cranked some ear-bleeding tunes and played some computer games.
I decided to get a third shot of tequila.
I then went for a fourth shot, muttering something about “too damn far” and returned with the bottle, which I balanced on my mouse pad.
From then things got a little wacky. Never underestimate accessibility when it comes to alcohol consumption. It was convenient. Damn convenient. Pour. Shot. Quaff. Repeat.
Soon I had lost count and I had a new plan which consisted of “let’s drink as many of these things as humanly possible.”
I don’t remember why but it seemed like a good idea at the time.
Long story short, the sequence of events came to a sobering conclusion when I’d been up all night long and my wife was buzzing in my ears about divorce.
Obviously something needed to be done with that damn smoke alarm.
I studied the thing. I put in new batteries. I downloaded and read the cursed manual in PDF form. I learned how it worked. I programmed it. Not wanting to be a pest I spent way too much of life on this project.
After many science experiments I finally came to a conclusion. The thing is a piece of shit and needs to be shot with extreme prejudice. Every test ended with the thing scaring the shit out of us for no reason at all. There was never fire.
With no other recourse, we finally did what we had to do. We left the batteries out and notified the property management company of the situation. We made it excruciatingly clear the only detector in the house was non-operational.
Our lives were now officially in danger so naturally they took a week to get back to us. Finally the handyman gave us a call.
“So your house is on fire?” he sneered sarcastically. Yeah, it’s like that.
“Look,” he added, “I’m not coming over there. Have you tried vacuuming the thing out? I’m not wasting a trip.”
It’s so nice to know that there are people on this planet who actually care if we live or die.