Feb 10, 2019: Beep

I worked late last night, coming home on the last bus.

Working late is always fun because Carole is generally asleep by the time I get home – sometimes she stays awake long enough to know I’m on a bus, but then falls asleep immediately afterwards. But generally she’s asleep.

And she can sleep through anything.

Unless she wakes up, in which case it’s wholly my snoring which has woken her.

But otherwise she can sleep through anything.

So we have to make sure that the keys are out of the door before I come home otherwise I won’t be able to rouse her from her slumber and actually get in the house.

And, so far, that’s been a seamless exercise, with Carole only checking the door four or five times before she’s comfortable enough to sleep.

Where – as mentioned before – she will remain in an unwoken state unless she wakes up of her own free will, in which case my snoring will get the blame.

Further proof of Carole’s ability to sleep through anything came last night, as the batteries in the carbon monoxide detector ran low and a regular beeping ensued.

That woke me up, and I lay in bed for a bit, just listening to it beep every 30 seconds. And I marvelled at the fact that the batteries in these things never run out during daylight hours. They’ll always run out in the middle of the night – the time least conducive to doing anything about it.

And then I started to wonder if the beep was actually low batteries or whether it meant we were being slowly starved of oxygen. And then I had an internal battle over whether I could get back to sleep regardless of the beep – which had clearly woken me – or whether I had to get up and do something about it.

And then I started to wonder whether it was the smoke alarm or the carbon monoxide detector. And then I just got up.

Which is why I was padding about in the dark using my phone as a torch at 3.30 in the morning, having only gone to bed two and a half hours previously.

And all the while Carole slept on.

It was the CO detector that was beeping. So, lucking, I remembered that this particular model would just slide out of the holder and I’d be able to deal with it at ground level.

But it turns out it doesn’t just slide out. Because that would be too fucking easy wouldn’t it. At 3.30 in the morning. To just slide up and out, so that I can pop the batteries out and be done with  it. Far too easy.

Instead, I’m on fricking tiptoe in the hallway, phone in one hand, fingertips of the other just barely reaching where I need to get. Cursing everything and everyone.

And still Carole slept on.

I got the battery cover off. Eventually. Because they make them so they won’t come off, it appears. Because, again, that would be two easy at 3.30 in the morning. Just sliding off, no sir. Fight with it. We want you to fight and curse and hate everything. We want you to consider smashing it. Ideally we want you to have to get a metal ladder out, put the ladder up and climb up to the detector.

Cover off, I was rejoicing. I was mere seconds away from being able to go back to bed. No more beeping, slim chance of death through oxygen deprivation. All I needed to do was pop a battery out and it was game over for this thing.

And Carole slept on.

Can you just pop a battery out?

No.

Can you bollocks.

For some reason, probably to do with operation safety and ensuring the device works correctly, the batteries in these things are in tighter than the muscles on a duck’s bumhole that stops the duck filling up with water and sinking.

I tried to get one out with my finger. Battery that is, not duck’s bumhole. But no. Then I tried using the edge of the battery cover. Nope.

I had to search the bedroom, at 3.30 in the morning, for a pen or something I could use to lever out a battery. Could I find one? No. Could I have on almost any other night guaranteed to stand on a pen in the middle of the night? Absolutely.

Eventually I found one.

But even then it was an effort to level the battery out. There were sounds of straining. There was an audible sigh of relief when the battery finally flew out and rattled around the hallway. There was a lot of noise, is what I’m saying. Not to mention a lot of torchlight.

And yet Carole slept on.

And yet one snore….