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Haunted housing

Su Lum

Last week I came home from work and had just settled down with the newspapers when I heard a faint “BEEEP!” followed by what sounded like a human voice briefly saying something indistinguishable.

I opened the front door, thinking it might have been a police transmission coming from a patrol car outside, saw nothing, went back to the papers and BEEEP mumble mumble!

I checked my electronics equipment, such as it is: TV off, answering machine not blinking, radio off, other radio off, computer off. Fifteen minutes later: BEEEP!

My daughter Skye called and I told her that this weird beeping was going on and she opined that something was telling me its battery was low. Just then it went BEEEP again, even louder, and she heard it (relief, not going crazy).

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She suggested it might be my smoke alarm, so after we hung up I went over to the smoke alarm which had been resting untouched on a cabinet in my living room where I set it months ago after finally disabling the woman’s voice who shrilled, “FIRE! FIRE! Carbon MonOXide! Carbon MonOXide!”

The smoke alarm’s light was on, my only proof that it was working, but it was silent. As I turned away, an even louder BEEEP blasted from it and that same woman’s voice clearly said “Low Battery.”

I was in no mood to deal with the smoke alarm lady, so I gingerly picked up the apparatus, set in on my back porch and went back to the newspapers. Not so fast. This alarm was like a baby wanting its diaper changed. The beep got louder and louder and now the entire neighborhood was informed that the smoke alarm had a LOW BATTERY.

Skye said, “Just take out the batteries, Su,” so I grabbed the smoke alarm, twisted it open, ripped out the batteries before the lady could scream, “FIRE!” and was rewarded with blesssed silence. Hah!

Two nights later my bifocals disappeared. I wore them to watch “Six Feet Under” and the next morning, when I set off to work, they were gone. Where the hell could they GO in a 10-by-12 room?

I worked up a froth stripping the bed and tearing the room apart and went to work, where we’re all in the weeds with March Madness advertising madness, wearing my old prescription seeing glasses with my reading glasses in my pocket.

My housekeeper hunted to no avail and it wasn’t until Day Four that I found them exactly where I thought they should be and had searched a hundred times: under the bed.

Some might say that we just overlooked them, but I know better. Those glasses hadn’t been sitting there quietly all along, they were off on a four-day joy ride, went to London to see the queen or jumped over the moon on a cow and they came back with a bent frame. You don’t get your frame bent lying on the floor. Hah!

Su Lum is a longtime local who is glad the bifocals didn’t take the remote control for company. Her column appears every Wednesday in The Aspen Times.


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