Things that go beep in the night

I am beset with things that blink, beep, hum and flash at me. First thing in the morning,  my alarm clock clicks at 7 a.m. even if it is not set to come on. Not entirely a bad thing, as the dial is so bright that I have it turned to the wall, so this is the only way I know what time it is.

I get up, walk to the bathroom, and pass my office where my computer is humming, and its blue light seems to illuminate the dark room unreasonably well. The printer has a green light that is steady, and an orange flashing light that has been on for a year now. My fax machine is momentarily quiet, but ready to burst into beeps when the first fax inviting me to take advantage of an employee discount comes through. The shredder is quietly blue, overwhelmed, I think.

Into the bathroom. Turn off the nightlight, turn on the electric toothbrush. It doesn’t beep, but it buzzes.

Into the kitchen. Pass the TV room. The TV has red lights and blue lights and I have no idea what they are doing, but sometimes they blink very efficiently. In the kitchen the stove and the microwave have brightly lit clocks, just in case I still haven’t realized what time it is.

The refrigerator is beeping. Oops, I’ve left the door slightly ajar. It is festooned with a row of green brightly lit symbols that tell me all sorts of stuff. I must read them some day.

Now the microwave is signaling that a frozen waffle is done. It sounds desperate, so I liberate the soggy waffle, decide I am not that hard up for food, and toss it in the compost. The stove isn’t beeping. Yet. It will if I decide to heat up something. How else would I know when it’s up to its assigned temperature?

The washing machine tells me when it’s done; the dryer beeps when it’s finished, and keeps on just to be sure that I know that it’s going on to the wrinkle-free cycle now.

When I get up in the middle of the night and go to the kitchen for a snack, there is no need to turn on lights. The various blue, orange and red lights from the many electrical and electronic appliances light the way very well. What happened to the dark?

Oh, I almost forgot the telephones. One in the bedroom, one in my office, one in the kitchen. All with red lights, sometimes flashing red lights when there is a message waiting. All have different rings that fill the house with noise. Very disconcerting at 2 a.m., especially when it’s a wrong number and the person on the other end seems to think it’s my fault that my number isn’t the one he wants.

Last week during an incredible thunder storm, the worst beep of all. The emergency sump pump burst into life. More of a screech than a beep, and with good reason. Our main sump pump was blocked and before we could do anything, the basement flooded. The basement is now torn apart and awaiting restoration. At least the TV, computer and my husband’s battery charger are temporarily silenced down there. It’s an oasis of silence. A grim, concrete-cold, carpetless silence, but not entirely without appeal.

About Karleen Bradford

I am an award-winning author of children's and young adult books.
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2 Responses to Things that go beep in the night

  1. Gisela Sherman says:

    That’s a beeping good article, Karleen.
    I totally agree, and have seriously considered taping a flap to those little lights annoying me in my bedroom.
    And why does the microwave have to blast three long beeps every time it’s finished heating stuff, even in the middle of the night as I’m trying not to wake up anyone else?
    Have a peaceful day.


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