21 February 2015

First World Problems - The Alarm Edition

First World Problems. Vexing little devils, aren't they? In case you don't know what I'm talking about, I'll give you the definition from Urban Dictionary:

Problems from living in a wealthy, industrialized nation that third worlders would probably roll their eyes at

Although a bit of a grammatical haz-mat situation, that definition is pretty spot on and is, probably, the least profane in the whole of the UD. You have been warned.

I had a run-in with First World Problems at 3:45AM today. I was jolted out of a sound sleep by the sound of a screeching that normally is heard when Kris Kardashian finds out one of her cash cows children made a public appearance without getting the cash first. It's as calamitous as you might think. That horrific screech was followed by a robotic voice announcing, "Low battery." I thought I was dreaming and then exactly one minute later, there it was again. One more minute later, it was back. I wasn't dreaming. It was our CO2/Smoke alarm, which is hard-wired, so I was a tad befuddled as to why it was screeching on about the low battery. Remember, people, I'm not an engineer so it took me a second to realize that the infernal thing has a battery back-up. I took the battery out. It kept screeching. I went in search of 9V battery. During that search, the tragedy of #firstworldproblems came into full relief:

Guess who had no more 9V batteries in the house?
Guess who lives in a 'hood where there is no such thing as a 24 hour convenience store?
Guess who has a screeching monitor with no 'hush' function?
Guess who has a screeching monitor, while just two years old, is no longer featured on the manufacturer's website, making it impossible to find the users manual online?

Mercifully, it was resolved by 645AM. All it took was a quick trip to the gas station mini-mart to grab a 9V battery. This little showcase of chewing tobacco, lotto tickets, smokes, and more saturated fats than you can shake a stick at was our salvation. The cashier, sensing my trauma, was apologetic about the price of the battery. I would have given him my kidney if it was going to get me that battery. I raced home and all but slammed the battery into the sensor and the screeching stopped!

With our ears ringing from the three hours of screech, the stunningly patient and mighty fine SML and I lit out to enjoy another drubbing, this time in the form of a visit to Costco. Before we got there, we stopped at a little diner not far from BDL for breakfast. It was clearly a neighborhood place - the kind where the waitresses all know your name (and if they don't, your name is 'hun' or 'dear') and how you like your eggs. Although we were interlopers, we were treated like family. Our waitress was concerned about my ability to finish what I had ordered and ribbed me each time she came to check on us. I should have listened to her, as it would have been wiser to have ordered two of their hubcap-sized pancakes instead of three. Duly noted for next time. 

As I labored to finish my cinnamon oatmeal pancakes, soaking in the atmosphere of this little diner, the lunacy of the morning was made plain. My #firstworldproblems weren't a problem at all. I had a minor inconvenience. A minor inconvenience. I asked myself, 'Are you getting the picture of just how silly these problems were?' I was lamenting the fact that a LIFESAVING device was making a lot of noise, inconveniencing things here in the Den, and I was unable to fix them immediately. The fact is that it got fixed. I was with my lovely wife enjoying a breakfast and we were about to go to a place where you can buy caskets in bulk if you really wanted.

You realize how silly this all was, right? Yeah, so did I.
#firstworldproblems - the struggle is not real

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