Tuesday, October 12

Get the BEEP Out of Here

Our house in NOVA is unique, to say the least.  I need to write a complete post on how it became what it is today--a two family house for my BFF to share with me--and what it was before--a hotel for day laborers.  But there's a story I need to tell, and I don't have time for the house background now.

If you've been following me or Victoria on Twitter, then you already know the ups and downs of this titillating story.  And if you aren't following me on Twitter, why?  It is awesome.  Here's how it went down.

Yesterday, during Finley's nap, the smoke alarm in his room started beeping its little warning beep.  This was impossible, because Sol already moved the smoke detector out when the battery died last week.  After the nap I investigated.  I couldn't find the smoke detector.  Not on the ceiling, not on the walls, not in the closet.  Every minute, it beeps.  I stood and listened and it seemed to come from a different corner of the room.

When Sol got home, we scoured Finley's room.  We looked through all the boxes and drawers.  No smoke alarm.  Finley slept in the guest room in his Pack and Play last night--I felt bad making him sleep with the beep.

We were at our wits end, so I did the only thing I could think of.  I called the Fairfax County Fire Department.  They did NOT want to hear the details of my situation--they brusquely asked me for my name, address and phone number, and had two kind firefighters at my front door in less that 10 minutes. I'll let you paint your own mental picture of said firefighters.)  Initially, I'm pretty sure they thought I was dumb.  Then, after pulling every box out of Finley's room and the three of us feeling like we were crazy, they came to their verdict.

It was what I feared.

The smoke alarm was IN the ceiling.  (Much like in Zoolander, when the files were IN the computer.)

Our ceiling in the kitchen and dining room looks like this:

And it used to look like that in the nursery and family room.  But it does not anymore.  It looks like a normal, slanty, dry-walled ceiling.  And whoever made that lovely ceiling failed to remove the smoke detector.  So now it is dying, slowly, and beeping out of my reach.

I mumbled to the firefighters, "I was hoping you would have some high-tech listening device that could find it." And they discussed something that was in the truck--and the cuter one ran out to get it.  "It" was a STETHOSCOPE.  The cuter firefighter stood on a chair with a stethoscope to the ceiling, trying to pinpoint the beep.  Eventually they figured out where they thought it probably was, drew an arrow on the ceiling, told me they were sorry and left.

I decided to go for a run to get out of the beepin' house.  But the stroller was in Sol's car.  (Also I got my flu shot today, to add to my whine-fest.)  So I went out for sushi to make myself feel better. Meanwhile, Joe from Firehouse #8 called me to tell me he was "upset" they couldn't figure it out, and they were going to send a team out with better listening something-or-other so that I don't have to tear out the whole ceiling.  I was like, "Whatevs."

So an hour later, four burly firemen showed up in a FIRETRUCK with full fireman regalia on.  The tromped up the stairs with ladders and cases full of things.  They were so kind and friendly (one of them wanted to talk about Kansas the whole time, another discussed Phoebe's renegade smoke alarm from Friends) but took the job totally seriously.  The four of them plotted and planned in Finley's sock monkey nursery.  They looked in the attic.  Then they poked a little hole for their camera so they could find the smoke alarm.

They found the alarm and cut it out of the ceiling.  FINALLY.  Quiet.  It was neatly wrapped in plastic--the people remodeling didn't want it to get dusty.  Thanks for thinking of me!

Then one of the guys said, "Do you have any tape?"  I told him not to worry, my husband can patch the hole, he's handy.  "Just some scotch tape?  And a wet rag for the dust?"  I got him tape and a rag and he patched up the ceiling.  Then he wiped up all the dust on the floor.

"Do you have a nine-volt for this dead detector?"  I didn't, I keep forgetting to buy a replacement, I had to tell the fireman.  He sent one of his guys out to the "rig" to get me one.  The changed the battery and reinstalled it for me.


They packed up, chatted with me, posed for a picture and went on their way.  (I'm not wearing a toupee in this picture.)

On the way down the stairs, one of them said, "This step is a little loose. Do you have any nails?"  (Reminding me INSTANTLY of Phil Dunphy and the loose step in Modern Family!)  The four guys stood in my stairwell, while one of them crouched down and nailed the loose board back in my step.

I'm calling the Fire Department for the rest of my needs, ever.  I love them.  And the one in the lower right looks like Jack Shepard.  When I told Sol I thought he was cute he said, "He has a nice smile."

The End.


  1. I love this story. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Funny how counties and states differ in their use of taxpayer money. Did you read the article about the fire department that allowed a house to burn over a $75 dollar fee?

  3. what a great story! I, too, love the firefighter in the bottom right corner the most. yum!

  4. I heard that story TWICE on NPR Christina!

    This was the adventure of our life.

  5. Great story Rachel. Kind of reminds of the time we had to call the cute policeman at the house on Juliette.
    Stories like these is why I love blogs.

  6. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4tkY08MhfoU&feature=related

  7. Also, the firemen had sore arms from getting shots.

  8. I LOVE this story - we will have to share it with Roy as his firehouse will have to live up to this standard. Maybe some matchmaking can come out of this encounter!

  9. Haha! Too funny. I'll have to share this with the firefighters I work with. :) Glad they found it!

  10. Nan- we totally should have called the fire dept too when we had that poor kitten stuck in our wall.

  11. And I'm at the airport and this woman totally whipped out the book to feed her babe- no blanket, nothin. Hmm..

  12. I am seriously laughing so hard. At everything about this post. But especially with the makeshift "patch" and Sol's reaction to your crush. Hilarious!

  13. Matt liked this story so much he told me so twice. "That's the way the world should work," he said about the kindness and willingness of your fireman friends.

  14. swoon - what a great story. and what awesome firemen! I wish everyone was this helpful and kind.


A comment? For me? You shouldn't have. But please do.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...