Sunday, February 10, 2008

A new torture

I am being plagued by a mysterious electronic BEEP in my apartment. Actually, it is a sequence of three beeps, repeated twice (sometimes three or four times) in quick succession. There seems to be no pattern as to how frequently it happens (typically once an hour or so, but sometimes as often as every 10 or 15 minutes) or at what time of day. It is quite baffling.

And the most infuriating thing about it is that I can't tell where it is coming from. It seems to be disembodied. It seems to be everywhere in the apartment. Everywhere and nowhere.

And - well, this may just be my vexation expanding into paranoia - but it seems to be getting gradually LOUDER.

I am not aware of having been woken up by it at night as yet, although it has on a number of occasions prevented me from getting back to sleep as I would have wished when I woke very early. And I am now feeling extremely rundown and overtired, which is, I suspect, evidence that it has been interfering with my sleep cycles over the past few days (perhaps without quite waking me up, or, at any rate, without my remembering it).

It is driving me up the wall.

I am loath to summon my landlord to investigate and rectify the problem in the middle of the holiday period..... so, I may have no choice but to switch off my electricity overnight in order to try to ensure an uninterrupted night's sleep. Gggrrrrrrr.......


Tulsa said...

how frustrating... is it a battery running out on a battery-powered appliance? or is it from a neighbor? in the states when that happens, it's usually the battery on the fire alarm (you know, those round white things on the ceilings to sense smoke and fire)... it's purposefully annoying so as to remind you to change the battery.

Froog said...

Yes, it was that. I figured it out eventually. Had to tear the frigging apartment to pieces at 4am to find the damned thing, though. I could have sworn that I had disabled it when I first moved in here (because it was right outside the kitchen door, and would go off almost immediately I started cooking anything).... but it seems that I had omitted to remove the battery. And now - more than three years later - the thing was finally running out. And I couldn't remember where the hell I'd left the thing. It was in a wooden drawer (which seemed to amplify the sound, yet also somehow disguise where it was coming from) which was positioned right at the crook of the L-shape of my main room, pointing towards the back wall - hence the bizarre phenomenon that when I was in the back part of the room, near the kitchen or the study, the sound would appear to be coming from the far end of the room by the TV.... but as soon as I passed the mid-point of the room, the sound suddenly became quieter again, making it appear that its source was actually in the part of the room I had just left. It took me A LONG TIME to work that out - but I was, of course, wretchedly sleep-deprived by then.

Eventually, the bloody alarm was going off almost continuously. And even when I'd finally found the bloody thing, I could not get the damn battery out - it was such a tight fit, I had to chisel away at it with a knife for a minute or two to pry it free, while that deafening electronic screech was shredding my brain.

Not a good night.

I am once again too exhausted and depressed to be attempting anything worthwhile with the remainder of my day.

Tulsa said...

oh dear. well, good things it's monday and the weather's awful (you can *see* the pollution/dust blowing in with the wind). a good day to have a lie-in.

i ventured out this morning only to return an hour later voiceless and teary-eyed... it's going to be a day in bed with a good book!!

tomorrow will be better. and assuming the crackers stop exploding, we all might get some sleep (but I'm not counting on it).

omg said...

I was going to suggest the same thing. Glad you found the culprit!

Froog said...

I am such a tyro in the world of cutting-edge smoke alarms. I've rarely had one anywhere I've lived, and have never used them when I have.

The fact that they might save my life one day seems like a very remote benefit to offset against the fact that they will annoy the crap out of me a dozen times every week by going off for no good reason.

I had no idea they were now fitted with batteries that are almost irremoveable and last for years. Or is this just some strange Chinese innovation?

Hmmm, 'Chinese innovation' - there's a phrase you don't often hear.

Livy said...

Here in Edinburgh one can call the Fire Brigade and they will send a couple of firemen on an off-shift to come and check your home for fire-safety and fit you a smoke detector with a non-removable battery that will last for 10 years. Which I thought was quite a good idea. However what happens when 10 years arrives and you have a small white plastic box screwed to the ceiling emitting beeeeeps with no hope of removing the battery hadn't occurred to me. I might have to pass up the opportunity to have some firemen round...

Froog said...

But you can still enjoy the fantasy, can't you?

I assume this is not a service that is widely taken up, or the city's firemen would never have any time left for actually fighting fires.

Nice to hear from you again, Livy - it's been quite a while.

Livy said...

They have been known to arrive unannounced to do a safety check when they're "in the area". My mother had this delightful experience - they got called away half way through to put out a real fire, and came back the next evening. Hoping of course that prevention is better than cure.

Yes I've been lurking not commenting. Hello again!