Smoke Detectors Can Kiss My Ass
Posted by Alan Edwards
“Smoke detectors save lives”. So says everyone and everything on the internet. Every day, a smoke detector saves umpty-bumpty lives while simultaneously providing a much needed ornamental flair to the otherwise drab ceilings of our homes.
I hate them ever so much.
“What?!” you say, incredulous that anyone could hate a device that is personally responsible for SAVING LIVES, since SAVING LIVES is the most awesomest thing anything can ever do and all life is precious and every smoke detector disabled by yanking its goddamn 9-volt battery out makes Baby Jesus weep and all that. I get it. I’m not a huge fan of anyone… well, OK, most people… dying in a house fire.
But seriously, fuck smoke detectors.
You know what smoke detectors are good for? I’ve made a handy list, which I’ll present to the National Center on Fire Safety and Security, an organization which I think I just made up but whatever:
- Waking me up in the middle of the fucking night for no discernible reason
- Detecting that I have set the oven to any temperature above 250 degrees
- Alerting me to the fact that I am cooking bacon
- Doing all of the above with this shrill piercing fucking wail that ensures that I lose my inner ear balance and fall down the stairs when it’s 3 o’clock in the fucking morning trying to figure out if I’m about to die, which is either ironic because I’ve already died from a broken neck sustained in the fall or it’s ironic because I’ve said it’s ironic even though it isn’t and therefore the declaration of irony becomes itself ironic and therefore we get irony either way
- Singlehandedly keeps the 9-volt battery industry alive.
That’s it. They do jack shit otherwise.
I don’t fucking get them at all. The smoke detectors in my house go off with different beeps alternating at different intervals at different times. I have no fucking idea what these ear-splitting coded messages from the electronic equivalent of a toaster are trying to say. Sure, I could keep the manual shoved in my rectum for easy perusing when the goddamn things go off in the middle of the fucking night and decipher the different electronic beeps and whoops and learn if the battery is loose or if a fucking Towering Inferno has broken out in the corner of my basement. I presume that’s the range it covers. All I know is, the things don’t tell you shit other than OMG FIRE FIRE FIRE OR POSSIBLY DUST IN MY SENSOR OR MAYBE SMOKE OR SOMETHING, I DON’T KNOW, I COST 11 FUCKING CENTS TO MAKE SO I’M NOT EXACTLY THE MOST SOPHISTICATED PIECE OF SHITTY PLASTIC THAT’S DESIGNED TO MAKE YOU THINK THAT YOU’RE SAFE TO BRING A BOTTLE OF WHISKEY AND A CARTON OF MARLBORO REDS INTO BED.
Seriously, why can’t they just have a nice female voice come out of their little speakers, preferably with a British or Australian or Irish accent, who calmly informs me exactly what’s going on. “Alert. Alert. The battery on level 3 is dead. I’ll inform you again at 6 PM next Thursday” or “Alert. Alert. There is a fire raging on the first floor. You have approximately 40 seconds to reach minimum safe distance.” Every alert should tell you how much time you have to reach minimum safe distance, like the self-destruct sequence thing in Aliens. That’s comforting. That lets you know where you stand. It also lets you know what the fuck is going on, which I presume would be a handy thing to have a piece of fucking safety equipment do.
I bring this up because last night, I’m awoken by two things: one, a shrill and piercing alarm beeping every couple of seconds in a sequence, and two, one of my dogs walking on my face in an attempt to get underneath my pillow to escape the unholy volley of brain-shredding noise. I get up and start to figure out what the fuck is going on. I smell no smoke. I head downstairs, but before I can check to see if there are, like, lights blinking on one to let me know HEY, I’M THE SHITHEAD THAT WOKE YOU UP, the alarm stops. I look at them all anyway, from top floor to basement. I see nothing. No fire, no smoke, no bacon. Nothing. I go back to bed. For five minutes I’m on edge, waiting for the fucking thing to go off again. Then I begin to doze off because, hey, middle of the fucking night. BEEP. BEEEP BEEEP. BEEEEEEEEEEEP. Fucking things. Ten minutes after the first alarm, it goes off again. Still fucking nothing. So what do I do when a piece of legally required home safety equipment goes off in the middle of the night?
I rip every single one of them off the ceiling, take out their batteries, and toss them in the basement. Like a fucking American.
I fucking hate smoke detectors.