Mostly Minutiae No. 13

The shrill sound of an alarm went
off between 01:00 and 02:00 or so.
She got back in bed while I got a
step ladder.

It wasn’t a bad battery beep; it
wasn’t a fire alarm sound.
Doesn’t matter. Sleep is wrecked.

The annoying beeps shattered
the quiet night about every minute
or so. She came into the hallway
to help me because I’m color blind.

I couldn’t tell if the units were green
or red. My hearing isn’t great either.
We went from one unit to the next
to no avail. The alarm was blasting
but not from any of the smoke
alarms. Then we remembered.

Low and almost out of site was a
carbon monoxide alarm plugged in
the hallway about ten feet from the

I pulled it off the wall. The word
END showed in its tiny display.
I looked on the back to read the
alarm guide.


The mind numbing ear-splitting
chirps stopped. End of life? What
happened to appliances running for
twenty years?

My second piece of junk this week!
I saved the nine volt battery and
threw the dead unit in the trash.

This middle of the night adventure
made breakfast a blur for the both
of us. Two cups of coffee later, I
still couldn’t think.

Dinner time now. It became a
chore day. We mailed things.
I picked up my fire pit parts.
And, a quick treat and home.

Then, it was just me and the fire
pit from hell. I didn’t expect no
clearance. No tool skinny enough.
No tool able to hold the nut.

I looked in the bottom of my tool
box that sits across from the left
rear tire, against the wall by the
garage door. Got to be something.
Needle-nose pliers are too fat.

Then I saw them a set of metric
wrenches I never used. (From
before we moved to Arizona.)
I took the 8 mm wrench.

The dumb nut falls out of the
wrench. Very little clearance!
Not enough light. Not enough

I return to garage. I bring back
a 3″ clamp and found a strip of
Blu-Tack (like Silly Putty, but for
real fix-it men) to hold the nut
in place. I grabbed my desk
lamp from my desk, too.

After a million tries, it worked.
Miracles never cease. “Honey,
show me where you want the
fire pit outside.”

“Please, Lord, no tools of any
kind or gadgets for Christmas
this year. A book would be good.”


2 thoughts on “Mostly Minutiae No. 13

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