January 13, 2008

For Whom the Bells Toll

Yeah, only it's not bells, it's that damned fricking alarm clock again. Gawfricking dammit!!!

So I noticed the buzz-buzz-buzzing of the alarm-alarm-alarm tonight around midnight. I'd just finished watching a Daria movie, and when I first heard it, I was kind of blase. Like, whatever, sigh, I know what's happening, I know where it's coming from. Acceptance.

And then...

And then I started thinking about it, like, maybe I should call the building's answering service and say, "Yeah, someone's alarm has been going off for over an hour. It sounds like an alarm clock, but I don't know, it could maybe be the smoke alarm. So I just thought I should report that."

I went over to my fridge and took the resident newsletter (September 2007) down and looked for the phone number.

I thought a few seconds more. Maybe they'd ask who was calling in the report. Maybe it wouldn't be one of those anonymous tip kinds of things, and I could get into some serious doo-doo/unfriendliness with the neighbor, should my identity be discovered.

Beep - beep - beep -beepbeepbeep. Like a fricking heart monitor or something.

I picked up the phone. I dialed 6 of the 7 numbers before hanging up.

For the heck of it, I put on my sleuthing outfit and went downstairs, you know, just to check. As if confirmation of it would somehow make me feel better or more calm or something.

It didn't. I stood out in the hallway near the jerk's door for maybe a minute or two, while various scenarios ran through my mind. Like if a door down the hall opened and someone came by, maybe I could start a conversation or something. Maybe I could share the misery. Like,



"So, that's weird, right? The alarm? Can you hear it in your apartment?"

"Uh..not really. Maybe a little."

Because it would be just like me to get the non-committal resident or something. Even my made-up scenarios never go my way.

So I went down to the lobby, dropped my Netflix into the postal slot to be picked up on Monday, and then went to the laundry room, because I just didn't feel like going back to my apartment, where the sounds of my own mind (and my waffling over 'to call or not to call') would drive me just as batty as the alarm clock.

The laundry room was empty. I recalled an incident last week whereupon I tried purchasing soda from the vending machine in there. It had been pouring rain, and I'd stopped at CVS and a local grocery store to get some stuff for dinner. I didn't buy a can of Coke at the store because, well, I had a headache (from the alarm clock) and it was pouring rain and I just wanted to go home, and I could just pick up a can from the laundry room.

So I put my buck in and pressed the Coke button. I got my change and reached for the can of...Sprite? Okay. I know I pressed the Coke button, because I always press the Coke button, and yet, here was a Sprite. Blech. I don't like Sprite. I hate their commercials (not that I've seen one in ages, but the last ones I saw, I hated. I mean, "Obey your thirst" -- what the hell kind of slogan is that? If I obeyed my thirst, it would tell me to buy Coke, not Sprite. So whatever.).

I looked at the buttons on the machine again. There were 8 of them, 2 per row. Coke, Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Sprite, Dr Pepper, Country Time Lemonade, Diet Pepsi, Diet Coke. The Sprite and Coke buttons weren't really near each other and I wasn't sure if someone had loaded it backwards or what. But I stupidly put in another 65 cents (in the form of a dollar) and decided to press the Dr Pepper button because at least it's a cola of some sort. Maybe I'd get my Coke now.

I pushed the Dr Pepper button.

The machine emitted a rumble and dispensed a can of soda.

It wasn't Coke. And it wasn't Dr Pepper.

It was Mountain Dew.

I *loathe* Mountain Dew. It sounds like piss and looks like piss and it's just a disgusting and disturbing concoction. I was pretty sure then that God hated me.

So I did what anyone who's hated by God would do. I asked the chick near the dryer if she wanted the Mountain Dew. Apparently, no one had ever asked her such a thing before. She was stupefied.


"Do you want this Mountain Dew?"


"I just tried getting a Coke and I got a Sprite and then I tried getting Dr Pepper and it gave me a Mountain Dew so I figure I should just cut my losses and forget it before it gives me hemlock or something."

"You're giving me a Mountain Dew?"

"Yeah, if you want it. I'm not going to drink it. I don't like Mountain Dew. Do you want it?"

"Okay." Pause. "Thanks."

So yeah that was last week. Anyhoo, tonite I came upstairs from the laundry room and decided, what the hell, I may as well do my laundry. It's Saturday night and I ain't got nobody, I got some laundry cos it's piled up...

So thanks a lot, asshole alarmist, for spurring me to do my laundry. You're a peach! But I'm still reporting you again tomorrow.



Blogger Happy hippo said...

I wonder what would have come out if you had chosen the Sprite button? A cactus?

7:37 PM  
Blogger H. said...

You know, I was kind of tempted to push them all just to see if I could discern some logical pattern to it all, but then I remembered, I'm not great at logic problems and anyways it was 65 cents a pop (no pun intended).

But if you're up for a research project, just send some funding my way and I'll be happy to oblige. I love research like this! :D (Except when I'm actually thirsty for Coke.)

12:21 PM  
Blogger Who Am Us Anyway? said...

That is some really good writing you've got going there, H. Why don't you make this the beginning of a short story or novel -- your voice is a great narrator's voice.

11:33 PM  
Blogger H. said...

Why thanks, who. Hm. I don't know if I could handle fictionalizing my life or whatnot at this point, but I'll keep your nifty compliment in mind as I post more. (That does not mean that I will post more, ha ha.)

11:12 AM  
Blogger Mr. Chinchilla said...

Yeah, I agree with Who Am Us Anyway that this is some great stuff. You need to post more.

6:26 PM  
Blogger Jelly-Filled said...

Yes, post more! And also, call the management. You could always say you're concerned about your neighbor because he or she does not turn off the alarm clock and maybe might not be ABLE to and you wouldn't want his or her body to rot in there undiscovered for too long, etc., etc. Concern (fake or otherwise) shouldn't get you in trouble with anyone. ;-)

7:28 AM  
Blogger H. said...

Thanks chinchilla & jelly! Also, I did notify the management and she said she's left messages for the said culprit, and hadn't heard back from the person when last I checked the status.

She also said she contacted or was going to contact culprit's neighbors, too. Not sure what became of that.

Knock wood, I've only heard my neighbor's baby yowling through the wall, but hey, it's a baby. It may not have an off button, but it's gotta stop crying sometime, right? :D

6:14 PM  

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