Friday, May 05, 2006

Just another manic midnight

Originally uploaded by toyfoto.
This time it wasn't the wakeful, woeful cries of ittybit that roused us from a sound sleep. I wish. Instead it was the insistent buzz of a smoke detector, or so we thought when Jed tumbled out of bed and sleepily looked for cause of alarm.

I, of course, trained to ignore errant office fire alarms unless I see, smell or sense smoke, stayed put. After several minutes and the dissassembly of every smoke detector in the house, Jed ascertained that the mechanical mayhem was being caused by the digital carbon monoxide detector we bought this winter. Now I was FULLY awake. The readout showed 30 parts per million and growing. By the time I found out what the PPM reading meant it was headed for 60.

Oh the silent, scentless killer - CO.
I saw the worry in Jed's face, and the desire that this turn out to be a faulty alarm. I am ready to wake up Annabel and run from the house as he is investigating the potential causes for the build-up.

I begin ticking off the list:

*The furnace is off, but it is used to heat water. ... could that be it?

*It's not the wood stove, we haven't used it in weeks.

*The dryer is electric, as are the range and other household appliances.

The only other thing I can think is one of Jed's big trucks was left idling in front of the house and the fumes drafted inside ... collecting enough of the killer vapor to finally -- after single alarm chirps each night for weeks -- set the REAL alarm loose.

"Oh ... maybe that's it," he says, opening the windows and turning on fans.

After a few minutes of outdoor airflow the numbers start to subside. He decides to go back to sleep.

However, I can't let go of an image in the movie "GARDEN STATE," specifically the scene where Jean Smart tells Peter Sarsgaard and Zach Braff "Oh... guys? Don't stay in here all day. I had to take the batteries out of the carbon monoxide detector; it was beeping all night."

So, even though the monitor registers "0" again, I am still WIDE AWAKE and I'm pretty sure I might never sleep again.

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