Monday, April 30, 2012

0400 Night-Vision Adventure

I wake up around 4AM to a constant pitchy noise.

Immediately reminds me of WWII bomb sirens, only without the siren-y modulations.

Lay there wishing someone else would take care of it, but I'm waking quickly. Might as well get up, dress, and put my eyeballs in.

Can't find the noise in the house; head outside. Definitely there.

Much, much louder now.

Wander the neighborhood looking for . . . ???

(Where X = Three Question Marks = Much Needed Emphasis)

Call the police to help, and learn they are already hunting for the source.

Success! I find it first.

Still on the phone with dispatch, I give them an address.

It's a car, and its horn has now been blaring for at least 10 minutes.

I have visions of someone slumped over the wheel, dead or dying, so I am both disappointed and not disappointed to search through the windows and find there is no one to rescue.

The police arrive moments later.

Patrolman #1 says, "We'll take care of this, ma'am," and begins knocking loudly on the front door of the owner's house.

(It would *have* to be loud as they hadn't heard their own SUV sounding off.)

So I meander home and grab one of my four ready-to-go fire extinguishers, just SURE there will be fire under the hood accompanying those crossed-wires.

But when they finally pop it open (under duress -- nothing on this car appears to be working), no fire. Just an overwhelming puff of ozone I can still taste in my throat.

And the horn stops.

I'm both disappointed and not disappointed. Sigh.

We disconnect the battery and all head home. Yet as I'm walking, and almost beyond belief, I hear a SECOND horn going off.

Imagine me squinting in the darkness, head cocked to one side, saying, "Noooo. (Pause.) Nooo. (Pause.) Really?"

(By the way, you don't have to imagine me saying, "Pause.")

Sigh. I'm already up, soooo . . .

The funny thing is that I thought I had heard some lovely horn harmonics from the get-go, but after finding the initial culprit I figured the dual-pitch was an effect of the dying SUV's final wailing moans. When in reality the second car's horn was hidden (I suppose) by the proximity (to me) of the first.

So now I'm BACK on the hunt. This horn is further away.

It's 4:30AM.

I'm the only one on the street.

Or am I?

Let's be honest. What's the chance of two horns getting coincidentally plastered at the same time. I'm just SURE there's a joker in the neighborhood who is breaking under people's hoods and crossing their wires.

But is it a simple joker?

It could be a mean-spirited vandal.

Or a criminal trying to steal cars.

Or a super-criminal using the horns as a diversion, two tiny sleep-depriving cogs in a sinister plot to heist one of my neighbors' no-doubt internationally renowned jewel collections. That I've never heard of.

I now hold my fire extinguisher like a weapon.

I'm lamenting having passed up those night-vision goggles with thermal detection at Wal-Mart yesterday. I make a mental note to add them to my shopping list, right below peach yogurt.

My fingers are poised over redial, ready to call Officer We'll-Take-Care-Of-This-Ma'am for back-up.

I'm honing in on the source of the second horn . . . almost there . . . almost there . . . whe-e-e-en! It stops too.

The neighborhood is doused in quiet.


Feeling both disappointed and not disappointed, I'm turning heel, when a car starts up and zooms (it zoomed I tell you!) toward me.

I act casual.

It's not like I'm a woman out alone at night for a butcher cruise through eel-infested waters.

Though, I do adjust my trusty fire extinguisher, good for all your defense needs: smacking, cracking, hurling, blasting, spraying, and let's not forget bullet deflection.

But seriously? This time I am PURELY disappointed.

No one in the car even yells profanities at me let alone slows down when reaching my position, a black-leather clad hand emerging from behind dark glass to warn me with a waggling gun, silencer glinting under the wan yellow-orange street light.


I get the impression the jewel thief may be late for work. You know, his "cover" job.

So I head home. Again.

Totally alert, there's no way I can go back to bed. And there's no way I'm going to the gym at 5AM. (This has less to do with my alertness and more to do with my character. Besides, I tell myself, it's probably not even open this early. Right? AmIright?)

Wondering what I should do now, I sit down at the computer, intent on wasting three hours of my life watching stuff get obliterated in a Blendtec on YouTube. Sigh.

What begins as a *thrilling* rescue ends as a disappointing / not-disappointing non-adventure where everyone but an old SUV is safe. And even IT *isn't* on fire.

Perhaps the most dangerous thing to happen this morning is a new blog post. And just think, like most of my neighbors, you could have slept through the whole thing . . .


Lore said...

Will you share your night-vision goggles with me? No? Well then, about some of that peach yogurt?

mjj321 said...

Girl, you gotta get some sleep!

Tammy and Alvin said...

Ha! That's the Kel I know and love! I'm laughing inside thinking about how easy it is for me to picture you during that whole adventure. (or would you call it a non-adventure?) You're great! Someday, let's be neighbors, okay?! I'll feel much safer knowing you're around to defend the neighborhood. :)

Kel said...

So me mum just sent this quote from an article she was reading:

"Which bugs you more: the whine of a digital alarm clock, the sound of a truck backing up, or the shrill reminders that your smoke detector is running out of batteries?

"Fine, they're all terrible. Beeps are practically the soundtrack of the modern world, but they're extremely irritating because each one induces a tiny brain fart.

"We didn't evolve hearing beeps, so we struggle to grasp them. Natural sounds are created from a transfer of energy, often from one object striking another, such as a stick hitting a drum. In that case, energy is transferred into the drum and then gradually dissipates, causing the sound to decay over time. Our perceptual system has evolved to use that decay to understand the event — to figure out what made the sound, and where it came from.

"Beep sounds, on the other hand, are like cars driving at 60 mph then suddenly hitting a wall, as opposed to gradually slowing to a stop. The sound doesn't change over time, and it doesn't fade away, so our brains are baffled about what they are and where they're coming from."

So basically, this article claims that I am less evolved than all the folks who could sleep through that racket.

And based on my primal weaponry and street stalking, I'm inclined to believe it.

Kel said...

Also, also.

I took my own car to the shop for safety / emissions tests today (big thumbs up for the last day of the month!) and I told this story to the head mechanic.

He said it would be darn near impossible for pranksters and ruffians to rig two horns.

Which leaves me with two possibilities.

1) A ridiculous all-bets-off coincidence.
2) Super-criminal grand larceny.