The evening started well enough. I got my haircut and was heading home to take a shower at about 6:15 so I could go watch ssejooz's hockey game. About 15 minutes from home my friend Walter called to let me know he was on his way over to pick up a few things he'd left at my house.
"That's fine," I said. "I'll leave the front door unlocked because I need to get in the shower as soon as I get home."
I arrived at the house, stripped off my clothes, leaving a trail of pants, socks and a shirt that the babies happily played in. I quickly leaped into the shower and got to work. As I stood under the spray, shampooing my hair, the house alarm started going off, followed by the Yippsters barking.
"Whaaa?" I sputtered. I turned the fawcett off, jerked the curtains back, threw a towel around myself and ran down the stairs. After I entered the code to deactivate the piercing sound, I went back upstairs to finish my shower. I barely made it 3 steps when, "Wee-oo wee-oo wee-oo wee-oo..."
At that point I also heard what sounded like keys jingling. A barking Star came running over, followed by a silent Lucky, who was carrying my house keys in her mouth. My key ring also has a remote that controls the alarm system. I guess my set of keys must have fallen on the floor and Lucky set the system off when she picked them up in her mouth.
"Let me have those, Lucky," I said, after I turned the alarm off again.
I went back upstairs, put my keys well out of reach and resumed my shower.
Just as I was about done, "wee-oo wee-oo wee-oo..."
"WHAT THE F*CK????" I yelled.
I threw a towel around me and went back downstairs. By that time Walter had arrived, just as I reached the keypad. He looked rather surprised to see me in the little towel.
"Well, hello!" he grinned.
"Shut up," I grumbled. He simply laughed and swatted my butt.
This time the display on the alarm system said, "CP Trouble... please call 1-800-blah-blah." I turned off the alarm yet again and then called the number on my cell.
Apparently when Sarah moved she didn't tell the security people there was a new telephone number associated with the system. When the alarm went off twice, they tried to call, but got a recorded message saying the number was disconnected, so they set it off the third time.
"Okay," I told the woman at the call center. "Thanks."
"Well, wait," she said. "The alarm needs to be reset to finalize the new number."
"Okay," I replied. "How do I do that?"
"You need to go into the basement," she began. I interrupted her.
"I'm soaking wet in a bath towel," I objected. "I can't go into the basement."
"Well, in order to reset the system, you need to unplug and then replug the main unit," she explained.
"Can it wait 10 minutes?"
"Yes," she said. "The unit is going to beep every 15 seconds until you reset the system permanently though."
"Fine," I said. "I'll call you back as soon as I have some clothes on."
I hung up and Walter just shook his head at me. "Bad day?"
"I'm totally late," I said, looking at the clock. It was 7:00 already. The gamed started at 8:00 and it takes roughly an hour to get to the arena.
Walter collected his stuff and went on his way while I got dressed. Then I went down to see about the alarm. Just as I was dialing the number, it went off again.
"Wee-oo wee-oo wee-oo," screamed the alarm.
"Yip yip yip yip yip yip!" chirped Lucky and Star.
"Arghhhhhhhhhh!" I yelled, angrily pounding the code into the keypad. Then I called the security chick again.
"Okay," she said. "Get a philip's head screw driver, you'll need to remove the metal panel to access the box."
I marched back up to the hall closet, dutifully grabbed a screw driver and went back down to the basement. I located the screw on the metal box and went to unscrew it. But then I realized I had a problem. The screw was on the right side of the box, 4 inches from the wall. My screw driver was at least 6 inches long. It totally wouldn't fit.
"I have to go back up and see if I have a shorter screw driver," I said. "The one I have is too long."
"Okay," she said.
I reached up to the tool box to pull out the drawer where the rest of the screw drivers were, when it suddenly got stuck. At the same time the alarm went off again.
"Dammit!" I swore.
I yanked the drawer on the tool box and rather than come out, the entire box flew of the shelf, showering its entire contents all around me.
"Yip yip yip yip yip yip!"
I turned the alarm off again and then picked up what looked like a smaller screw driver off the floor. I returned to the basement and tried it on the box. STILL too long.
I took a deep breath and then started banging the screw driver against the box.
"Ma'am," the security woman interrupted. "Are you okay?"
"No," I said. It was 7:25. I was beyond late at this point. "But that's not your fault. Listen, I can't get this box open. How do I make the system temporarily stop going off?"
"The only thing you can do is get it to stop for 24 hours. It'll keep going off every 24 hours until it is reset."
She instructed me on what to do and we hung up. I then grabbed my bag, kicked all the tools that were scattered on the hall floor into the closet, slammed the door and jumped in the car. About 20 minutes into my drive it began pouring rain. I had JUST washed my car that afternoon.
Not only did the rain dampen my nice clean car, it also seemed to have dampened people's ability to drive. I finally made it to the arena by 8:45. @#$%!
I parked and ran through the rain to the entrance. Upon entering I realized that I had no idea where to go. I asked a woman standing nearby where the girls were playing.
"I'm not sure, I'm here for my son," she said apologetically. "Try that computer screen over there, it tells you who's playing where."
I thanked her and ran to the computer. Rink 4. I then dashed up the stairs and made it just in time to see the teams exiting the ice.
"I still can't believe that," one woman said to another. Whoops, clearly I missed something.
I walked around a bit, trying to figure out where the players would exit from. I couldn't. I went back to the lobby and then decided to call Jess.
"Hey," she answered.
"Hi," I said. "Are you still here?"
Turns out she'd left, but wasn't that far away, so she returned to the arena. We then went to dinner nearby. I felt like such an ass. Then while I was telling her what had happened to me earlier, I got a paper cut from the wrapper that my chicken parm sandwich rested on.
"Ohhh," I groaned. It slowly started to sting a bit.
Things were largely uneventful after that. I got back home at about 11:45 and climbed in bed a short time later. Within 5 minutes I was flanked by 4 purring teeny kittens. I totally relaxed soon after.
It's true, kittens make everything better.**
**Okay, so that line was cheesy as hell. But you know what I mean...!