About every other year, I somehow manage to trip the alarm around here, and the beeper is close enough to the control panel to make one wish for a remote control. Fortunately, I have one.
Friday night, I’d just brought in the last load of groceries when that tell-tale shriek began. I pressed the button on the remote, with no discernible result. Remote battery dead, maybe? I wheeled over to the keypad, punched up the appropriate code and the Off button. It continued to squeal. The thing finally shut up as the phone rang. And of course, it was the security company, wanting to know if we were having problems. We were not, and said so. And as the ringing in my ears started to subside, I noticed that the screen next to the keypad had not cleared.
It would not clear. Didn’t matter what I did. Finally I threw in the towel and called the security company. Apparently they’d heard of this happening before, and rattled off a series of Things To Try, a couple of which didn’t ever make it to the manual. None of them worked. The next available technician would be by on Monday, from eight to twelve.
The guy showed up at 11:56 am. After glaring at the wall for a moment, he detached the panel from the wall, pushed a couple of buttons, got no response, and declared it dead. I frowned. “Not a problem,” he said, and headed back to his truck.
About 90 seconds later, he returned with another slab of plastic, not much resembling the other one but apparently identical in function. The next few moments were frighteningly loud, but I had to concede that the fellow’s testing regimen looked pretty thorough. About 12:20, he pronounced the system healed, I wrote a check, and life resumed. Quietly.