I haven't spent a lot of time thinking about those personal alarm systems like the one you see to your left. I think they're a great idea for autistic people or Alzheimer's patients. I personally believe that every woman's keychain should be fitted with a rape whistle, just in case. Mine actually has two. Which really is in a different category anyway.
But my employer is the owner of a local security systems company. You know what I'm talking about. The ones who send Mormon kids all over the country to sell their products door to door. Because after selling people on a religious lifestyle change, selling security systems ought to be easy, right?
So thankfully my employer has never tried to sell me on any of his products. I'm glad he hasn't because that would be awkward, but he knows I'm not in his demographic anyway. I don't have a significant say over anything worth protecting except my body, I guess. Hence the rape whistle. But anyway ... The house they live in really is quite nice, and has a very modern fancy shmancy alarm system. Of course it does. But today an aspect of it almost killed me. Before I killed it. Dun dun dun.
Nathan, age 6, was rummaging around the junk drawer looking for Heaven knows what this afternoon, and came across an unlabeled keychain with a button. I'm going to honest here, while this was happening this baby was asleep and I may or may not have been lying down with him trying to sneak in some sleep as well. I've been sick this week. So sue me.
I aroused from half-sleep to the most horrible noise in the world. At first I thought it was one of their dumb battery-operated toys gone insane, or maybe even the TV. But it was so loud it hurt my ears, and made the baby wake up crying.
Imagine the most irritating high-pitched but POWERFUL whine in existence. The kind a helicopter-sized mosquito would make. The kind of sound they might play to really stubborn prisoners in Guantanamo Bay until they screamed.
NO! PLEASE! I'LL TALK! JUST STOP THAT INFERNAL NOISE!
Maybe those prisoners are made of stronger stuff than I am, but I would have talked.
So Nathan had innocently pushed the button on the unlabeled keychain, and activated some sort of personal alarm system. I examined the stupid thing and found, that, of course, there isn't an off switch. For good reason. If all the bad guy had to do was wrestle away the personal alarm system from the victim and flip the off switch, APEX couldn't get away with charging so much for these things.
My addled, recently-from-sleep brain pondered the possibilities. No off switch. I checked the main reactor (or whatever you call it) of the home alarm system, and the two were obviously not connected in any way. I did figure out during this process that if I held the whole thing very tightly in my hand, that muffled the noise a little. Doing just that, I called my boss.
She didn't know how to disable it. She didn't even know she HAD a personal alarm system. So I called the Big Boss, you know, the one you're not supposed to bother.
You know what he told me? There IS no way to disable those stupid things. In a grave voice, he said to me, "You're going to have to destroy it."
Yes, Master. My life is a science fiction movie, I see. Or a futuristic remake of Old Yeller.
He also pointed out, logically, that Abbie doesn't use it anyway, since she didn't know it was there.
Nathan and I took sadistic glee in filling the sink with water and dropping the Banshee thingy in. It kept going for at least a minute, muffled by the water, and then reduced to a insect-like clicking noise. But every time we drained the water, it would resume screeching, although a littler fainter each time.
Ask me how many times we had to refill the sink. Go on. Ask me.
Buy one of those suckers, and NOBODY will mess with your sh*t. Not without wishing they never been born. Tap that.