Wednesday, January 13, 2016

When I Try To Be Helpful, Things Tend To Go Wrong: Part 2/3

My Grandma, age 94, has lived in the same house since the 50s. Not being as spry as she once was, household repairs and cleaning have gotten more difficult, and some aspects of cleaning have been abandoned altogether.

For example, her basement. A few months ago, I went down there one day and noticed that there were cobwebs all over the place. My Grandma does her laundry down there, so I felt that was unacceptable. So on my next visit to her house, I brought my vacuum, and began to suck up years' worth of former spider homes, dust, and so on.

This took about an hour, and I won't lie... I enjoyed every minute of it. I have this weird thing about vacuuming.

When I was finished, I guess I was feeling pretty proud of myself, because I really wanted to do more good deeds. 

Upstairs in my Grandma's hallway, I saw a cobweb on the ceiling, and removed it. Then my eyes beheld her smoke detector. I asked if I could check to make sure it worked, because Safety. I was given the "OK".

Now, there are many types of smoke detectors. Some you can test by pressing a button. Others you have to test other ways. This one seemed to have no buttons, so I took it off the ceiling to examine it.

Suddenly, a loud wailing noise burst forth, filling the entire house.

It turns out my Grandma had this elaborate security system that was wired to the smoke detectors.

Because of course she did.

I immediately put the smoke detector back, but the alarm continued. I ran to the security system panel to see if I could do some disarmin'. After a minute, the sound went away. Then the phone rang.

"I'll get it!" I called, feeling mortified. I figured it would be the security company, and it was. 

"Everything's fine," I told the guy on the phone. "I accidentally did something with the smoke detector. But everything's fine here." The guy said OK, and I hung up.

TWO DAYS LATER, I was over at my Grandma's again, when there was a knock at the door. Her brother had come by the house to see if she was all right. He said that whenever he'd tried to call my Grandma in the last day or so, all he ever had gotten was a busy signal.

Long story short, when the security company called my Grandma's house to check on her after the smoke detector incident, they apparently also hijacked the phone line, and inadvertently continued doing so for two whole days. I don't know how, but that was the story. We had to to pay some phone repair guy $93 to come over and figure that out.

In the end, my Grandma decided the security company was more trouble than it was worth (one burned pizza in the oven could summon the fire department, if my hearing-impaired Grandma didn't hear the phone ring, for example.) So... no more security... one less expense every month. 

So I guess some good came out of it. But I sure caused a lot of trouble. All because I just couldn't help trying to be helpful.

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