The sun is just now providing a candlelight glow at the edge of the ridge at the end of the river. I sigh and return to some important sentence when I hear "chirp."
I cannot help but smile at the joy that some little bird, probably one of the perky wrens, was sharing and beginning to celebrate the season of spring.
I get up to warm my coffee and glance out in the early dawn but cannot see the tiny brown bird anywhere on the deck. He must be near the feeders.
I wonder why he has not moved into his early morning intermezzo. No female is going to be impressed with this tentative peep in the cold morning.
The sun lights the backyard and I still cannot see the wren.
I am beginning to get a dreadful feeling in the pit of my stomach and I head down to the basement. The "chirp" is much louder there. I move toward the closed door of the guest bedroom waiting for the chirps over-rhythmic return.
And then I know! Spring with its routines and opportunities for maintenance is at last here in all its glory. I look with resigned hatred at the white plastic disk attached to the fragile fiber tile in the hanging ceiling. I grab a nearby chair and painfully craning my neck try to turn the plastic disk succeeding only in shifting the ceiling tile out of its frame. I whisper something unladylike under my breath and head back upstairs for my small stepladder.
After carefully avoiding nicking walls I once again reach the smoke alarm and begin the tedious process of figuring out how to remove it and then open the battery case. It sounds oh so simple but it took me 5 minutes of slow and carefully applied pressures to get at the 9 volt battery hidden inside without tearing apart the ceiling and/or falling off the ladder. I take out the battery making sure that I can memorize how it was installed. There is no snap to this alarm's battery...just little slotted unintuitive holes!!
Now I am beyond help and glad that I am the only one home or I might maim or kill someone.
I try to read the raised 7 point font white print on the white background in the inside of the battery casing with no luck. I even color over it with a crayon...sort of like a person in mental therapy would do before they are given their meds. That does not help except for breaking the point on the crayon.
I say some more unladylike things and without the care that I should use unscrew the plastic case from its frame moving the ceiling tile cockeyed. I remove and then reverse the battery installation and then wait.
I go upstairs and get the can of air from my computer desk and return to the scene of waterloo and proceed to blast the hell out of it. No bug, fleck of dust or other alien entity could possibly remain. I wait.
I go back upstairs and talk myself out of bringing down the bourbon from the high cupboard and instead check my emails and work on some photos.
After the chirping begins to resonate nastily between my ears, I return to the bedroom basement and pull the little ##**%%%-^^&&@@ off the attachment to electricity.
I have killed it. Yes, I will have to do something about that, but right now I am thinking about a design on a voodoo doll for the inventor of this piece of %%$ and later getting ready for beach week with the kids.