Photo: fuzzysaurus, Flickr Creative Commons1
There's a good chance that if we had been away from home last night that our house would have burned down. Now, I've joked in the past that I'd gladly welcome the destruction of my home because I'm insured, would gladly welcome the chance to actually get something of value from all of those insurance payments we've made, and I tend not to be very attached to my stuff2. Besides, it'd give me the excuse to start over.
Of course, considering the fact that we were home and the would-have-been fire last night was sourced in my son's room, it's not quite as funny. I may have mentioned this before, but I live in the house my grandparents built back in the '50s. After my grandfather died, my family installed a home security system from Brinks to assuage my more nervous grandmother's fears. When we moved in, my wife and I didn't want to bother paying for the service (partly because I found it annoying and partly because I just don't give a fuck3. I'd chop off a home invader's balls with nothing but my overly sturdy thumbnails. If that prick was actually a chick, I'd go for her ovaries. Seriously, I can gouge holes into pine wood with my thumbnails. They've got mad power. Ain't no human flesh going to stop my inhuman rage in defense of wife and child, unless, of course, that human flesh manages to shoot or stab me into submission first. I may not have thought this through very well.) When we called to cancel the service, Brinks never came out to take out the equipment, probably on the off chance that we'd change our minds. Sometime last week the stupid consoles in the walls of our kitchen and bedroom started screaming at us around 9:30 every night with a "Low Battery" warning until we pressed cancel. This is quite annoying as I'm sometimes already in bed at that time of night during the school year. Honestly, I hoped the damned battery would hurry up and die so I wouldn't have to deal with it anymore. I'm sure Brinks (or whatever they've changed their name to recently) wouldn't have done anything about it because we don't have a contract with them.
Then last night when wife takes our son back to get ready for bed, she comes in and asks me to see if I can smell that same electrical fire smell she smells back there. I tell her no because I have a stupid head and chest cold from purgatory. It's really not as bad as some I've had, but it's a damn annoying wait for it to be over, you know? I do finally get my sorry ass off the couch and out from under the blanket to go look and I think I can actually smell something a little off. Must be pretty strong. Just as I find out that the electrical/circuit box in my son's closet is a little warm my wife notices that the plug that Brinks had used to tap into the house's electrical system was actually starting to melt. My only guess is that the battery, which I'm assuming is used to power the security system during power outages, was starting to fail and the strain of constantly having to recharge the dying battery overwhelmed the the circuitry in the plug. It was one of those fat plugs like on your cellphone charger that modifies the flow of electricity so the outlet doesn't fry your electronic device. The plastic casing was sagging and yellowed in several locations, so we unplugged it, disconnected it and the battery from the system and stuck them outside in case they exploded or caught fire or something.
The morals of this story: Sometimes my wife's tendency to worry about stuff actually comes in handy, I'm a whiny bastard, and Brinks should fucking tell people to unplug the damn system and unhook the battery when they stop subscribing to their service!
1. This photo is creepily appropriate considering the fact my son is also quite blonde and may have burned to death if a fire had started while we were sleeping. But whatever. I'm sure Brinks has the cost of fires caused by their equipment factored into their business plan, so I'm sure they're cool.
2. Actually, I would have been a bit peeved about losing my homebrew equipment and the two beers I have fermenting in a closet right now, but it's not like I couldn't just replace all of it.
3. I know I used a little more profanity than usual, but if it bothers you, you can just suck it. Bitch.