Friday, September 01, 2006


Yesterday my house was driving me crazy.

Shortly after Larry left for work the security system started to beep. Every five minutes a short beep could be heard throughout the house. It has done this before when the back up battery for the system was no longer functional. You can’t shut off the beep. The only way to stop it is to replace the battery.

Of course the battery is something so exotic that you just can’t get it at any of the local stores. No, you have to schlep far away to a battery specialty store.

So could I rush out to get a new?

Of course not!

I had to first go to the school’s open house to meet Jake and Nate’s teachers and drop off their school supplies. At least it got me away from the infernal beeping.

Then it was back home to wait. The septic tank guy was coming by to pump out our septic tank. Nothing is wrong with our system, it was just due. The state mandates the septic tanks must be pumped out every five years.

I didn’t mind waiting, but the beeping was driving me nuts. My solution was to watch The Incredibles with the kids.  

At about 3:30pm my knight in a grubby white truck appeared.

In short order he uncovered the hatch and pumped out the tank, much to the boys’ fascination. Rebecca, of course, deemed it to be too stinky and refused to have anything to do with the whole process.

Once free of my septic obligations I called up the Battery Barn to confirm that they did have the right battery. Then I rounded up the troops to go pick it up.

I had never been there before and I didn’t know what to expect.

It’s great. The previous time the back-up battery went kaput I went to a chain store. It was bright, clean and utterly devoid of personality.

The Battery Barn is an old Quonset hut grafted onto an ancient brick warehouse. Four guys hung out under the overhang on the side of the warehouse. They were quite bemused as we piled out of the van. Max was slow in getting out so we waited for him under the overhang. It was raining and I didn’t want to get any wetter than I had too. The men asked if there was anything they could get for me and I explained that I was waiting for one more to emerge. Then I told them about how my house was beeping and that I needed a replacement battery. One of the guys winced in sympathy.

The inside the building was crowded with all sorts of flashlights and stuff. Three people, two men and a woman, were crammed behind the counter. Rebecca, who was sleepy from the car ride, was in my arms. She reached out and tried to ring the bell for service. At the last second I fended her off and pointed out the three behind the counter. The guy in the middle looked over at us and with a slight smile asked “Who tried to ring the bell?”

Rebecca shyly ducked her head and tried to hide while I said “She did.”

He replied “I thought so” with a big grin.

I then handed over a slip of paper on which I wrote what kind of battery I need.

The woman rang up our order and the one we spoke with sent the other, younger guy, out back for the battery. He returned in short order and I paid my $19 and went home. As I pulled away three of the four guys were gone. The fourth was walking around the building and gave us a big wave as we left the lot.

The battery is expensive, but it’s better than listening to the house beep every five minutes and I got to se a great store.

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