Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Five a.m. Fire Alarm


Just one of the “joys” of apartment building living ….

Yes, at 5:15 this morning I awoke to a very horrific sound – that damned alarm. Honey (my dog) and I both almost jumped clear out of bed. I've been to college and I used to live in New York City and Hoboken, N.J. so I am all too familiar with going all the way downstairs to stand outside for some fool who burned popcorn or pulled the alarm for the fun of it. I was in no rush to get outside. But when I opened my apartment door and looked into the hallway (actually, I felt the door and checked the peep hole first without thinking twice about it – so I must have learned something in fire safety) I see people are heading outside. Dammit!

I change into a tee shirt and lounge pants, find my glasses and a ponytail holder (my hair was all over the place) and hunted for Honey’s leash. (She gets excited, thinks we’re going on a walk!) Okay, now where are my keys and my phone? Oh, and shoes. And what time is it by the way? OMG. 5:12 a.m. Sweet Jesus.

Honey and I head out into the hall, the sound is so piercing she freaks out. I’m trying to lock my door and plug my ears at the same time. I scoop her up, cover her ears (I’m pretty sure her hearing is much more sensitive than mine) and run to the end of the hall to the stairwell. It’s mass exodus. I had no idea this many people lived in our building (it’s really new) … We get outside and all just kind of hang out and joke about it being a great way to meet your neighbors. (I, for one, can’t stop staring at the one guy who is smoking a cigarette and trying to figure out who can actually light up at that hour of the morning…. and he had an entire pack in his hand. Prepared, I guess?) Oh, and it looks like I forgot my phone ...

And then come the fire trucks. And then the police. And a paramedic. We all continue to wait – we have no idea what’s going on. And there isn’t a lot of conversation going on. It’s verrry early for most of us. Honey is still shaking - the alarms really startled her - so I’m trying to calm her down.

Forty-five minutes later we are told we can return to the building (by one HOT fireman, so glad I look like hell right now) but we might smell something funny on the third and fourth floors. I live on the third floor …

Me: “Excuse me, sir, can you tell us what happened?” I ask.
HOT Fireman: “Yeah, a car in the parking garage caught on fire.” (Our parking garage is literally in the center of our large apartment building.)
Me: “WHAT kind of car?” (I’m thinking please don’t say black Honda Accord…)
HOT Fireman: “It was a white truck on the third floor west side.”
Me: “Ah, okay, thanks.” Great, I park on third floor west.

We get back in the apartment (and yes the hall smells disgustingly strange.) It’s now 6 a.m., the time Honey and I have been taking our morning run/walk … so I throw on some running shorts and Honey and I head out.

Of course, I go find HOT fireman in the hall again one more time … I HAD to ask if he could please shut the alarms off. Unfortch, he said he couldn’t.

We get back around 7 a.m. and the alarms are STILL GOING OFF! I want to scream. (So doing work with NASCAR does have its perks – those lovely little earplugs are about to come in handy.) I am now making coffee, feeding honey and eating breakfast with fluorescent lime green foam earplugs poking out of both of my ears. Oh, and I’m sweaty and gross from our workout. Boy, am I a sight right now. If only HOT Fireman could see me now. (Kidding … )

Anywhoodle … the alarms finally, finally stopped at around 7:45 (that was a solid two-and-a-half hours, folks, ugh!) and the peace came. Ahhh….

I couldn't wait to call Meredith when I got to work this morning - she was at her boyfriends house - and tell her about all the early morning excitement she missed on her day off! Haha.

So, how’s that for a “welcome back” post?

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