Little blind girl vs. the smoke detectors

Remember when I posted about my apartment?  I mentioned in that post that my apartment has cathedral ceilings: it makes changing bulbs for the recessed lighting a little tricky, but I manage.  So what do I come to find out but that the smoke detectors, which are my, the tenant’s, responsibility to maintain, are located right up there next to the ceiling!  Two of them!  One of them cunningly located at the very highest point of my ever-rising sloping wall!  Good joke, Management, very funny.  And I find this out when?  When they start going off and won’t stop because the batteries are running low, of course.

Now, I want to be clear about this:  little blind girls and ladders do not mix.  I can about manage a stepladder to reach the cabinet that some genius put right above the refrigerator (really? really?), but anything more and the world gets so fuzzy that I might as well be standing in a cloud, one step away from falling thousands of feet to a gruesome and very messy end.  So the smoke detectors were beeping and I ascertained that there was, in fact, no fire, no smoke, no alarm test, no nothing, definitely low batteries, and it was, naturally, Friday evening, right after Management packed up and left for the weekend.

It being Friday evening, I’d stopped for supplies on the way home, and by supplies I mean beer.  So I broke into the supplies and paced back and forth, sucking down the beer and trying to locate the smoke detectors which, until that evening, I had never thought to look for.  Having found them, and upon realizing I had no way to reach them, I assessed the situation, chugged the rest of the beer and started immediately upon another.  And here we come upon one of the magical properties of beer:  it can help you out of seemingly impossible situations.   As I slumped on the kitchen floor, clutching my bottle, both smoke detectors going full blast, an idea came to me.  Yes!  This will work!  There is nothing at all wrong with this idea!  Beer, you’re the best.

My fabulous plan entailed me, all 105 legally blind pounds of me, pushing my 5-drawer bureau across my apartment, over to my hallway, and using my stepladder to climb on top of it to reach the first smoke detector.  I then, and this is where it gets good, pushed the bureau back across the apartment over to my built-in wardrobe, put a small stool on the bureau, and used my stepladder to climb onto the bureau, then onto the stool, then onto the top of my wardrobe, from which I could just reach the highest smoke detector situated twenty feet above the floor.  There is no way I could have done this sober.  I distinctly remember the stool wobbling on my way down.  But I did it and I climbed back down, stumbled over to the couch and collapsed.  And had another beer.

The adrenaline has long since worn off by now, as has the alcohol.  But I still have my bureau wedged in between my bed and the wardrobe, and I can’t get it out because a) it’s at a really bad angle and 2) I weigh 105 pounds!  What was I thinking?  It may just have to stay that way for a while.  On the upside, I’ll be ready to go the next time the batteries in my smoke detector run low.

3 thoughts on “Little blind girl vs. the smoke detectors

  1. I cringed when you told me about it the first time and I cringe again tonight as I am reading this. Yipes! These are the things it is better NOT to know, even after the fact. I hope you used really good brand-name batteries and not the junk from the dollar store!!!

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  2. And once again I must ask – why didn’t you just call your “abnormally tall” sighted friend to come over and help you out?

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