Monday, September 17, 2012

Some Things Should Just Be Banned

Most weekdays, Derek gets up super early and goes to the gym to work out before heading off to work.  Then, in the evenings, after we've put the kids to bed, I go for my walk.  Thus we both get some kind of physical exercise in on most days.

Last week, however, Derek missed a couple mornings at the gym.  This might be due to the fact that he was getting up at night with Atticus more than usual.  I guess being screamed at throughout the night kind of kills your motivation.

To make up for those missed mornings, as soon as I walked in the door from my evening walk, he left for the gym.

So there I was one evening last week, post-walk, sitting in the rocking chair, laptop in my lap, tv on to drown out all the scary things I hear when Derek's gone and it's dark outside.

Out of nowhere, I heard a whistle.

I don't mean a lifeguard's whistle or a train whistle; this was definitely human, more the kind of little three-note whistle you might give to catch someone's attention.

And I had heard it

in my house


somewhere close to me

from a human being.

I flipped out.

BUT, to my credit, if you were watching me, you would never have known that I was flipping out.  Checking my vital signs, sure, but just looking, nope.  I stayed completely still (even though my heart was racing), continued to click my finger on the mouse at random intervals (even though I had no idea what was on the computer screen; I was too busy straining to see movement in my peripheral vision), glanced up at the television every once in awhile (to increase the range of said peripheral vision).

This is my standard protocol when I think a home invasion has occurred:  act natural, continue doing whatever you're doing even while your ears are straining for the slightest abnormal noise (don't worry, they'll find plenty of fodder to give you heart attack after heart attack), then casually make your way to whatever stations you have in your home that house weapons against just such a situation- preferably something heavy or poisonous or pointy or that involves gunpowder.

I was following the protocol beautifully, especially for someone convinced that there was a man in the front room watching her.  I had just moved to get up and retrieve my something poisonous (hairspray) along with my something heavy (favorite cast iron skillet), 'cause I'm a two-handed warrior.  You have been warned.

Then Atticus started crying.

If you know us and/or have read this blog for any length of time, you know that Atticus crying/screaming/thrashing throughout the night is pretty normal around here.

I thought about going ahead and retrieving my weapons, but I was afraid this would tip the intruder off; wouldn't a normal mother go straight upstairs to comfort her crying child?

Instead I walked as calmly as I could toward the stairs, expecting a blow to the head at any second.

I made it to the stairs.  (I know, you're shocked, right?)

I also made it up the stairs without harm.  (Surprise after surprise today.)

I settled Atticus back down, then stood at the top of the stairs, listening intently.

And I heard it again.

THIS GUY WAS TOTALLY MESSING WITH  ME.  Obviously, what was happening here was that some guy had broken into our house, saw me on the laptop, whistled in a menacingly friendly manner, you know, just to let me that he was there, waited to see what I would do, watched me go up the stairs but didn't do anything because that would be the obvious kill, and this guy was evidently a subtle homicidal maniac, and when it became apparent that I was waiting him out, he whistled again to let me know that the game was still on.

(By the way, I didn't call the cops on the off chance that I was wrong about the whole there's-a-deranged-killer-in-my-house thing; if I called the cops every time I thought someone was out to get me, our kids would have been taken away a long time ago.)

Eventually I walked down the stairs (I would have crept but there is no creeping down our stairs- our house is 112 years old, no one seems to have done any home repair on them in all that time, and I kind of think they just like to make you feel like an elephant as you walk up and down them).  I had a sudden burst of bravery (or sanity, I often confuse those two), turned on the light to the front room, and encountered...

no one.

Apparently he had slunk into a different room of the house.

At that point, Derek walked in the front door, I said something like, "OH MAH GAH!" and babbled out the entire story to him.

He then told me that the whistle was the iPad that he had brought home from work.

"Your iPad was whistling at me?"

"No, it means I had an incoming message."

So my question now is this:  Who does that?  Who makes technology that makes pseudo-friendly human sounds specifically designed to freak people out?  Or perhaps if not specifically designed for that purpose, then with that being the obvious byproduct?

One of these days someone's going to have a real cardiac episode or stroke and there's going to be a lawsuit.

Because I can't be the only one freaked out by that stuff.


  1. I'm thinking it's some sadistic person whose wife or husband or younger sibling or SOMEONE is similarly, uh, "freak-out-inclined" and they giggled maniacally as they designed it just imagining how it would affect consumers.

    1. you should NOT have my sister hanging around you when you're home case you ever wanted to invite her over for company :)

    2. Yes, Shonya; I just heard a VERY interesting story about you tap, tap, tapping on your sister's chamber door.

    3. chuckle. My sister has a big mouth. :)

      I thought my dad was maybe going to kill me for that, lol.

  2. I have my iPhone alarm set to ducks quacking. Last spring, when a pair of ducks was courting on the water-filled winter cover of our pool, I listened to the male calling his mate for a while before realizing that his beak wasn't moving. I kept watching him, trying to figure out how he was doing that until I realized it was actually my alarm.

    Emma set the text tone on my phone for one of her friend's dad's number as a train whistle. I swear I jumped a foot when that train whistle went off on my night stand while I was reading in bed. I was so thrown by the idea that there was a train IN MY ROOM!

    These things are definitely too realistic! You're probably lucky the iPad didn't try to assault you :-)

    1. Your entire comment made me laugh: crafty ducks, trains in your bedroom, an iPad assaulting me. I wonder how it would stand up to hairspray?

  3. Sometimes my husband leaves his iPad in the bedroom, and it beeps in the middle of the night, waking me up, but not him. At least it doesn't whistle! That would definitely freak me out.

    1. You could set it to a whistle, just to see if it freaks him out. Of course, that might backfire and you could end up scaring yourself half to death. That's probably what would happen to me.

  4. Ranks right up there with the ring you have on your phone for Derek.

    1. I don't find that scary, though; it merely fills me with a sense of urgency, like I have to answer my phone IMMEDIATELY.

  5. You see why I can't leave her alone.

  6. I keep reading this post and getting creeped out each time even though I know how it ends!

    1. That's because we're afraid of the same things. And believe me, that whistle was creepy.


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