COLUMN: Need an uplifting experience? Batteries required – OrilliaMatters

 COLUMN: Need an uplifting experience? Batteries required – OrilliaMatters

Sometimes misery likes a little company.

There’s something about us that can enjoy hearing the misadventures of someone else to give ourselves a little lift.

I offer my latest idiocy in the hopes you will feel better about your own life.

Let’s face it — we can all use a little laugh.

As you know, it has been freezing — the polar vortex has arrived! I needed to go do my weekly grocery shopping. I had my sanitizer, my mask, my money, and my list.

I go to the garage and push the code to make the garage door go up. Nothing.

I figured I pushed the wrong numbers. Tried again. Still nothing.

Maybe it’s too cold, I thought. I blew on it and covered it with my hands and tried again. No luck.

So, I do what any logical person would do I went back in the house and had a coffee, figuring I would give the garage door time to reconsider how it was acting. A timeout, as it were. I don’t know, but I thought maybe it was like a car where if you try to start it too many times it floods and you have to give it some time. What could it hurt, right?

Well, that was stupid, because nothing changed 15 minutes later.

I should tell you that there is no other access to the garage so if you are on the outside looking in, that’s where you are staying.

I know during COVID I am supposed to stay home and this was about to ensure that! 

I went back out and started to see if there was some secret flap or some instructions on how to override the code. There was a hidden door which I jimmied with my key to reveal an unknown battery. I had no idea these things had batteries. Now, all I needed was a new one.

Back inside and to my perfectly organized junk drawer in search of a 9-volt. AA? Check. AAA? Check. But no 9-volt.

But then it comes to me that my smoke detector takes that kind! Here is where it gets interesting.

Whoever installed a smoke detector on the ceiling on the way downstairs to the basement needs a good swift kick. I can’t reach it.  I can’t put a ladder on the staircase. Every time I have to change the battery, I need to locate a tall person to assist. Getting it out is just as bad.

Now, I feel like McGyver! I take the end of a mop and hit the battery trying to loosen it, and after several attempts it came free. I swear it was as dramatic as Jack Bauer in the television show 24 dismantling a bomb. There were also as many swear words as he was likely to use in the same predicament.

Alas, I had a battery and after installing it in the secret door, it worked. 

I was free. My car was free.

I was off to buy batteries.

The next problem is what to do now that the smoke detector is without a battery…

That horrible vision flashed in my mind. Haven’t we all heard those stories where a person forgot to replace a battery and that was the night they had a fire.

Here’s the issue, though.

I’m not supposed to have anyone in the house during lockdown to help me.

I take a shot and call the Barrie fire department. I thought I had done a news story in the past that they would assist with smoke detectors. I explained the issue and they were very friendly, but no, they don’t really do that. I’m sure they are a bit busy. It’s not that I really expected them to do a home visit, but I thought it couldn’t hurt to ask. Anyway, they don’t! Or in this case, they didn’t.

So, here I sit.

I await a kindly very tall person to take pity on me.

What have we learned from this episode?

There is a secret location on your pass code thingy for a battery.

Keep extra batteries of all sizes in a handy location.

Batteries/remotes will always go dead on the coldest day of the year and without warning.

It sucks being short.

And the biggest takeaway is that, no matter what your particular situation is in life, at least you are not me.

It is not easy.

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