The haunted doorbell

this is the terrifying story
of the haunted doorbell
the weather here has been
real hot and dry
but lately it has been cooler and
wetter and today the
constant rain started
when the constant rain starts
i think of ray bradbury’s story
about astronauts on venus
in constant rain
the second thing that happens when
the constant rain starts
is our haunted doorbell starts
its creepy half-ring
my wife just called me at work
and said, it’s ringing again,
and she said, what should i do?
i said she should, first of all
put on rubber gloves.
i didn’t say, wait until i get home,
i said, put on rubber gloves, first of all.
then pry off the cover
there are no screws, it just pops off
but careful not to break it
then you want to unhook the two wires
there are two screws
loosen the screws but
don’t touch them
even with rubber gloves
nothing would happen, you would
just get a little shock
(a medium shock, in fact)
then when the screws are loose
pull out the wires
easy as that
she said she would wait until i came home
isn’t it too creepy, that
creepy haunted doorbell
half ringing all day?
i told her to call the guy
to look at the heating and he could
do the doorbell while he was there
she said, he’s a plumber not an electrician
but he could do two screws, i said
you can do it when you get home
she said

Now the weekend is coming

Life has been terribly interesting. I made potato salad and barbecued hamburgers for Gamma’s birthday, my wife’s parents came over for the event.
The cat has been distant.
I went to the barber and had my beard trimmed; I decided to do that after drinking a Sodazitron (soda water with lemon juice) and getting only soda because my moustache filtered out all the Zitron. Now that everything is trimmed it’s easier to eat in general, and the barber gave me Jameson while I waited. (I generally try to get to the barber early for this reason).
I went to an electronics supply shop for the first time and bought some transistors and stuff.
How to buy electronics supplies:

  • Go to the information desk
  • Give the guy your diagram and say, does this mean anything to you? Because I have no idea. I’m building a device to make irritating sounds. Do you have all this stuff?
  • He will then check and have all but one thing and that costs 23 cents at some place online. He will box up everything else and give it to you.
  • “Do you have circuit boards too?” you ask.
  • He will point to the next aisle and say, Over there under the sign that says ‘Circuit Boards’
  • You wonder how you will be able to figure out what is a transistor and what is something else, when you look at all the little parts.

That’s it. That’s how easy it is.
The electronics shop also had the batteries for an old camera that are said to be hard to find? Dunno. Anyway they had them.

It’s raining out.
I saw a guy crash a motorcycle this morning. He passed me in the rain in the Vienna Woods, then nicked an oncoming car less than a minute later and laid it down. I stopped my car and turned on the blinkers and helped move the motorcycle out of the street, and the broken off motorcycle pieces. The guy seemed okay, he could stand and walk. Shook up, of course. Someone else was taking pictures, someone was calling the cops, or an ambulance. I wasn’t an actual witness to the actual accident so I left after that.

Now the weekend is coming.

The red wire, or the blue wire?

The scene: a villain’s hide out. One wall is covered with monitors (salvaged b/w TV sets dating from the late 1960s/early 1970s) showing things going haywire around the globe. One wall is made of glass, beyond which hammerhead sharks circle in a tank of saltwater. A shoe containing a foot rests in the sand on the floor of the tank.

Villain: [running around looking flustered] OMG. Where’s that panic button? Is this the panic button, or the self-destruct button? OMG.

[Sound effect: a ringing telephone]

Villain: Hello?

Girl: Hi, dad.

Villain: Hi, kid.

Girl: How do I plug in the microphone?

Villain: Wut?

Girl: I want to play around with your new microphone. I’m sitting here at home in the cellar with the speaker, the mixer (I have the mic plugged in already) and all these cords and cables.

[Sound effect: klaxon signalling security breach, or re-entry of warheads, or both]

Villain: Eh, what?

Girl: No sound is coming out. What do I need to do? I’m just going to plug stuff in at random until it works, then I’ll know I got it right.

Villain: Er. That’s not so good. If you short something out, that would be bad, because I have a theremin performance tomorrow and need some of that gear.

[Sound effects: explosions, small-arms fire]

Villain: Listen. The mixer and the speaker must be plugged into a power source. Their cords are in a white plastic bag in a black cloth bag beside the speaker. Got it?

Girl: There’s only a blue bag.

[Sound effects: henchmen falling into shark tank, splash, snap]

Villain: Listen, okay, blue bag. Full of a mess of cables. The speaker cord is in there. The mixer cord is either in there or loose in the black bag.

Girl: What’s it look like?

Villain: Heavy small black cube with cords coming out two sides. One has a round end that plugs into the back of the mixer,the other end is a normal electrical plug.

Computer voice: Lair will self-destruct in four minutes.

Villain: Sorry if I’m short, honey, I’m a little distracted right now.

Girl: Okay.

Villain: After you get the power sources hooked up, you then need to connect the mixer output to the speaker input.

Girl: I have a cable in the speaker already. Which hole does it go into in the mixer?

Computer voice: Self-destruct in three minutes, thirty seconds.

Villain: Um, what do they say? They should be labeled. Not control room or headphones. Output or line out or something.

[Sound effects: Lasers. Pew-pew-pew!]

[Sound effects: cutting torch]

Girl: Main out?

Villain: Yes, sounds good. L or R should both work for the mic.

Girl: Okay, thanks, dad!

Villain: Have fun, honey. Bye.

[Sound effect: Dial tone.]

Computer voice: Self-destruct in two minutes, thirty seconds.

Villain: [Slaps forehead] Gah! I forgot to tell her to turn on the speaker. She’ll figure that out, right?