Another Alarming Night In The Life Of Al Bruno III
Al Bruno III
I got home at 11:45 PM; I would have gotten home around 11:30 if that policeman hadn't pulled me over and ordered me to stop singing 'The Pina Colada Song' with the car windows open.
Everyone's a critic.
Once I was home I all but ran into my office, eager to get back to work on my new novel. This project had been my all-consuming obsession for some time- in my quest to complete it I had ignored all other distractions like FACEBOOK and MYSPACE and that Nigerian Prince that needs me to send him more money.
What is my novel about you ask? Well since my stuff rarely gets published I'll tell you. My new novel is a tender coming of age story set in a small town, in it a teenage boy learns some valuable life lessons that set him on the road to adulthood.
Then on page 85 the flesh-eating baboons attack the high school and things REALLY get interesting!
However there was one thing standing between me and creating true art. The dogs.
You know about my dogs right? Jake my neurotic tail-less rat terrier and Maddie my oversized overzealous Labrador retriever? The only reason we have those dogs is because I was assured by my daughter and my wife that they would take care of them.
Apparently taking care of the dogs does not include walking them.
I tried to ignore the noise coming from the other side of my office door but the sound of all that whining and begging reminded me too much of my Honeymoon to get any work done. So walk time it was. The leash I used allowed me to walk both dogs at the same time so I could have my other hand free to carry a flashlight.
The flashlight is a very important part of this nightly ritual because when I blunder across some nocturnal creature I always like to know exactly what it was that made me scream like a woman.
With that mission accomplished I went back to my office, slipped into something more comfortable and started writing.
But then the smoke alarms went off.
All five of them.
As you can imagine the house erupted into disarray, the dogs were barking in panic, my daughter was crying and my wife was screaming "AL WHAT HAVE YOU DONE THIS TIME?"
Not very fair on her part I admit but there are precedents.
First we looked for signs of a fire.
Then we looked for smoke.
Then we looked for carbon monoxide.
Didn't see any of that either.
So I got the stepladder and hit the reset button on each alarm. Blessed silence filled the apartment. Then it started all over again.
We called the apartment complex's emergency maintenance help line and at first they weren't willing to help us because they couldn't hear what we were saying over the blaring alarms.
Finally I took the phone outside and gave them the relevant information.
My next door neighbor opened her door to see what all the fuss was about but once she saw me standing there in my DR. WHO underpants and fuzzy slippers she just went back inside.
And locked her door.
And I am pretty sure I heard her barricading herself in.
What are you laughing at? I said I slipped into something more comfortable didn't I?
Oh well. 45 noisy minutes later the maintenance man showed up and got everything fixed. It turns out all the smoke alarms had gone bad at once. By the time everyone was calmed down and back to bed it was almost 1 AM.
I tried to get back to my novel I really did but I fell asleep at my desk.
Still though I promised myself that before heading into work I would get some writing done- the wife would be at work, the kid would be at school and the dogs would be busy chewing our pillows to shreds.
Nothing could get in my way. After all I wasn't going to fritter away my precious time writing an essay about why I had no time to write would I?
... Oh drat.