How to stop the beep

How to Stop the Beep

When you’re home, and you hear a sporadic beep, assume the smoke detector’s battery is dead. Poke around the bottom drawer of the filing cabinet where you keep miscellaneous junk for a 9-volt battery (they are square). Take the opportunity to gather the rechargeable batteries that have fallen out of the old margarine tub marked, rechargeable batteries, and put them back in. Snap the cover on securely.

Drag the small stool that your daughter used to use to brush her teeth, but hasn’t needed for years, out of the corner of the hallway where it’s been because you can’t bear to part with it, and put it under the smoke detector. Step up. Slide the indented piece of plastic out until right before you will break it if you keep going. Use your middle finger, the only one that still has a long enough fingernail to do the job, to pry the dead battery out of its socket.

The old battery and the new battery are identical. Do not forget which hand the old battery is in. On second thought, step off the stool and put the old battery on top of the bookcase in the hallway. Step back up on the stool. I neglected to tell you to note the position of the battery before you took it out, my bad, so crane your neck to see how it goes in. Try to force the battery into place.

The battery is not going to go in. You will need to go down to the basement to get an old chair to stand on so you can see how to put it in correctly. While you are standing on the chair, with the new battery in your hand, you will hear the beep again. It is not coming from the smoke detector.

Put the new battery, which is still in your hand, back in the file drawer. Do not stop to rewind the extension cords you find there. Return the chair to the basement. Leave the old battery where it is, retreat to your office, and shut the door.


How to Stop the Beep was written for an assignment to create a “How To” story. I hope you liked it.


7 responses to “How to stop the beep

  1. Pingback: Judy Mintz: How to stop the beep « NESCBWI Kidlit Reblogger

  2. I love it! Can I use this as a sample for teaching Process-Analysis essays?

  3. You forgot the part ‘give up until the tall spouse comes home and solves the problem’.

  4. I love it too! Can I use it for teaching the difference between guffaw,chuckle, chortle and belly laugh?

  5. What if I’m so short, I still can’t reach the smoke detector with a stool? Should I add books? Another footstool? I anxiously await your second installment.

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