I've written often about why I'm not allowed to sleep soundly these days. Sometimes it's the nocturnal thrashing and dashing of my lovely (and dangerous) wife that keeps me awake. Other nights my own brain seems determined to go into overdrive just when hers has finally decided to shut down for the night. This past Friday night brought a brand new source of misery to my bedroom, and all I can say in retrospect is "Wow... "
A while back I wrote about the microwave in our kitchen that had developed a habit of cooking for us whether we were hungry or not. It would just fire up, even though we were out of the room, and cook "air" for us while we watched television or played Scrabble on the deck. The first few times this happened I was here alone, but one night while we were in the living room the thing cranked up, rotating plate and all. We both heard it start, went into the kitchen and watched in amazement as the timer screen flashed various cooking functions and times at us. I hit the "stop" button, and was ignored. It just kept cooking. So I unplugged the microwave, gave it a moment, then plugged it back in. Before we could even settle back down on the couch it was at it again, cooking away.
It's now unplugged unless we're using it. Them's the rules. I'm not buying a new one if THIS one still works, and I'm not plugging it back in unless we're using it. A house fire is the last thing we need around here.
But a few nights ago we had a friend over for dinner, and afterward we were watching a Ron White comedy video on television in the living room when suddenly, out of nowhere, the TV in our bedroom began to blare rap music at us. I went into the bedroom and turned the offending noise off. That LG brand television had once been the TV of choice in our house, but had developed a habit of flashing the menu screen at us in the middle of viewing, even though we weren't touching the remote. After a while, this became annoying enough to warrant a trip to a repair shop. They kept it for a couple of weeks and couldn't replicate the problem. Maybe it was our DVD or cable box hookup?
We brought it home, hooked it back up, and within a day or two the glitchy bullshit was happening again. Out of frustration (and the fear that this device was going to interfere with my college football habit) I yanked the plug on it, and we purchased another television. We kept the glitchy one on the hearth in front of our fireplace for a few months, but on a whim I carried it back to the bedroom a couple of weeks ago, just to see if it might have "healed" itself, and for two weeks it performed flawlessly.
Until the other night when we had company. I turned it off that night, and thought nothing else about it other than "wasn't that strange?"
Anyway, that brings me back to Friday night. Because I had to shoot a triathlon early on Saturday morning, we went to bed early in the absurd hope that we could get some sleep before a very busy day. At about four AM we were both sound asleep... a rare occurrence. And that's when the TV on the chest of drawers decided, once again, to play DJ for us... and again, the choice of entertainment was incredibly loud rap music. We don't listen to rap. There's no way we left the television tuned to that particular On-Demand channel. It just picked rap music out for our musical entertainment, and fired itself up.
I nearly shit the bed.
I mean, it's one thing to hear a noise in the night that wakes you up, even a loud one that jolts you awake with the fear that an intruder has entered the house. It's quite another to hear bass-thumping rap lyrics yelled at you from the foot of your bed, at a volume level just shy of the threshold of pain when you're sound asleep. Seriously, I spun around like Linda Blair's head in The Exorcist. For just an instant, I thought my bowels were going to let loose. I now believe that to be my basic instinctive defense mechanism in action. Some animals spray noxious fluids when frightened. I'm beginning to think my own method is something similar, only with less propulsion behind the discharge.
The remote control on the bed table did nothing to stop the cacophony, either. I had to get up and unplug the television to shut it off. That's another thing... These modern flat screen TVs don't have controls on the front of the sets like standard televisions used to have. They hide the controls along the bottom or side of the screen, and believe me when I say those hidden controls are hard to find when the room's dark and you're trying not to crap down your leg.
Four AM. Wide awake. Both of us laughing, because, after all, what the fuck? Seriously, what the fuck?
We seem to have a poltergeist in the house turning on our appliances, and I'm beginning to think our ghost used to be a DJ.
And people wonder why I'm a nervous wreck...