By Jerry Zezima
Hearst Connecticut Media Group
I am not easily alarmed, except when I look in the mirror to shave, but my house is. That’s because the alarm keeps blaring. According to Judy, who works for the alarm company, the reason is simple:
The house is haunted.
“What other explanation can there be?” Judy asked after she called me at 1 a.m. on a stormy night. The call woke me out of a sound sleep in which I dreamed that the alarm was blaring.
Actually, it was, as Judy helpfully pointed out when I picked up the phone.
“I can’t hear you,” I told her. “The alarm is blaring.”
“Turn it off,” Judy politely instructed me.
“What?” I said.
“TURN IT OFF!” yelled Judy, whose ears must have been ringing even more than mine.
I went to the keypad in the kitchen and punched in the security code, which in my semiconscious state I temporarily forgot (when you have 147 different passwords for various things, it’s tough to keep track).
After the alarm stopped blaring and my hearing was restored, I told Judy about the storm.
“Do you have a lot of wind?” she asked.
“I did after dinner,” I responded, “but I’m feeling much better now.”
“The problem is coming from Zone 12,” Judy reported.
“I’m usually in the Twilight Zone,” I said.
“Is that where you are now?” Judy asked.
“Yes,” I said. “It’s the family room.”
“Check the slider,” she said.
“We have French doors,” I told her. “And I don’t even speak French.”
“Is the door ajar?” Judy inquired.
It was all I could do to keep from making another stupid joke, so I checked it and said, “Yes.”
“Do you want me to call the police?” Judy asked.
“No,” I said. “I don’t want to go back to prison.”
“You were in prison?” Judy spluttered.
“Yes,” I replied honestly. “Rikers Island.”
“For how long?” she wanted to know.
“About six hours,” I responded, explaining that I was there several years ago to talk about writing to young detainees who were in school at the maximum-security facility. “My columns are criminal,” I added, “but I was paroled anyway. I must have been a bad influence on the inmates.”
“If nobody forced the door open,” Judy theorized, “it was probably the wind.”
“This isn’t the first time it’s happened,” I said. “We’ve gotten calls from the alarm company about the motion sensor in the living room.”
“That’s Zone 10,” Judy said. “Did anybody break in?”
“No,” I said. “The person who called the last time said it could have been the plants on the windowsill. It was during the day and I was out, so I had to rush home to see what was going on.”
“What was going on?” Judy wondered.
“I guess the plants were having a party,” I said.
“Maybe they needed to be watered,” Judy guessed.
“They were probably headed for the liquor cabinet in the dining room,” I said.
“That’s Zone 8,” Judy told me.
“Why does this keep happening?” I asked.
“There’s only one logical explanation,” Judy said. “Your house is haunted.”
“That would explain the spirits in the liquor cabinet,” I noted.
“Or,” Judy said, “your sensor in very sensitive.”
“It must have heard the bad things I’ve called it after the alarm has gone off so many times,” I said.
“Make sure all your doors and windows are tightly closed,” Judy said.
“Thank you,” I said. “You’ve been very helpful. I’m sorry you have to work so late, but I’m glad you’re alert.”
“That’s my job,” said Judy. “Have a good rest of the night.”
“You, too,” I said.
“Now,” Judy said, “you can sleep easier.”
“I will,” I said with a yawn. “Unless the alarm starts blaring again.”
Copyright 2020 by Jerry Zezima