Woodshed Spanking Blog


Bethany's domestic discipline diary.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Problem with Smoke Detectors

The first thing that everyone needs to know is that I hate smoke detectors. I know they probably save 50 billion lives a year, and they’re the best thing to happen to safety in America since seat belts, but I still hate them. Why? It’s simple. They irritate me.

The first problem with smoke detectors is that they must be installed on ceilings. If someone would invent a floor-mounted smoke detector, I’d be fine with them. But there’s an issue with anything in my house that’s on (or near) the ceiling: I am short – really short – and I can’t reach it. The second problem with smoke detectors is that – in general – they go off as a result of MY every day activities: cooking with oil, starting fires in the fireplace without remembering to open the flue, etc. The third problem with smoke detectors is that they always seem to go off when no one else is home, leaving me with a kitchen filled with smoke and a dreadful shrieking noise that I can’t stop. Usually the dog starts howling and the phone rings at the same time. Often the UPS man, who must lie in wait just around the corner from my house, takes this as his signal to show up, needing a signature, as well. In short, smoke detectors irritate me because they cause chaos in my life. I don’t know why everyone can’t see it this way.

In particular, I don’t know why JIM can’t see it this way. But he doesn’t.

So, this is the second thing everyone needs to know: Jim has a different perspective than me. Jim grew up in a rural area, where many people lived in wooden houses which were heated with wood or coal. Devastating fires happened to people he actually knew. I grew up in a city. People lived in brick houses. House fires were something you’d hear about on the news or in the paper occasionally. The message I got as a kid was, don’t play with matches, turn your Christmas tree lights off, and all will be well.

Nevertheless, as soon as smoke detectors were invented my first husband and I went out and got a couple, and installed them. This lasted until the first time one went off (probably about two days later) at which point I smashed it to smithereens with a broom handle. He was a bit perturbed by that, but simply replaced it. After I smashed the second one, he got more testy. I – happily – got smart, and as soon as he replaced THAT one and left the room, I climbed up on a chair and took the battery out of it. So that worked for many years – I lived in houses with sturdily installed smoke detectors none of which had batteries. Fortunately, my first husband was the sort of man who would forget about things. Like why the batteries in our smoke detectors lasted for nine years – that sort of thing. I don’t think he ever figured it out.

Well, that didn’t actually cut it with Jim. Jim checks things like smoke detector batteries. He has this schedule – every year on New Year’s Day, he goes around and changes batteries. The first time he did that and found every one of the smoke detectors sans battery, he was pretty shocked. My very reasonable explanation: that I’m short and they irritate me – didn’t really go very far with him. He put it succinctly: “You screw with the smoke detectors again, I’ll bust your ass.” He didn’t actually say “screw,” he said something else, but you get the picture.

So – for many years now – I’ve lived in this uneasy state of truce with the smoke detectors. I still hate them, they still irritate me, but for many years, I’ve coped. Until last weekend.

As has been posted on this blog recently, Jim and I are again living apart some of the time, as he works in one state and I am still in another with one of the kids. Our possessions are split between two houses, and many of the things we’d like to do to our new (and final house) in Virginia haven’t been done yet, like putting a cover on part of the deck. When we cook out there, we just push the grill out of the garage. Last weekend, it was raining very hard, and I wanted to cook steaks. So I pushed the grill barely to the front of the attached garage, and fired it up.

Well, this house is completely equipped with fancy and sensitive smoke detectors, including one IN the garage, a fact I was unaware of. Come to think of it, who puts smoke detectors in the garage? Regardless, someone had and this one, being a sensitive model and only about four feet from the "fire," was going off full force within seconds – followed very quickly by the one in the “mother-in-law suite” which is above the garage. At this moment in time, the steaks also actually did burst into flames and the dogs - who seem to think that the smoke detector is a fellow wolf - started howling like coyotes. It hadn’t been a good day on a lot of fronts, and I basically lost it. (The only thing missing was the UPS man. I am sure he would have been there but it was Sunday.)

Jim has guns. You may be wondering why this is relevant, so I’ll tell you. The other thing our new house is equipped with is a pond. Our pond has a “stand pipe” with a “cover.” (I don’t know why.) From time to time, when he’s bored, Jim goes out on the deck and shoots at the cover on the stand pipe with a pellet gun. This apparently is “fun.”

So – set the scene in your mind. My steaks are burning, two smoke detectors are shrieking into the night so loudly that I’m sure the neighbors will be calling 911, the dogs are barking… and the gun is sitting right there. I mean, come on. It was a no-brainer. I simply picked up the pellet gun, intending to blast the smoke detector in the garage into little (quiet) pieces.

Jim saw me walking into the garage with the pellet gun and immediately became somewhat concerned. (“Somewhat concerned” is a euphemism, unfortunately.) To be more exact, he went ballistic. I guess the sight of one’s wife armed in the house is troubling, or something.

As Jim and I have both implied on this blog before, “real” spankings are mostly a thing of the past for me. But – as I found out last Sunday evening – “mostly” and “completely” are two different things. I was – ahem – relieved of the gun in short order. He then calmly turned off the grill, turned off the two smoke detectors, saved the steaks, got the dogs to shut up (no, he didn’t shoot them) and then took me up to our bed room, where he, also calmly and deliberately, put me over the bed and spanked my bare ass with the paddle he made me when we first met. The one with the waffle pattern.

One forgets, sadly, when one is mostly playing happy little spanky games, how much a REAL spanking hurts. Particularly delivered by a large and angry (though calm) man. And spankings that begin with me not in the frame of mind to receive one can be particularly intense. I mean, friends, look at it from my point of view, OK? What did I really do? What was the ACTUAL crime? I walked from Point A to Point B (about twelve feet) with a gun in my hand. (Which was not loaded, I feel compelled to point out, so my “big plan,” if you can call it that, would not even have worked.) However, this argument really did not cut it with Jim.

So the outcome was that I got spanked, good and hard. He said a lot of things about intent and poor attitude and guns in the house. I came around to his way of thinking eventually, which I will type here for you: smoke detectors are our friends. Smoke detectors save lives. Women who tamper with smoke detectors WILL get their butts busted. And one other thing: Waffle paddles leave waffle patterns on bare skin.

Just thought you’d all want to know.


At 3:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay- I usually don't post comments to your blog, although I avidly read.... this time however, I just can't resist!!! That has got to be one of the funniest things I've read in a VERY long time!!!!! Thank you for spicing up an otherwise irritating afternoon- now perhaps, I'll make it through the profoundly irritating 'Merry Christmas' dinner with my husband's boss.... at least I'll have this story to think on and make me laugh when my eyes are rolling into the back of my head.... Thanks again! Katie

At 1:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing, Bethany! I haven't posted here before, either, but I want you to know that I love the new format of your blog and that last entry was the best yet!


At 9:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I so feel for you. I hate smoke detectors too. The one in my apartment goes off every time (and I mean EVERY TIME) I take a shower. I hate it!

At 3:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Never posted here before either but I do AGREE: I HATE smoke detectors. I live in a house with three seperate departments and in one of them my cousin and her husband live. A house made of STONE. And THEY have smoke detectors. AND they had one left. SO SMART (NOT) husband of hers installed one in the COMMON HALLWAY (only stone out there). Two weeks ago I almost went mad because of an irritating screach coming from somewhere out side in irregular intervalls. I don't know how often I ran out there to check on this stupid sound. At least ten times. I searched for an animal, closed windows and door.........JUST TO FIND OUT 24 hours later that the battery of the silly smoke detector in the hallway was empty.... ! I would have shot the thing down as WELL.


At 12:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also don't usually comment, but this has brought a smile to my face more than once as I thought of it this week. You're a very good writer and tell a very funny story! I'd love to hear more of those "real spanking" stories from the past.

Thanks for sharing!

At 7:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, Bethany, but that was so entertaining! I should probably apologize for laughing at your expense, but you wrote it in such a clever way and it was deliciously familiar (except YOU were the one getting spanked!)

BTW, is that where the inspiration for the Bethany paddle you sell came from? We have one of those, so I am familiar with its effects. I didn't know that it was a copy of one so special!

Thanks for sharing your story. I find smoke detectors irritating too, but necessary, so I sympathize with you, even though Jim was right to do what he did.

At 12:11 PM, Anonymous Terri said...

Couldn't agree with you more about how annoying smoke detectors are!!! Some idiot in designing my apartment decided to put one on the wall (way up high near the ceiling) RIGHT BESIDE THE STOVE/OVEN!!! The following kitchen events have set the dang thing off; making toast, opening the oven door to take the pizza out, BOILING WATER!

It's wired into the electric, so no battery to disable it. However, I have covered the thing with a wash cloth, thereby pretty efectively shutting it up :). I figure if there IS a real fire, the wash cloth will burn up and let the thing go off and do it's job.

Sorry about the 'real' spanking, and you've reminded me why we don't have anything with a waffle pattern in our toy drawer LOL!

Happy New Year and here's hoping you and Jim are back in the same state again soon :)

At 2:59 PM, Blogger lola said...

I totally echo Katie's comments. [first-time reader, led via SpankingBlog.com] This has to be one of the most hilarious and completely relatable stories I've read in a long time. I'm thinking of forwarding it to my mom, who I can just see laughing her butt off, but I'm not sure she'd "get" the spanking part.

At 6:12 PM, Anonymous Louise said...

This is an absolutely hilarious story! I hate smoke detectors too, but shooting ours out is not really an option, guns not being readily available in the UK.

I haven't done anything that has seriously annoyed my husband for a while now, the dial on the spankometre has mostly been at 'mildly irritated' rather than 'severly pissed off' for the last few months, but tampering with the smoke alarms would definitely merit a 'seriously pissed off' one. I miss the dramatic intensity of the 'seriously pissed off' ones, but I think shooting the smoke alarm might be rather too drastic a way of getting one.


At 9:42 AM, Blogger giveswhatuneed aka:"BenDover" said...

I'm reminded of Ron White from the Blue Collar Comedy Tour who found he had to tell his wife that the smoke detector is NOT a cooking timer.

At 9:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for reminding us all that no matter the age a fit, is still a fit, which we will be punished for and that in hind-sight our punishment story can be very funny (if you have the right kind of man). Thanks for sharing.

At 7:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like clock work, I check your blog each week hoping to find another story of the "Life of Jim and Bethany". Sorry to say, you have not had time to update your blog for sometime now. Darn... I do hope this doesn't mean the two of you are too busy for each other, too. Anyway, I send you well wishes and do hope to soon find additional heartwarming stories you have time to share.

Take Care My Dear Friends!

Love ya,

At 1:17 AM, Blogger Karen said...

I really enjoyed your story, and also virtually never post comments, but...

I have to tell you that I hate smoke detectors too, and to reduce the unwanted butt bustings, and increase the welcome kind, a large cookie sheet fanning hard at the smoke detector works pretty quickly if you've stopped the source of your fire, even if fanning from 4 feet away. Just wave it hard to move the air around the detector. works like a charm.

My personal favorite, however, is when I purchased a set of earphones like the ones the guys on the tarmac at the airport wear while moving luggage in and out of planes, and last time I just put them on and calmly went about my cooking, irreverently ignoring the blaring nuisance. My husband finally got up off his ass to find out why it was STILL going off, and he took care of the problem. After a few rounds of this, he was willing to relocate the damn thing far enough away from the kitchen where it would work if there was a FIRE, but was far less likely to go off over a little burning popcorn.

Anyway, I love you guys.


At 2:16 PM, Blogger Joannie said...

I miss reading your posts, Bethany and Jim... Surely there's been some spanking going on...? I'll tell on me if you go first. WEG


At 9:51 AM, Blogger Joannie said...

Jim, it's time for another post here... I KNOW Miss Bethany has to have been spanked a few times since she attacked the poor smoke detector.... WEG

At 10:53 PM, Anonymous Morgan Logan said...

I really enjoyed reading this entry. I am having trouble sleeping and I like to visit your site when I can. This story has just lightened my mood. Too funny!! I am sure your butt didn't think so, but thanks for sharing.

At 10:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In case I had forgotten what a great experience reading "Bethany" is after all these years, one visit back and I found myself thoroughly entertained once again. You haven't lost your style.

Sorry about the paddling, my friend.

Barbara (Hbtcontrol)


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