Batteries For Smoke Detectors

by A.G. Pasquella


That annoying high-pitched bleat, like an electronic sheep being stabbed in its sleep

Balancing precariously on a chair, arms to the sky like a stick-up victim

(Don't look down)

Frustrating fumble of fingers-- clockwise?  Is that like streetwise?  Turn it Counterstreetwise like some Egghead Professor doing The Twist in an Ivory Tower (don't forget to analyze the lyrics)

Climb down from the summit back to base camp-- sherpas making yak butter tea on your bedroom floor (hope they don't see the dust mites)

Time to get technical-- imbibe the spark of mechanical life (Star Trek had days like this)

Watts & Volts, Attorneys At Law-- you can't afford our fees, son

Hired mourners draped in black veils wail and beat their fists against the wall

Solemn Cop shakes his head.  “That battery only had two days left until retirement.”  

Crack open the roof-- raise the battery on a platform with chains

up into the lightning


When the battery gets too powerful, chase it across the arctic with a team of Sled Dogs.

Sled Dog #1:  “We really gave it One Hundred And Ten Percent.  We really came together as a team, we played really hard and we just want to thank God for getting us into the playoffs.”

In the bleachers, one of the sherpas nudges my ribs.  “Psst, AGP-- why are you watching Sled Dogs play basketball?  Don't you have batteries to change?”

“Oh shit!”  As always, the sherpa is 100% correct.  That smoke won't detect itself!  

CUT TO:  black cloud of smoke wearing a Sherlock Holmes hat (I believe they are called “deerstalker”, no doubt because of all those deer Sherlock Holmes killed by leaping out of trees and ripping out their throats with his teeth.  Elementary, My Dear Watson!) and a magnifying glass:  “Yes, yes... I do believe I'm picking up a faint whiff of myself.  Watson, mark it in the log book!”  Who is Watson to Sherlock Smoke?

A Zen Monk bobs his wizened head.  “Ah yes-- when you have solved this mystery, you will be ready.”

“Look man,” I say, “Spiritual Enlightenment is all well and good but I just need some batteries.  If there's a fire I might lose my precious collection of random crap.  I plan to burden I mean pass down that crap to my offspring.  And oh yeah I want to keep my offspring safe, too.” 

OffSpring-- that's the excess moisture a cool mountain spring releases into the atmosphere.  Adolf Coors chases the vapor with a butterfly net to make new Coors Super Light.  Irate customers pursue Adolf over the mountaintops:  “Say man!  You claim this here beer is the “Silver Bullet” but my Grandma threw a can at a werewolf and it didn't do shit!”

That beer has expired.  


Run to the circus & buy a balloon 

and then during the next full moon

rub the balloon across a werewolf's fur

watch the static sparks dance in the dark

Captured in a bottle like fireflies

caught by children caught in amber memory

of summertime dusk

and Grandparents.


Press Test:  Angry Bleat Of Irate Sheep.  Climb down from your perch and pour the sherpas a beer.