Stupid Birds

To give you some idea of how far back 64 years of life will take you, I can remember taking our old rotary phone apart and seeing some bells inside, with a small clapper between them. When the phone rang, it actually rang. Alarm clocks had bells inside. or sometimes outside. Clocks had chimes for their on-the-hour notifications. Pianos plucked strings, and organs required pumping up so the air could blow across tubes of air.

One hardly sees a bell anymore. The sounds that notify us of important events are all electronic. For me the one that tends to get my attention is my fire department pager, which I carry all the time, and is on the dresser at night while I’m asleep. In the years I’ve been doing the fire department work, my body has entered into a symbiotic relationship with the electronic beeps the pager makes. Regardless of what I’m doing at the time, the page gets my heart rate up, the adrenaline going, and I’m out the door and on the road before I really even know what I’m doing.

Add to the pager the kitchen timers that beep, cell phones, ipods, etc. etc. No more rings, but lots and lots of beeps.

The other morning, a spring bird was messing with me with its song. I was fast asleep when my eyes snapped open and the blood was roaring in my ears. I was subconsciously listening for the officials at our dispatch to explain where the fire department run was, the nature of the run, etc. But no voice came on. Puzzled I sat up and listened harder. Then I heard a faint bird call off in the distance that one could confuse with the sound my pager makes. I was able to go to sleep again, but my last thoughts were, “stupid bird!”

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