When we left on Monday, I was yelling at Bob to unplug his Cpap machine because I believed that was what was making all the racket. I was wrong. His machine had already been unplugged.
He gets up and checks the sitting room (I don’t know why) while I put on my shoes (I have difficulty walking without my orthotics) and grab my eyeglasses from the nightstand. I know the precious seconds I spend doing that actually save me time I’d waste fumbling around if I didn’t. Bob puts his pants on and grabs his shirt.
By now we have figured out that it is the fire alarm going off. You’d think I’d be a little scared, but instead I was annoyed. I was a teacher for 13 years. My first thought was “Why in the world is the fire department conducting a fire drill in a hotel? Is this town nuts? “ It occurs to me while I tie my shoes that it’s probably just me who is nuts. Obviously it’s not a fire drill. Some kid pulled the fire alarm. Oh well. I always taught my students that each fire drill is to be treated as if it was a real fire so that we know what to do if it is ever necessary. I remember reading in a hotel room once that if the fire alarm goes off, I should feel the door to make sure it isn’t hot. I forgot what I was supposed to do if it was, but decided I could read the door containing fire instructions if the door felt hot. Better to waste a couple minutes than to panic and do the wrong thing. My husband, God bless him, did not even ask why I was feeling the door. (It turns out that one should NOT open the door if it is hot, because there is a fire in the hall.) After being married to me for almost fourteen years, he has learned to just deal with the oddness that is I, and I have done the same for him.
The door was not hot, so I did not bother reading any directions, I just opened the door and walked out into the hallway. Standing in front of the elevator was an elderly couple arguing. He wanted to take the elevator, and she wanted to take the stairs. I stopped being a teacher a few years ago, but that bossing people around habit in me never died. I pointed out the sign on the elevator stating that in case of fire one must take the stairs, and suggested that following directions when the fire alarm was blaring was the safest bet. This couple was sprier than me, and beat me to the stairs; I’m shamed to say.
Another elderly woman in the hall asked me if I thought we were in any danger. I said that the only person in danger is the kid who must’ve pulled the alarm, because I was going to gut him like a pig and have a wienie roast in the parking lot. She asked if I really thought it was a prank. I said it doesn’t matter, the fire department will demand that we leave once they arrive, so we may as well move at our own pace now.
Bob is a sweet husband who tried to wait for me along the stairs, even though I kept yelling at him as if he was one of my second graders “GO! GO! GO!” It did occur to me somewhere between the elevator and the stairs that there was a possibility this could be the real thing.
Since Bob had his pants on, he had the keys to the van, so we climbed in it to wait out the ruckus. Several minutes later we see two young men leaving the building with their packed things and entering their van. I got out of our van to ask if it was over, since they were allowed to get their things....
I am going to end the post here for now. Why? Because the rest of this post is about 400 words long. You do know now that I got out alive. The question remains: did I have to gut some teenager in the parking lot and serve him on buns with relish for pulling a fire alarm and waking me up at 4 am? Am I posting from prison? How is Governor Ryan anyway? The conclusion to this story will appear on Sunday. I KNOW! SUNDAY! I never blog on Sunday... I think I can make an exception just this once.