Creepy Beeps

The list of things that wake us up at night continues to grow: Thirsty bulldog, frightened bulldog, bulldog that has to pee, vomiting bulldog, loud husband farts, my summertime night terrors about spiders, suddenly remembering all the stuff I forgot to do, owls and the latest….our ADT security system. It’s being a total pill.

We got ADT after my car was broken into about 3 years ago. It was one of the rare times I parked in the driveway overnight. Thankfully, nothing was taken as the only thing of remote value that was in my car was an outdated 2007 iPod Nano which apparently, the thieves were too good for. They emptied out my glove compartment and center console and left a mess of insurance papers on the floor. The cops said it was probably teenagers but whoever it was, they were (thankfully) of entry level because they could have hit the garage door opener and broke into our house.

We had the system installed and experienced the typical new user learning curve of forgetting to unarm the system before opening the back door in the morning to let the dogs out. It only took us a few times of sirens, lights and running around the house while our asses were being singed by lasers, to figure out how to coexist peacefully with the security system.

Months went by and my husband was out of town one night on business. I armed the system and settled (stumbled) into bed with a bottle of wine and one of the bulldogs and passed out around midnight….ish. I was awakened by a very serious sounding beep around 1:30 AM. Not a friendly sounding chirp like your smoke alarm will do when you are low on batteries, but a very stern beep. As of if to say “Awaken human. The time for reckoning has come.”

Never hearing this kind of beep before, let alone in the middle of the night, the first thing that came to mind was that the system had been breached and someone was inside our house. Thoughts of hiding, trying to outsmart the bulger and/or rapist with useless trivia (Did you know that Eagle Eye Cherry is the brother of Nena Cherry who hit The Buffalo Stance was a hit back in 1990?) and regrets that my handgun was unloaded in its case downstairs ran through my head. I quickly ran to the display of the keypad in our bedroom and read the following: “Phone System Failure”.

failure. Failure. FAILURE!!!! The word bounced around in my half-awake head…….!!!!!…”Phone? System? Failure? Wha….how?”. I flipped on the light and glanced at Peterbilt who was laying on bed, barely awake, shooting me a look like “You suck at life. Turn off the lights.”  Stupid alarm. Stupid husband.  I was seriously wishing he was home so I could go back to cowering under the blankets and he could battle off the bad guy.

After a few minutes of huddling in a corner and rocking back and forth, I remembered the details that the ADT lesbian who installed the system told me: The phone line was in our basement so that a burglar could not disable security system from the outside. I took another swig of wine and wiped the snot-fangs from my nose after realizing……I am safe. No one would have gotten into the house without the siren sounding. I looked at the bed: Peterbilt was casually licking his junk and since he tends to bark at anything, even when he sees our neighbor’s bathroom light going on (Hey, Hon! Frank’s pooping again!) I figured a person in the house would have set him off.

I grabbed my cell phone and dialed the toll free number on the keypad. I was greeted by a less than enthusiastic male voice. “Hello? I was sleeping and my alarm just made a noise and it says “Phone System Failure”. Can you tell me what happened?”, I asked.

“Press the ‘Star’ key ma’am.”

“Ok, I just did, but what does Phone System Failure mean?”, I asked again.

“Press the ‘Star key again, please”, he said, the annoyance in his voice growing.

“Ok. I just did it again.”

“Ok, that should clear it from your display. Thank you for calling A—”

“Whoa!”, I interjected. “You didn’t answer my question about the system failure. What happened?”

He answered, “Ma’am? Is your display reading just the time and date now?” You could almost hear him face palming.


“Then the problem has been cleared. It shouldn’t happen again. Thank you for calling ADT.” Click.


Had I been of sound mind (and sober for that matter) I’d have made him two new assholes. Here I was, woken up in the middle of the night by a strange beep, with a nondescript message, calling him up at 1:30 AM to ask for help and he’s pissed off at me?

Oh hell no.

Things went OK for another few months but then the Phone System Failure started happening again. This time, my husband was home with me. It seriously freaked him out. To the point where he’s got the gun and he’s heading down to the basement to look at the control box. Which woke up Mack. Which, even though it’s 2 AM, Mack thinks it’s time for breakfast. Which, unless you want to be driven insane, you might as well feed him something or else the shrieking will never end. Then Peterbilt starts to stir because he wants his, too. And then husband decides he’s kinda hungry, too………do we have any string cheese?

Might as well start a pot of coffee and get a head start on my emails………

Phone System Failure , or PSF as we now call it, keeps happening but I’m starting to notice a pattern. It usually happens between the 18th – 20th of each month, just once. I’ve been writing down when it happens on a calender so I can build up a case. Yes, I’m totally getting all Erin Brockovich on their asses.  If i’m gonna get lip again from ADT, I’m totally going to blow them out of the water. I’m talking credit our account for at least one month’s fee because YOU SUCK! And send someone out here! They can even spend the night on the 18th, downstairs with Mack on his old shitty couch. He’d love a sleepover.

Before I call, I want to ask: Anybody out there have this problem before? Feel free to also rant about your security system service, or hell cable service for that matter. Comcast is next on my shit list……

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