Somewhere around 5:30 this morning (i.e. half an hour before my alarms normally go off, and an hour before I normally get out of bed), my dreams started incorporating a loud and persistant "chirp." One of these "chirps" finally yanked me out of sweet, sweet sleep. It was a loud beep that reasserted itself every couple minutes. I got up and looked around. Surely, it must be my cell phone alerting me that it had run out of battery. Alas, no, the cell phone was plugged in and fully charged. I checked my CPAP machine, which doesn't normally churp, but perhaps it was unhappy for some reason. Alas, no, the CPAP machine wasn't plugged in. I climbed back into bed, confused. After a minute or so of silence, I realized it must be the fire alarm running out of batteries. Sure enough, after a couple minutes the thing "chirped" again, from the direction of the fire alarm, nearly scaring the living daylights out of me. You have to understand that, in order for this thing to wake me up (even if it did take a few times), it had to be loud. I use two alarm clocks to wake me up, and that sometimes doesn't cut it. My apartment has a high ceiling, so the fire alarm is located pretty high up, giving the "chirp" quite an acoustic dome to echo off of. Suffice it to say, it were loud.
The dang thing went off every five minutes (perhaps more frequently; I can't estimate time periods), ripping me from sleep each time. I wasn't comfortable climbing up on an insubstantial chair while half asleep without my contact lenses in (and I sure as heck weren't gonna put my contacts in at 5 freakin' 30 in the marnin'.) So I slept with my pillow over my head until 6am, put my contact lenses in, and climbed up on said insubstantial chair.
Wouldn't you know, the dern thing was still out of reach. Damn high ceilings. I had to tolerate that thing giving me mini heart attacks for the next hour, until I could leave for work. Sorry, neighbors. I left a message for the landlord to change the batteries, but he never returned my call. The chirping stopped by the time I got home this evening, so either he changed the batteries, or they ran themselves out and my apartment is unprotected. I reckon I'm happy either way, as long as that stupid "chirp" is gone.
(Sorry for the white-trash accent. I just watched three episodes in a row of "My Name Is Earl.")