Disclaimer (again): Please don’t judge the entire state of Alabama on my bad experiences. Things have been very difficult these past two years, but they may or may not have been as difficult if we were living in Idaho or North Carolina or Iran. I promise to tell stories later of good things about Alabama. Oh yes, the idiot I refer to in this post is ME.
Within days of moving to Alabama, we were highly encouraged by Tate’s co-workers and some acquaintances that we needed to get new license plates as soon as possible. In fact, we were told by more than one person that our Illinois license plates were likely to get us run off the road. Why the reason for the hostility?
Prior to moving to Alabama we had license plates that said “Go Vols” because we are huge fans of the Tennessee Volunteers. For those of you unfamiliar with college football, specifically SEC football, please understand that being a Vols fans in Alabama is likened to worshipping the devil or being a whacked out coke fiend.
So much for southern hospitality.
About a week after moving into our house, Tate had to go on a business trip. Our house has an alarm system and based on our less than welcoming experiences thus far in Alabama, we experimented with it, ensuring that it worked. We discovered that monitoring on a few of the windows had somehow been turned off. Unfortunately Tate wasn’t able to figure out how to get the monitoring turned back on for those windows before leaving on his business trip.
In my pregnancy-induced mania and continued shell shock from being robbed by our movers, I decided that it was absolutely necessary to get those windows monitored. I was convinced that some rabid Alabama fan or the thieving movers were going to break into our house. This was a dire emergency! I was in danger! *ahem*
I decided that I could fix this this problem. I began pushing buttons on the alarm box. I pushed lots of buttons. I pushed so many buttons on the box that I somehow set the alarm.
But guess what?
I had no code to deactivate the alarm.
And then guess what happened?
That’s right. The alarm started sounding. Verrrrrrry loudly. I panicked. I was certain that the police would be on their way, I mean all alarms sound directly to the police station, right!?! *ahem*
When the police didn’t show up after a few minutes and I was starting to lose my mind even more (pregnancy mania + ear piercing alarm + being home alone = disaster), I decided to call the police. They’re the police! They’re experienced in dire emergencies such as these right?!? *ahem*
So I went up the street to get away from the blaring alarm and get a cell phone signal and called the police. I tried to calmly explain my situation. It probably was sounded like, “[SOB, SOB] I set off [SOB] my house [SOB] alarm. I don’t [SOB] know [SOB] what [SOB] to [SOB] do [SOB, SOB].”
The woman “helping” me, asked me to explain my situation again. So I told her again, with even more sobbing that I’d set off the house alarm and didn’t know what to do. I could hear her snickering, which of course, made me cry even harder. She put me on hold, and a different person came on the line and asked me to explain, yet again, what my situation was. I told him my story with lots and lots of sobbing. He openly started laughing and said he had no idea what they were supposed to do about this. So I hung up on them. Jerks.
By this time, I’d created quite a scene and several neighbors had come to see what all the commotion was. My next door neighbor knew the previous owners of our home, called them, and they directed me to a phone number located on the alarm box in the master bedroom (they didn’t have the code, either). I was able to speak with someone from an alarm company who advised me to simply unplug the alarm and removed the battery from the main unit. In my craziness, this ridiculously simple solution never occurred to me.
And to recap…
1. Alabama fans really, really don’t like Tennessee fans.
2. The cops will laugh at you when you call them sounding like a raving lunatic.
3. My neighbors’ second impression of me was as a crying fool who’d set off her own house alarm. Remember their first impression was of me as a screaming banshee running up the street.
4. I’m an idiot.
I have no idea what’s in store for my next installment…Hmmm, maybe the vernacular of the Deep South?