Guess the Noise

Mom has a propensity for assigning entirely unrelated labels to sounds.  For example, she’s commented several times over the last couple of months or so on the “alarm” that goes off outside her bedroom every morning at 7 AM.  She can’t figure out what it could be but insists that it’s coming from the end of the block somewhere.  According to her, it doesn’t sound like a car alarm or a house alarm.  It sounds like a business alarm – whatever that is.  I finally mentioned it to Bill, who just laughed.

“What’s so funny?” I asked.  “Do you know what she’s talking about?”

“I sure do,” he said as the chuckling subsided.  “Think about it for a minute.  What do we do that’s timed to start at 7 every morning?”

It took me a second or two and then I exclaimed, “Coffee!”  You see, our coffee maker not only has an automatic timer feature, it has a hopper on top that holds whole beans, which are freshly ground each time we make a pot.

“She’s hearing the coffee beans getting ground up,” he said.  “I don’t know why she thinks the noise is coming from outside, but that’s what happens every morning at 7 o’clock.  I told her what it was the first time she asked, but she said that wasn’t what she heard because it didn’t sound like ‘coffee’.”

Yesterday she came up with a new noise.

I was in front of my PC checking email when she came out of her bedroom, which is directly across the hall from the office, and stopped in the office doorway.  “Patty,” she said.  “There’s a strange sawing noise coming from the kitchen.”

I got up and followed the Red Menace into the kitchen.  She hung a left and stopped just past the refrigerator.  She looked to her left at the toaster oven, then pointed at it accusingly and proclaimed, “This is what’s making the noise.  What’s wrong with it?”

I gathered up a modicum of patience, exhaled a cleansing breathe and replied, “Bill’s outside watering Miracle Grow on all the plants.”

“Well that doesn’t make sense,” she exclaimed.  “He’s using the hose outside not inside.”

“Yes, but the plumbing is on the other side of the kitchen wall in the garage,” I said, tapping on the opposite wall over the kitchen sink.  “You’re hearing the water run through the pipes.”

“Well that’s a relief,” she said, pushing the joy stick and rolling forward.  “I thought something was getting ready to blow up!”



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