Monday, December 29, 2008

How was your Christmas?


Here's how mine started.

Thankfully, it got better from this point.

My family was awoken Christmas morning by the sound of the fire alarm going off. I don't mean a smoke detector, it's a full-on, building-wide fire alarm that is fit to wake the dead. (But not my college roommate. Funny story, I'll tell you that one in a minute.) My wife and I jumped out of bed, threw on some clothes and dashed off to grab our children. A minute later, becoated and behatted we ventured out into the cold morning to stand in the snow that was dumping at a high rate.

Of course, we were concerned that someone's Christmas tree was merrily blazing away after an electrical short and failure to water regularly had combined to create our building's own personal Nightmare Before Christmas. The intrepid firemen showed up a few minutes later (and their lack of urgency hinted that our worst fears were probably just that) and entered to investigate.

Some kindly neighbors whose van was parked outside of the garage that's under our building offered to let my wife and kids sit inside to get out of the snow and about 30 minutes after all the excitement began the firemen turned off the alarm and allowed us back inside. Turns out one of the sprinkler pipes had burst and the change in pressure had set off the fire alarm. The burst was in the underground garage, so no one even had any damage to anything other than their nerves at the way we were all woken up.

It's a nice story to be able to tell, but frankly I'd have rather heard about it than experienced it.