Mr. Siler and the mystery of the smoke alarm

Every day, while I am in my Meets with my students, I can hear a smoke alarm giving a battery beep … somewhere. It has been going on for weeks, and I have been keeping track of which students are in the room while I can hear it and it is not common to any one student.

At no time whatsoever during the rest of the day can I ever hear a smoke alarm. It is absolutely not in my house, because the battery would have died by now, and I would have noticed it at some other point in my day. I would have noticed it on weekends. My son or my wife would have noticed it.

It is absolutely not happening in this house, and at the same time it is clearly not happening in any specific student’s house. In fact, since I’ve been typing this, it’s stopped, but no one has left the Meet while I’ve been typing.

There is a Goddamned ghost smoke alarm living inside Google Meet, and I don’t know how to make that particular kind of ghost go away. Please send me an old priest and a young priest.


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Luther M. Siler

Teacher, writer of words, and local curmudgeon. Enthusiastically profane. Occasionally hostile.