A Ping, a Ding, and a Beep



I heard the sound in my sleep. At first it was a part of my dream, but as I started to wake up, I realized it was actually coming from somewhere in the house. I listened closely trying to place it and realized it sounded a little like the warning sound a smoke alarm gives off when the battery is dying. At this point I was wide awake and really, really annoyed, and I decided that if the battery wasn't dying, it was definitely going to be when I got my hands on it.

I turned to my husband and gave him a nudge.

"Did you hear that?" I asked him, but he didn't budge. I thought about waking him up to investigate, but I try not to do that unless I hear something scary or peculiar (or the distinct sound of the dog throwing up). Of course, in the last case I wouldn't typically wake him at all, but go back to sleep and pretend I never heard it so he would find the surprise in the morning instead of me.

I turned my head to the door and listened for the next beep. It seemed like it might be coming from the hall. But when I got to the hall, the smoke alarm outside our room was silent.

I looked down at the dog sleeping in the hall.


"Did you hear that?" I asked him. But he didn't budge either. Apparently, the sound of his own snoring drowned it out.

The problem is we get all kinds of pings, dings and beeps in our house. The electric toothbrush in our bathroom beeps when the battery runs low. The refrigerator door pings if you leave it open too long. The microwave beeps when it's done and so does the washing machine. My cellphone pings when I get a text, my laptops pings when I get an email and my iPad pings, I think, just so it doesn't feel left out. In truth, at any given time, the question isn't what is beeping or pinging, but what isn't.

As I stood in the hall, I heard the beep again and realized it was actually coming from inside the bedroom. I went into the bathroom to check the electric toothbrush, but that wasn't it. I checked my cellphone, but that wasn't it. I checked the alarm clock, but that wasn't it either. Then I heard the beep again and realized, without a doubt, that it was coming from...

My husband.


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