Reacting to the Wrong Alarm


Yesterday Lucy was preparing our evening meal, steak and baked potatoes.  We’d both put in a full day and this was to be a treat as she broiled the steak, making sure not to over-cook it.  If I were better at cooking on the barbeque grill, we’d have done this outside; but that’s another story.

When the steak was almost done the smoke detectors all went off in unison letting us know something had spilled inside the oven.  Those things put out a most annoying noise that doesn’t seem to understand that broiling meat in the oven is not the same as letting us know the house might be on fire.

Lucy turned on the fans over the oven and stove to suck the smoke from the air; but it was too late as the alarms continued to warn of impending doom.  After the alarms died down it became apparent that some smoke must have lingered in the house as a couple of the smoke detectors would let out a single ping, unwilling to let us eat in peace.

After diner was over and the broiler pan had been cleaned, making sure to remove the offending splatter that had caused all the uproar, I decided that the single ping being emitted by the smoke detector in our bedroom was, in all likelihood, in need of a replacement battery. 

Those batteries are meant to last a couple of years and need to be checked.  The manufacturer knew that we’d forget to change out the battery so they built in that annoying single ping, a way of forcing us to get out the step ladder, pull back the cover panel and change the battery.

With the battery changed we settled in for the evening…only the smoke detector kept on sending out a single ping once every minute or so.  Had I replaced one old battery with a dud?  It was late and I wasn’t going to break my neck getting on the step ladder; it would wait until morning.

That brings us to this morning, getting on the step ladder, sliding the smoke detector cover back and putting in a brand-new battery.  The one I’d placed in the day before was tossed in the kitchen trash container.  A few moments later there was a single ping coming from the area of our bedroom. 

I went down the hall and listened carefully, glaring at the unrepentant smoke alarm as if by doing so it would stop acting so childishly. It was then I noticed the smoke detector in the hall, the one that was on the other side of the bedroom door; that was the one that had been sending out the single ping warning that it was in need of a new battery.  (Image shows how close the two smoke detectors are)

We’d been sent a warning, acted upon that warning, shut down what we thought was the problem; only to learn that we’d been fixing the wrong problem.

Isn’t that pretty much the situation here on the first Tuesday in November, the day we vote to retain or replace elected individuals?   Are we listening to the right warning or the wrong single ping? 

So many voters think Donald Trump needs to be replaced as he Tweets a loud ping, one that irritates and annoys; but is it Trump that needs to be replaced?  What about the other smoke detectors? 

We’ve only recently been able to learn how the entire Russian collusion story was invented in order to distract the public from Hillary Clinton’s escapades.  Apparently, she cooked up the whole thing.  The major media outlets jumped all over the opportunity to smear Trump with a steady chirping that made us believe Trump must have done something; why else would there be an impeachment hearing?

That doesn’t even start to cover the Biden Family Money Laundering story, one that has been swept under the rug by a more than compliant corrupt news media, one willing to throw dirt on Donald Trump for asking that an investigation be opened to find out exactly what Joe Biden has been doing.  Is it important to get it right?  After all, changing out a battery is rather simple compared to changing out the direction of our nation.

It’s Election Day, folks.  Let’s make sure we don’t toss out the wrong alarm battery.  Just because we thought we knew what was making all the fuss; perhaps, just perhaps, we should listen to where the false alarm is coming from.

t-f-stern-1Self-Educated American, Senior Edi­tor, T.F. Stern is both a retired City of Hous­ton police offi­cer and, most recently, a retired self-employed lock­smith (after serving that industry for 40 plus years). He is also a gifted polit­i­cal and social com­men­ta­tor. His pop­u­lar and insight­ful blog, T.F. Sterns Rant­i­ngs, has been up and at it since January of 2005.


  1. I don’t have the right to vote. I don’t even live in the United States, but I’m always nervous about the 2020 election, especially when the election results are not released. Whenever I see T.F. stern, I feel comforted. Worry, worry about America, because love has such deep worry

  2. Kudos! Most of us have strong feelings about each of the two candidates. Only this morning, however, have I had an epiphany regarding the two Parties, and I sent that knowledge to everyone on my mailing list! Here it is again in the hopes for even wider dissimilation:

    “Not every Democrat is a Socialist. But every Socialist, Communist, and Marxist IS a Democrat!”

    I’m thinking some good people who might now understand that it’s not Trumpism at stake this National Election Day, but One Nation Under God!

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