Things That Go ‘Boop’ in the Night

So last night I’m up late surfing the web, and I realize for the last few minutes I’ve been hearing something in the room go “boop”. It sounds a little like a low-pitched “beep”, but more like some old steam pipe venting a small amount of air. It’s only making the sound every 30-40 seconds.

I get up and see Newton sitting on the floor staring at Debbi’s backpack, which is propped up in the corner.


I wonder whether one of the cats has somehow gotten trapped in the cupboard behind the bag, but there’s no one in there. And I also realize that I’ve seen all the cats in the last hour, so that’s not very likely. I’m hoping that it’s not some pipe in our walls getting ready to burst or something.


It’s really annoying to track down what’s making a sound when it only makes that sound every 30-40 seconds! I’d hear the sound, try to locate where it’s coming from, then look at my watch and try to figure out when it should make the sound again. Meanwhile Roulette has gotten interested, too. So I move Debbi’s bag away from the wall and put my head between it and the cupboard.


Right, the sound’s coming from the bag. I take her purse out of the bag and put it on the counter and wait.


No, the sound’s coming from inside the bag. Well, her iPod’s in there, but is that it? I rummage around in the bag for a bit.


Turns out it’s her cell phone, which is displaying a “Low battery” message on its screen and is helpfully making a noise every 40 seconds to make the battery discharge that much sooner. How nice. I take the phone out and plug it in to its charger, and the sound is gone. So I guess its plaintive cries did get me to give it what it needed.

Debbi tells me she remembered she needed to plug in her phone this morning when she was in the shower, and thought she was losing it when she came down and saw it sitting there plugged in with a green light. Then she saw the note I’d left her and realized I’d plugged it in.

That’s me, Mr. Helpful.

At least I’m helpful when beeped at.

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