Visited Uncle today. He has a friend staying and she wanted to use the washing machine but couldn't get it to work. (Uncle's cleaner usually takes his washing home to do for him.) So it was a job for SuperHusband.
Actually Friend and I worked out where the water tap was but she couldn't get under the sink and I couldn't read which tap was which so Husband had to do the switching-on ceremony. Friend was most grateful and then she said, 'Now if you could get just get rid of this beeping I'd be in heaven.'
Every couple of minutes three high pitched beeps sounded, like the beeps a smoke alarm makes when its battery is going or the last gasps of a phone when it's left off its charger. Except the smoke alarm is mains operated and the phones were all in their chargers.
An electrician who'd called in the day before to fix the fridge hadn't been able to trace the fault and had suggested working through unplugging all the plugs seeing if it made a difference. Friend had tried that without any joy. And you know what beeps are like: depending on where you're standing they seem to emit from different areas. But the predominant location was the corner in which Uncle sits.
Husband wandered around checking and shaking things until he said, 'I think it's coming from this bag.'
'I don't think so,' said Uncle. 'Those are my binoculars.'
He carried on looking, eventually lifting up the cushion of one of the arm chairs that has storage in the base. He pulled out a small white box - yes! That beeped!
It was Uncle's carbon monoxide monitor that passed its best by date last January. And there was no way of turning it off.
We discussed how to dispose of it. The DANGER radiation sign on the box suggested that we probably shouldn't hit it with a hammer, as suggested by Friend so we took it to the civic tip on our way home. Husband asked one of the attendants if they accepted these things.
'Yeah,' the man said and tossed it into a skip. Or rather tossed it at a skip whereupon it bounced off and landed on the floor.
'Do you think he should have done that?' I asked Husband.
'Not our problem any more!'