Yesterday was a particularly lazy day. Having completed our weekend cleaning chores the previous two days, we opted to observe President’s Day by doing essentially nothing at all: caught up on some episodes of “Avatar: The Last Airbender”, enjoyed a mid-day cup of coffee, assisted Michael in the upgrade of Minecraft to include the Angry Birds texture pack, etc. Important stuff like that.
We (and by that I mean my wife) decided that Michael and I should get hair cuts, since we were looking pretty shaggy.
Right across from the haircut place is Michael’s favorite pizza restaurant, and as we crossed the parking lot he looked over at it longingly.
“You want pizza for lunch? We can do that,” his mom said. This perked him right up. He sat through his haircut patiently, with only minimal wiggling. After completing mine and settling the monetary aspect of the transaction, we headed out and over to the pizza place.
“It’ll be about fifteen minutes,” said the waitress after taking our order. We decided to walk around the shopping complex to kill time.
Just to be sure, I got out my iPhone and set the timer to go off after twelve minutes.
Now… I know how to use my phone’s functions pretty well. I’d say I’m at a Brown Belt level: not a novice, but by no means a master. So I didn’t give it a lot of thought when I pressed the “Start” button and casually noted that the alarm type was set to “Doorbell”
“Hmmm… Doorbell sounds nice,” I thought.
And off we went on our walk. We sauntered around the building, down past an insurance place, another barber, a paint-it-yourself ceramics place and a Subway… then crossed a roadway and circled back up around a dentist office and a fitness center.
I glanced down at my phone and noticed that it was about time to head back to the pizza place, so we plodded on down the stairs and across the parking lot.
I opened the door and let Michael and his mom in. The door chimed announcing our entry. I checked with the waitress while Michael and his mom headed back to the video games.
“It’ll be out in just a couple of minutes,” she said.
The doorbell kept chiming. I looked to see if the door was partially open, but no.
I walked down to where my family was. The doorbell kept chiming, but this time I heard it from the back door.
“It’ll be just a couple of minutes,” I told them.
“Okay. Michael’s perfectly happy,” my wife said.
Meanwhile, the doorbell just wouldn’t quit. For some reason, the staff wasn’t concerned about it at all.
As I made my way back to the front of the restaurant, the sound of the doorbell seemed to keep changing position: it was in the back of the restaurant a minute ago, now it’s up above by the television screen, and now it’s right by the front door.
The waitress, obviously overworked and unsure of my presence, asked me if she could help me with something.
“No, I’m just waiting for our pizza.”
“Oh, okay,” she said and went back to dressing a salad and pouring some sodas.
“The doorbell keeps going off,” I said. “Like it’s stuck or something.”
She smiled and looked at me somewhat confused, and turned to listen to the sound of the bell that apparently only I could hear, despite the fact that it was loud and clear. In fact, it now seemed to be coming from the food preparation area.
“Geez, this would drive me nuts,” I said to no one in particular. It was getting to the point where I wanted to fix it myself.
The pizza finally was put up, and after paying for it and calling to my family, we headed back to the car. I held the door open with one hand and balanced the pizza with the other.
Once outside, I noticed that the sound of the doorbell was every bit as loud as it was inside the restaurant.
“My gosh,” I said. “Does that doorbell go everywhere?”
“What?” My wife asked, looking at me confused.
We walked to the car, the doorbell continuing to chime. The sound never dimming. The sound continuing to follow me.
Like it was my own personal doorbell.
I suddenly realized what was going on, and starting laughing.
“What’s so funny?” my wife asked.
“The doorbell sound – it’s me!” I pulled out my phone, and there was the timer, dutifully alerting me to the lapse of time that I’d requested, chiming away like a doorbell, just as I’d specified.
I turned it off, and wiped away the tears of laughter as I got in the car. My wife looked at me and shook her head.
“You’re a real ding-dong, for sure,” she said.
Yes, but I’m her ding-dong.