Friday Night Fire Alarm

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                                 October 26, 2015


Bernice latched on to my dad’s hand. She had forgotten her cane. A ninety-three year old can’t be expected to remember everything! She got her housecoat first, but didn’t think about her cane leaning against the wall in her kitchen. Friday night fire alarms at 9:00 were a nuisance…and, more than likely, Leo, who lived down the hallway, had set it off because he wanted some late night fried bacon.

The various elderly folk slowly wandered into the hallway amidst the very loud and obnoxious sounds of the building’s fire alarm system.

“Leo’s been frying bacon again!” bellowed Bonnie! Bonnie had responsibilities to take care of. She assumed her role as “group captain.” She had six people that she had to make sure were okay. “Okay” meant she had to check them off on her clipboard which she clutched close to her chest as she strutted into the darkness.

The senior independent living complex had been through this before. It was the second time that Leo had given into temptation for late-night bacon resulting in the fire alarm sounding. the evidence of his crime could be seen in the smoke rising from the grease in the skillet. There had also been a 4:00 A.M. fire alarm a couple of months ago because of a system malfunction, to which Leo now used the excuse, “At least I set it off at a decent time!”

Bernice clutched my dad’s hand, one unsteady person teaming up with another shuffler. She was feisty and my dad did not refuse her. He had no choice. She commandeered his hand as soon as they walked outside.

Bonnie checked people off.








“Agnes isn’t coming.”

“Why isn’t she coming? I’ve got to check her off.”

“She doesn’t want to. She’s just going to stand on her balcony.”

Bonnie tried to hide her annoyance. It was a fire alarm and Agnes, ninety-five and counting, decided she was going to pout and not follow protocol. “These people!” she muttered to herself.


Leo stood in the distance smoking a cigarette. Smoking bacon in his apartment and smoking a Winston outside.

The fire alarm kept blaring. People were getting annoyed. There was a good movie playing right then on the Hallmark Channel and they were missing it. Senior citizens only have so much patience, and then they just do what they want to.

Bernice pulled her housecoat tighten to her body while trying to get some warmth from my father. Although my mom was six months older than Dad, it’s still awkward to see your dad holding hands with a woman six years older than him.

The alarm finally shut off and Bonnie assumed group control. People had to have her permission to go back inside. She held the clipboard of power.

“All right! You can go back in now. See everybody at breakfast! Leo, no more frying bacon!”

Leo there his cigarette butt down and crushed the life out of it.

Friday night fun! Although most of the residents gave Leo “the look”, they also admitted that it was nice to have a little fire alarm excitement on a chilling evening. Bonnie was proud of the fact that she performed her duties flawlessly, and Bernice couldn’t remember the last time she had held hands with a fine looking gentleman. She gave thought to buying Leo another pound of bacon!

Explore posts in the same categories: children, Community, Grace, Grandchildren, Humor, Parenting, Story, Teamwork, Uncategorized

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