who gets the blame for the worst night’s sleep ever?

I stayed in a hotel this past weekend, while doing three performances of Mother Load and speaking at Project Mom in Dallas. All of which was a great time. I got to bed a little too late on Saturday night, considering my 6:30 am wakeup call to get back to the airport, but after all that activity, I fell asleep quickly and soundly. Without any of the kids with me for middle-of-the-night visits, I figured, it would at least be a blissful six hours’ rest.

After what felt like three minutes, I was awoken by a droning, insistent EHH- EHH- EHH–
which I assumed was my alarm clock. God that was a short night, I thought groggily. Then I looked at the clock. It was only 1:30. And it wasn’t my alarm clock making the noise. 

The sound, whatever it was, was coming from inside my air conditioner, one of these forced-air type things you see in your typical pretty-good hotel. Why the hell would that have an alarm in it? I wondered, as I powered it down. That’s annoying. It stopped as soon as I turned it off, at least. I took that trip to the bathroom one always takes when you’re up in the middle of the night anyway, and while I was in there,

It started up again.

Now I was annoyed. I went back in the room, turned it on, turned it off again, and the alarm stopped. Ten seconds later, it started up again.

After a few minutes of attempting to ignore it, I called the front desk.

ME: I need you to find me a new room. My air conditioner’s alarm is going off.
FRONT DESK: What do you mean, ma’am?
ME: That’s what I mean.
The air conditioner stops. 
FRONT DESK: …It seems to have stopped, ma’am.
ME: Uh-huh. Give it a second.
We do.

The befuddled person at the front desk told me she’d find me another room. I got up and packed everything so I could switch. When I was all ready, shoes and coat over my pajamas, and she still hadn’t shown up, I lay down on the bed to await her arrival. 


I turned it off twenty minutes ago, I thought. If it were overheating, it would have cooled down by now. So why’s the alarm still going off?

Then I thought: Because air conditioners don’t have alarms.

Up I leaped out of bed, putting my ear to the unit.


The noise was actually coming from outside, through the window above the air conditioner. I had been listening to a car alarm go off for the last half hour. Okay, I was half asleep– and it sounded like an alarm clock, not a car alarm– but I mean, DUH.

I called the front desk back.

ME: Sorry, I don’t need a new room. It’s not my air conditioner.
FRONT DESK: (not sure what I’m talking about) Okay.
ME: It’s a car alarm, which has been going off for the last half hour, which is totally preposterous. It’s probably woken up the entire hotel by now.
ME: I mean, can you go look and see if you might be able to tell whose car it is?
FRONT DESK: (no way) Sure, ma’am, we can take a look.

I went back to bed, seething as the minutes ticked past, listening to this car alarm drone on. Seriously, who would let their car do that all night? I lay there for half an hour, trying to go back to sleep, getting angrier by the moment. Then I jumped up from bed and marched back to the window. If I could figure out which car was going off, I was going to go down there and take matters into my own hands. 

I threw open the curtains and looked out the window.

 What kind of asshat lets their car alarm go off for over an hour and wake up an entire hotel?

I do.
It was MY CAR.

How many lifetimes do you think I’ll need to pay off all that bad karma?