April 27, 2008

The human alarm clock has been trumped

We've long referred to Thomas as a human alarm clock. He's a consistent early-waker which, much to my chagrin, doesn't seem to be changing. The last few mornings however, he's been beaten to his job by a very LOUD, very ANNOYING noise. Like, the kind of noise that wakes you from a solid sleep and isn't pleasing. It's a noise that has illicted foul language from the master bedroom. It's also a noise that we couldn't quite place - where it was coming from, or exactly what it even was.

We ignored it the first day, assuming it was something at a neighbor's house. This awful racket couldn't really be emanating from our house.

Yesterday morning it started again right at dawn so I got up to at least try and figure out which side and level of the house it seemed to be coming from. I reported to Mark that it was either coming from the south, the north or the east and that it seemed to originate either from the basement storage room or the roof. He was as impressed as you are, my four loyal readers, by my sleuthing skills.

In my defense, the noise is a little like a jackhammer noise but kind of dampened, yet also kind of echoey. And, it comes in rounds like machine gun fire. Just about the time you think you're narrowing down where it's coming from, it stops. This is not your run-of-the-mill house sound.

This morning everyone was still sleeping peacefully, including the human alarm clock, at 6:40 a.m. The boys played hard outside at a party for hours yesterday so it seemed like we might be on track to get an extra 20 minutes of shuteye. Then, at 6:41 a.m., it starts. Because Mark and I were out past our normal curfew last night, this assault on our Sunday morning was particularly offensive and Mark was mad. And, the noise has now woken Thomas which is a cardinal sin. We're lying there listening, trying to figure out what it could be.

Me: Do you think it could be woodpecker?
Mark: Don't woodpeckers peck on wood?
Me: I guess so.
Mark: That's definitely not the sound of wood. That's metal.
Me: (envisioning our siding being mutliated) How do you know?
Mark: I just do.
Me: I can't think of anything else it could be.
Mark: It's not a woodpecker. It's something on the roof.

With that, he goes outside to investigate. Within two minutes Mark is back inside asking where our basketball is.

Me: Why do you need a basketball?
Mark: I need to throw it at the roof.
Me: Why, what's on the roof?
Mark: A fat, %$*#@$%^* woodpecker.
Me: On the roof?
Mark: Yes, aside from being a fat, %$*#@$%^* woodpecker, it's also a stupid woodpecker. It's pecking on the metal exhaust fan from the attic.

Ah, so that explains the echoing quality of the noise.

He heads back outside and suddenly the jackhammer sound stops. It is replaced by the sound of a ball bouncing repeatedly down the roof. BUMP, BUMp,BUmp Bump, bump. Over and $*#@$%^* over. After a few minutes it stops and Mark comes back inside asking if we know anyone with a BB gun. Great.

So, as of right now, the metal-pecking woodpecker has been temporarily scared off its perch and Mark is strategizing their next encounter. I'm hoping we don't need a permit for whatever happens tomorrow morning. I'm also, however, hoping to return to our normal morning programming where the first sounds I hear belong to our sweet human alarm clock.

Stay tuned.


Stephanie said...

Just the other night (when Wyatt tumbled off the stairs headfirst), Aunt Julie told me she read that woodpeckers have spongy material around their brains to absorb all the shaking (I think she said this because we were worried about our non-sponge-headed child). This has nothing to do with your story except hey! Woodpeckers in conversation twice in a week! Good luck and try not to get arrested.

Anonymous said...

What I wouldn't have given to have been outside watching the basketball "throwing." Priceless! It would have been worth getting up at that ungodly hour for the weekend. Memo from Mom: skip the B-B gun. Love, RoRo

SStites said...

Oh, yeah, woodpeckers will peck on anything, and the louder the better. Sometimes (and ONLY sometimes) they are looking for bugs, but many times they are trying to impress would-be mates, and that is best done on metal--pipes on the roof, AC units, cars, you name it, and if they can get a "tune" out of it they will. One pecked clear through the wall and into our storage room once; we caught him and took him 40 miles out into the desert, and I kid you not he (or maybe it was a friend of his) beat us home and was happily pecking away when we got home! And I think the sponge in their heads has absorbed ALL their brains! Good luck!

Maria said...

Oh Susan! You write so well (or I just know Mark well) because I can totally picture the entire conversation, foul words and all. So funny!