Family Uncategorized

Alarming news

Typical phrase you might hear in my house: “Can someone go upstairs and tell Yoda to be quiet?”

Don’t get me wrong. I would love to have the actual Yoda just chilling around the house being part of our everyday life, saying things like, “Dinner ready, it is” and “Walk dogs, I will.” But this particular Yoda only speaks in high-pitched beeps. Mainly because he is an alarm clock.

Yoda the Alarm Clock lives in my son’s room and somehow got set for 6:00 p.m. instead of a.m., a problem that is easily solved by resetting it. However, we have instead solved this problem by, most every day, simply popping the top of Yoda’s head, quieting him for the next 24 hours. I know what you’re saying – uh, why don’t you simply change the alarm setting? Well, if it’s bothering you that much you come over and reset it.

Plus, the need to have that alarm clock in the morning isn’t exactly great, as we have plenty of backup wake-up devices in our house.

The main alarms are on the clock in our bedroom. Our alarm clock is one of those standard issue digital clocks that allows for two alarms – the first fires up a radio station. That is easily put to rest for seven minutes with a quick strike of the snooze button. The second, set a short while after, launches a shrill series of beeps that is put to rest with a strike of the snooze button and a loud morning announcement of, “Why do we have that thing turned on in the mornings!?!?!”

The first alarm clock is set to NPR. I have it set just a smidge too loud. Otherwise I would probably just lie in bed and listen to “Morning Edition,” all the while my wife would continue to saw logs.

The second shrill alarm clock is pretty much a backup for me, on the off chance I turn the volume down and go into news consumption mode. For the longest while, my wife relied on human alarms – children for many years. After that, I was her primary source of waking, normally through me standing at the side of the bed brushing my teeth and saying “Get up. Get Up. Get Up.” Repeatedly. Until she would try to knock the lamp on my foot. But she got up nonetheless.

Of late, however, she has found a new alarm clock that is one of the few alarm clock frequencies that will wake her up. She got a new docking station for her iPhone. It sits by her bed and is a clock and a radio and blender or something. It’s got plenty of bells and whistles. But it also means her phone is sitting by the bed. I’ve known that woman for 20 years and this is the first alarm clock I’ve ever know that can wake her up. Steve Jobs, you late, great genius.

So that takes care of us. Yoda, as we established, is ineffective for my son, unless he’s trying to wake up for night school. My daughter has a couple of alarms in her room. One is a digital clock, which blasts pop music far earlier than she has any intent of getting up. She also has a phone alarm, but she has yet to develop her mother’s ability to wake up to that. So the general way both kids are woken up is the tried and tested way of waking up children that my father employed: A loud and repeating announcement of “TIME TO GET UP! TIME TO GET UP!” My dad also occasionally employed a German shepherd. Before you think that was far more horrible than it was, B.D. was our pet German shepherd when I was a kid and, on mornings when I was particularly immune to the wake up announcements, I would be met with, “B.D. GET IN THE BED!” A 75-pound German shepherd pouncing on your bed and licking your face will generally succeed in getting you out of bed. I have yet to employ dogs, but let’s all be clear that option is on the table.

So it appears we have the alarms covered in the house, with plenty of backups securely in place. Should any of these begin to fail, I do have a plan. We’re getting the actual Yoda. “GET UP TIME IT IS.”

 Mike Gibbons was born and raised in Aiken. A graduate of the University of Alabama, you can e-mail him at or follow him on Twitter @StandardMike.

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