Remember my operatic escapade with the doorbell?

Well, I’d love to say that’s the only time I’ve done anything like that, but the truth of the matter is that I have a problem with buttons. As in I like to push them. No. I LOVE IT.

I see a button, I want to push it. I have to. Only now that I’m a grown up, I can sometimes control myself. (Sometimes.)

Okay. So I don’t actually know many of the facts surrounding this incident, but the ones I do know are the important ones. It took place some time after the doorbell fiasco, but I don’t think it was too long after, because I was still a pretty little kid. I’d say under 10 for sure.

My family and I – meaning my mom, dad, my brother, and I – had been out in the evening for some sort of event. (Isn’t this fun and vague already?) I’m guessing it was either (a) a sporting event, or (b) a holiday event like fireworks for New Year’s or something, because we had taken public transit, and we only really did that when we were going somewhere where it was easier to take the subway than park at the venue.

Anyway, the event was over and my family and I had made our way back to the LRT (subway) station to catch the train back to our park-and-ride stop. I liked taking the subway – we didn’t do it often, so it was mysterious and exciting. And as it turned out, my night was about to get even more exciting, because while we were waiting for the subway, I saw it:

Somewhat like a pay phone in its shape, but with no receiver. A large-ish speaker atop a pole. Taller than me. With a beautiful, giant orange rectangular button smack in the middle of it.

I couldn’t help myself.

There wasn’t even any question.

I walked up to it and pressed the button.

Damn, it felt good.

Of course I had no idea what would happen next. When a man’s voice started yelling at me through the speaker, I’m pretty sure I literally stumbled backwards out of fear and confusion.

“Where’s the fire?! Where’s the fire?! What’s the emergency?!”

The combined fear and aggression in his voice scared the hell out of me, so I did what any <10 year old would do: I ran the opposite direction. But he didn’t stop yelling. Eventually my dad noticed what had happened and he ran to the emergency box to explain and apologize. And then he yelled at me. So I got even more freaked out.

So yeah, I never did that again.

But believe you me, I’m still tempted every time I see a giant emergency button.

Or a fire alarm.

xA

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