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It’s somewhere between 4:00 and 4:30 AM and Captain OCD gets up for the morning and turns off his alarm, which has not yet sounded. I have only just gotten to sleep, so that he remembers to turn off his alarm is much appreciated. Except that at 4:30 I hear a beeping sound. He’s not turned it off, just turned it from radio to alarm. After figuring out what is going on, I reach over to turn it off. But I have no idea how to operate that clock radio in the dark, and neither does he if the operation extends to anything other than pushing Off, and for that dark or light makes no difference because that’s all he knows how to do regardless. I think about grabbing the flashlight and my glasses to figure it out, but I’m distracted by my whimpering “Stop it!” and “Come on, you bastard!” and  “Shut the fuck up!

Should it ever come up, know that blindly pushing buttons and sliding switches and spinning dials is no way to silence a clock radio. The radio turns on. It won’t turn off. It turns off, but a red light is now visible on the face. That can only mean that the bastard has something planned for later. No matter what I push or slide, the light won’t go off. Then I see NAP on the other side of the face. While I’ve never in my life used the nap setting on a clock radio, I’m pretty sure it means it has plans for some point in the near future. I blindly do some more pushing and sliding and whimpering. The radio comes back on, with an obvious count-down on the face. Fifty-four minutes before it turns back off? The clock radio has two separate alarms. While whatever I’m pushing and sliding and spinning is alternating between Alarm 1 and Alarm 2, I’m unable to push or slide or spin to achieve no alarm.

I’ll just unplug it, even though that means reprogramming the stupid thing with owner’s manual in hand because it’s not my clock radio so I don’t know it well. I know you’re not supposed to unplug anything by yanking violently on the cord several feet away from the plug, but I do anyway. The radio is still on. Apparently I did, after all, snake the cord under and behind the bed to the outlet back there, an operation that took, as I’m beginning to recall, lying on my stomach with a flashlight between my teeth while trying to snake the cord around and behind the big, flat boxes of my stash of book-making and binding paper. I wonder if chewing through the cord will take long. I’m not about to repeat the snaking process in reverse, at 4:32 AM, so I yank until the clock radio goes dark and silent. I think about throwing it across the room, but worry about breaking the mirror (is that a sign that I’m growing up?), so I forcefully toss it aside. I’ll deal with resetting it later. I can’t complain about how complicated and unintuitive the controls are because I am constantly telling Captain OCD to quit whining about how everything is needlessly complicated and why can’t things have simple on and off buttons and if people were supposed to text all cell phones would have keyboards like typewriters (so he can text with two fingers). Meanwhile, he can program an irrigation clock in his sleep, the interface of which is a kludged-together mess of the cutting-edge technology of the early ’80s that involves turning dials while simultaneously flipping switches and moving pins in time with the cryptic instructions on the red LCD display.

Apparently I was doing more than whimpering because Captain OCD comes in and asks what is wrong. I mumble something, all of which is unintelligible but “fucking alarm clock.” I do remember managing to keep “your” out of it.

“Oh, I think I hit a button yesterday.”

I keep my remark that it would have been nice to have been told that yesterday, before this morning, after I’d finally gotten to sleep, to myself (again, am I growing up?). He goes back out to watch the Weather Channel so he’ll know what the weather is doing on Mt. Wilson, wherever the fuck that is, and to finish making his lunch. I try to go back to sleep. If I were the praying sort, I’d have prayed that he wouldn’t come in later to wake me up to tell me how much rain Mt. Wilson got yesterday.

I didn’t need a rain report for Mt. Wilson because the dark and silent clock started beeping. Of course I forgot about the bastard batteries.

Let’s hope Fred Meyer’s return policy covers small appliances that have been smashed by crybaby, sleep-deprived spouses.