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2:58 a.m. - August 14, 2005
On. Off. On. Off. On. Off. Not on and no off
Live, from Bethesda:

Residents of a small condominium complex were forced to stand outside helpless while engineers struggled in vain to locate the off switch for an emergency klaxon, apparently pulled by a young man who was taken into custody at the site. In a scene reminiscent of the Whoopi Goldberg film Burglar in which the heroine's apartment was booby-trapped to help elude her trackers, notably by a klaxon that could not be turned off until walls and wiring had been removed, these residents were forced to huddle in the humid night air for an hour as the fire safety officials, police officers, and the building's engineers fumbled for an off switch, one that is apparently difficult to find. To further inconvenience residents, police and fire officials refused re-entry to those who would have entered their units, courageously bearing the noise, to retrieve shoes, keys to vehicles, and clothing, therefore rendering said residents immobile and in various stages of undress and anger. Said one resident, the greatly inconvenienced grand dame of 2G: "The bugs are eating us alive. Aren't they aware of the West Nile Virus outbreak in the river behind us? I would rather lose my hearing than be bit by another mosquito." Smack! Another resident, Jason -----, of 3G, said: "If there is an on switch for an alarm, why isn't there a clearly marked off switch?" to which a police officer curtly responded, "We need the overtime." After standing outside for over an hour in the humid, bug-swarming wetness, the klaxon bell was shut off by 2:45 a.m.

Another bug just flew out of my hair.

Events like these are the high points of my life. Any wonder that I'm disillusioned and peevish?


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