Recently…perhaps inevitably…I gave in. I joined the AARP: Average Americans with Raging Paranoia.
I purchased a Home Security System.
Moving past the initial insanity — that I let a total stranger in to pitch the system, and then proceeded to point out all the ways to break in to my house — I think I handled the “Risk Interview” with considerable aplomb. After the interview, which guaranteed ZERO DOLLARS in setup costs, I had shrewdly negotiated the setup costs up to $494.00.
My “Factory-Certified Security Consultant” (I’ll call him ‘Amber’) quickly put me at ease with poignant, security-related statements like “Dude! I would, like, KILL for that stereo!” and “So you travel a lot?” Amber then outlined for me, on the back of a factory-certified paper towel, my extensive “Personal Comfort Options.”
What a menu! Wired or wireless systems, door or perimeter alerts, window alerts (motion- or smash-activated), smoke detection, humidity detection (with optional wind chill calculator), Infomercial dishonesty detection, call forwarding within your extended calling area, HBO, The Learning Channel — it really is astonishing what can transpire when you let a strange man into your home and start calling him ‘Amber.’
In no time, Amber had defined my perfect “Peace of Mind Perimeter,” and I signed up. And such a system! Within my fortress, I’ll have more zones than Brett Favre’s playbooks. Multiple backlit keypads with more buttons than Cheyenne Mountain. My attic, a space resembling a mutant iceberg due to jet-blown insulation applied, apparently, by a cocaine-crazed spastic ferret on a caffeine binge, will be laced with flammable wires.
We scheduled the company’s crack deployment team — the “Safe Haven System Install Tribunes” — to swing round next week to begin the transformation, and here’s the best part: all at no extra charge!
Of course, since my house is on a slab, the Tribunes will have to replace all exterior walls to install the optional “Hovering Guardian Flora-Free Pest-Retardant Option” ($400). And as the attic is insulated, we’ll need to pry off the roof to fly in the wiring for the optional “Saintly Integrated Cabling Safety Net” ($699). And due to vinyl siding and metal doors, they absolutely insist on the optional “Moat of Eden Cherubic Defense Tri-Insulated No-Snoop Bundle” ($850) and the eco-friendly “Green Iron Curtain Wall Opening Family Pak” ($1,400, with $20 mail-in rebate).
The system also includes an inflatable male doll — the “Ruddy Buddy” — that sits conspicuously in a chair by the window, sure to deter any burglar that is dim enough to believe that a wax-faced human with painted-on eyes and no nose, that hasn’t moved in 28 days, is armed with an inflatable Uzi.
But what really closed the deal were the options available, not when I’m away, but while I’m at home. By using the handy keypads, I can quickly, and in real time:
- see which windows are being pried open by drug-addled Stephen King fans
- calculate the amount of ingested amphetamines in an intruder’s bloodstream
- update my will, using Twitter shorthand for expediency
- cancel a pizza delivery, due to my impending death
- electrocute myself
Best of all, I can comfortably move about, with the system fully armed, as long as I don’t make any sudden movements, like exhaling. And the whole system (excluding walls & roof) comes with a full 90-day warranty. 90 whole days! True, I have cheese with longer warranties, but who needs dairy products when facing imminent death?
So. Never again will I worry about who’s outside. Never again will I fear losing my cherished albums: the collected works of “The Monkees” or the very rare “Barry Manilow’s Greatest Hit.” No more worries when rogue bikers convene outside, occasionally making comments like “Slade! Kick her over here!” Never again will I hesitate to dance wildly round my house totally naked, unless it is in fear of compromising the floor’s understructure.
And never again will I be able to eat out. I’m safe, but I’m broke. Maybe, some evening, Amber will join me for a quiet, secure dinner within my “Moat of Eden.”
…as long as we don’t exhale…