Dorm room nightlife on fire, literally

Josh Benner and Josh Benner

All right, I have a column every other Wednesday, and I usually come up with the idea of what I’#39;m going to write about a week or so in advance. Last Thursday I had the idea to write about fire alarms. I told a couple of my friends some of the jokes I was going to use, and at 2:30 that morning, we had a fire drill. That pretty much settled it; my dorm had three last week.

In the beginning of the year, I remember a couple of times where we would have alarms go off, and I would hear people complaining about them, and I always try to be optimistic about things. I’#39;d try to say that it was all for our safety, but now, I think I’#39;d just about rather risk a few of us dying to not be inconvenienced with all of these alarms.

And the drills are always at the worst possible times.

They never happen when you’#39;re walking out of the building to go to class. No it’#39;s always when you’#39;re studying, or showering, or for you, reading my column. It’#39;s always at a time that shouldn’#39;t have to be disturbed. But I sure do love it when I walk past a different dorm when they’#39;re having one of their alarms.

And there’#39;s no way I’#39;m the only one who thinks that, there must be other people who have the same thought go through their minds. You see everyone outside, you’#39;re laughing to yourself, ‘Look at those losers.’ It’#39;s just like when you’#39;re going 75 miles an hour on the freeway, and see a line of traffic eight miles long going the other direction. I live for that.

As for the late night drill on Thursday, I hear the alarm go off, and the first thing I did was turn off my alarm clock, but that didn’#39;t do anything, so I thought that it was an air raid or something like that. I get out of bed, turned on the lights, started looking around on the floor my jacket (because it’#39;s Bowling Green), I looked for it for a minute, but I’#39;m thinking, ‘This could be real, I can’#39;t waste time, I have to get out of here,’ so I leave without my jacket and go outside.

Honest to goodness, the one time I hang up my jacket is the one time when I need it in a hurry, and I didn’#39;t think to look on the hangers.

Most of the people who were out there were just wearing stuff like T-shirts and shorts, and I heard a few people talking. I don’#39;t know if I’#39;m a wimp or what the deal is, but I heard people talking normally, and I try to say something to someone and end up sounding like Jack in Titanic when he’#39;s in the water.

In the winter time, we’#39;ll probably all have to have clothes set next to our beds so we can get dressed in a moments notice (like what firefighters do), otherwise we’#39;ll be dropping like Ramones.

When they let us back into the building, I overheard a police officer say someone had sprayed Lysol which set the alarm off. Who in the world is spraying Lysol at 2:30 in the morning? Was someone walking around, saying ‘This room is fresh, but not as fresh as it could be?’

I think the smoke detectors need to be changed. If Lysol is setting them off … come on. Someone said, ‘It’#39;s because Lysol is flammable.’ Since when do fire alarms need to go off because they sense something that’#39;s flammable? Unless it’#39;s fire, it doesn’#39;t really matter. I mean, air is flammable, the wood desks and bed frames are flammable, and our Vietnamese sweatshop carpeting always looks like it’#39;s about ready to just burst into flames.

We also have the tornado drills which are the first Saturday of every month. I heard that go off this month, and I forgot that we could ignore them. I walk downstairs, with a dumbfounded look on my face, and I hear someone at the desk say, ‘You can just ignore that.’ So then I had to downplay it. ‘No I was coming down here anyway (in my underwear).’ All right, that last part was a bit of an exaggeration.

Every semester we have a scheduled fire drill. What’#39;s the necessity of that? We have alarms go off every week. Is it really something that also needs to be practiced? ‘IT’#39;S A FIRE! GET OUT OF THE BUILDING!’ How much ‘drilling’ does that take?


Extinguish your questions about fire drills. Josh has the answers. E-mail him at [email protected].