When we bought our first Saturn (the car, not the planet!) – it came with a wonderful little doo-hickey called a car alarm. This was a new piece of technology for us and we thought it was pretty nifty and a great way to entertain ourselves. Most people take these types of things for granted but since we had always had second-hand cars (the politically correct way to say ‘used’), we had never had one of these great gadgets!
For the first couple of months we took great delight in pressing the alarm button when we were in the house and the children were waiting for us in the car – scared the heck out of them – and sometimes we were even lucky enough to get a scream out of them! We would also use it when they were coming home late at night and didn’t know we were watching at the window – as they passed the car, we would press the button and let the entire neighborhood know they were home – as well as reminding our children that they hadn’t fooled us about what time they were home!
Our great delight in this new toy (the car alarm – not the car itself) started to cease to be amusing to my husband (but not to any of the rest of us) when the car alarm started going off just as Pat (my husband) was getting ready to go to bed. It happened every night – and every night, I would rush to find my set of keys to turn the alarm off. This was particularly annoying when I was already sound asleep when the alarm went off and Pat didn’t seem to hear it! It took me a while to put the puzzle pieces together and then one night it dawned on me — whenever Pat dropped his pants on the floor just before he climbed into bed, he was setting off the car alarm as his keys hit the floor or the other junk in his pockets. My children had obviously figured this out before I did and every time it happened, they would scream – “Dad, put your pants back on!” even if they had friends over.
So, it became common knowledge that when the car alarm went off – no one was breaking into anyone’s car — it just meant that Pat was naked.