Investigating Things That Go Bump in the Daytime


The buzzing started shortly after breakfast. Ice storm, no school, too many pancakes. Kids played with play do, I circled the house, searching for the mysterious buzz. Not upstairs. Not downstairs.

Finally, I turned off the radio, “Shhhhhhhhhhh!”

Kids and I walked towards big television in living room. It seemed to be emanating from above, behind, below.


I put my ear next to the flat screen, against the speakers, down in the cabinet. Turned the cable box off and on.


“Okay, down to the playroom,” I herded the children downstairs so I could focus on finding the source of the noise.

Husband called just then. Yes, no school. Lights have flickered on and off but we still have power. And, there’s a strange noise buzzing from near the stereo equipment.

“Could it be dangerous?” I ask.

“Well, you can move the speaker and see if that’s it.” Done. Nope.

“Try unplugging the Sonos system.” Done. Nope.

He’s so calm in his cozy office while I play neurotic housewife, keeping him on the phone to walk through this investigation with me.

“Okay, it seems to be coming from the floor. Could it be wires underneath? It’s not dangerous, is it?”

“Probably not.”

“Wait, it seems louder over here by the end table. I’m next to the couch.”

(Picture me on hands and knees. Ears to everything.)

“It’s getting really loud. WAIT A MINUTE!”

I bring my head up to view mini pink Barbie computer sitting on top of end table, emanating a loud, really loud, buzzing sound. Pop open the case, turn power to off and voila, sound is gone.

“It was Daughter’s Barbie computer.” Okay, bye.

I thank God that the $14.95 impulse purchase for two year old for Christmas didn’t cost me a $200 visit from the electrician.

Then again, it wasn’t too long ago a repairman found Son’s colossal mistake.

In November we returned home from a week in SF over Thanksgiving to find our backyard and garage flooded. After learning from neighbors that it hadn’t rained much, we thought the underground well-pump must have broken. A well engineer/fixer guy was called.

He circled the house and looked at me. “Your well is fine. Your garden hose has been on full blast.” That would be for ten days. Ten days! A dim, fuzzy memory creeps into my brain. The warmish day before we left for SF, Son is outside, asking to turn on the hose.

“No, it’s winter,” I reply. “We don’t use the hose at this time of year.” Guess he did. Must have been while I raked those remaining leaves. And we never saw it since we went inside shortly afterwards and left for the airport in darkness the next morning.

Fortunately, there’s a strange CT state clause that allows home insurance to pay claims on water damage for human accidents like these. “Yup,” the adjuster said. “There was a kid upstate who turned on a fire hydrant and the water ran all the way down the street and into a driveway and flooded a home’s basement. Ruined everything.” Okay then.

“How old is your son?”


“Oh, I see.”

Strange household noises or floods? Check with the kids first.

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