A Midnight Adventure through Air Vents

Friday, September 26, 2014

Once upon a time, we decided to buy a house that needs to be renovated, top to bottom. Jump forward just over a year, and we are still living on sub floor in the master bedroom. For some reason, we don’t even have the vent covers on the vents. Why, you ask, would you not cover a good size HOLE in your floor, sitting right next to the bed? No clue, but I bet after this night, we'll make a valiant effort.

One fateful night (aka last night, but that's not nearly as dramatic), at midnight, Brian managed to drop his cell phone down the vent. WAY down the vent. It sucks to lose your phone down the vent. What sucks more is that in five and a half short hours, that phone is going to echo an obnoxious alarm throughout our maze of a ventilation system. Lucky for us, the phone is 100% charged and won't just die anytime soon. Echoes for hours, friends. Even luckier for us is tonight we happen to have THREE sleeping children in the house, as opposed to the usual one. What a night to choose to have a sleepover with the niece and nephew. So the trial and error begins. Of course, we start with reaching our arms in. Not even close. So Brian grabs out his camera and manages not to drop it as he reaches it in to take a photo of our new obstacle. When he reaces in, the vent runs parallel under the floor for about a foot - just long enough to aim the lens straight down a forever long drop.

Look closely. That baaaarely visible litte white speck is Brian's iPhone. The one we still have a year of contract on before we can upgrade. Waaay out of arms reach. So, naturally, we Google some options and decide to start with the shop vac. Oy.

Yes it will be incredibly loud, and definitely echo through our bare halls, but we figure it's the lesser of two evils. The alarm would be way worse. Unfortunately, we can't finagle the hose through the hole. The next logical step, of course, is to start cutting open our vents. Enter sharp cutting tools. It's even more comical that Brian's in his underwear (I'll spare you those shots).

Side note: What's with the grossness? Is that normal? Why did we pay
 someone a billion dollars to clean out our system if they're gonna LOOK LIKE THAT?!
I was not convinced with this plan and decided Brian was going to eventually revert to his old iPhone. So, I started googling how to turn off the phone remotely. I couldn't care less that his phone is lost forever. I'm 100% concerned that a horrifying noise is going to wake up these kids before I have energy to cope AND then we're going to have to leave the house to avoid the war zone noises. NOT IDEAL. There's got to be a way to turn off that darned alarm remotely.

It's now 1am and neither of us are having any luck on our missions. T minus 4.5 hours until misery.

Jump forward a few minutes and several unsuccessful attempts to reach the phone and it's 1:21 am: The phone has stopped ringing when we call it (never figured out why that happened) so now we're using the Find My iPhone app to play sounds as we scavenge through the house with our ears to the wall, trying to figure out where the phone has landed. This, my friends, is way more comical than what I can express in words. All while trying not to wake the kids. Remember our house echoes. A LOT.

So, we originally thought it would be in the dining room ceiling, but entertainingly enough, the phone seems to have made it's way all the way to the basement.

The new plan is to start cutting again. I struggle to decide between watching the man cut apart our duct system, having no clue what he's doing, and crawling back into bed. I decide to opt for comfy computer chair and a blanket. Tomorrow will be a heavy coffee day.

1:45am. Never mind. This has been fun but I'm going to bed. When I leave him, Brian is looking for the second battery to his drill. So we head up stairs, I take the dogs with, and the noise echoing through the vent from that blasted drill is not only OBNOXIOUS, it's also freaking out my dogs. Awesome. I move their bed to the other side of the room, and Bailey and I try to sleep. Doug stands watch over the noises. We're safe now. Every sound makes him sit up straighter. Poor pup.

2:04am. I'm almost asleep when I receive a text.

Doug, btw, is still standing guard. He's moved closer to the side of my bed.

Ironically, before we even fell asleep, Avaya fell out of her bed and crying echoed through the house. Luckily, we had put big pillows on the floor, just in case. She was fine (just a little startled) & went right back to sleep. The phone, we are pleased to report, fell two stories and is also still in tact. No cracks. Props, iPhone.

The vent system wasn't so lucky.

This morning I woke up to this creative fix.

That, my friends, is a diaper.

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