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SUNDAY, APRIL 2, 2006
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TOM WRIGHT

Electronic rooster harder to control

The farmer down the road from where I grew up in Blount County euthanized a rooster one night.

The Rhode Island Red couldn't get his crowing hour right and kept awakening the farmer with his ill-timed cock-a-doodle-doos.

The interruptions interfered with the farmer's sleep so much that one morning about 2, he reached for his 12-gauge.

The farmer never got another rooster. He said they were unreliable.

I though of the old guy the other night when my electronic rooster crowed at 12:50 a.m. But first I thoughtthat a beaver was gnawing at the corner of the house.

"Brrrrrrrr, brrrrrrr, brrrrr," we heard the sound coming in short, vigorous spurts.

"Do something," Regina demanded.

"I will when I can figure out what it is and where it is," I replied.

"I think it's my cell phone with the ringer off," I said, after fumbling for a lamp switch.

"Answer it," she said, in that stressed voice that comes with telephone calls at late hours.

"Nobody there," I said, after locating the phone on a chest of drawers.

At 12:50 a.m., I was afraid to tell her that in attempting to figure out one more thing that a cell phone will do, I set the alarm.

I thought that after pushing about 15 buttons and reading a dozen menus, I had succeeded in shooting my rooster.

The display gave me a choice between Alarm 1 and Alarm 2. In setting the alarm, I apparently chose No. 1. In attempting to disarm it, I must have chosen No. 2.

Problem solved, we returned to bed.

The phone has a snooze button, too. So back I went to shut it off. By then, Regina caught on and wanted to know if I had been fiddling with the settings again.

I confessed and she flipped over in bed and remembered the time I programmed the television set to come on during the night when we were away and then forgot to change it when we returned home.

I'm lucky I didn't go the way of the farmer's rooster.

Tom Wright Tom Wright
DAILY Executive Editor

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