My eyes snapped open, jolting me out of my deep and I became terrified.

The whole room flashed crazily red, white, green and blue. The bed was shaking and I thought I could hear a high-pitched whine that rooted me to my bed that tried to chuck me off.

That was it.

I’m being abducted by aliens.

After performing experiments of the probing kind, they would demand I take them to their leader.

Well, wouldn’t you think so, if you woken up this way?

But my sleepy dreamy world that was the over imagination of my brain soon went to sit in a quiet corner and I realised what happened.

It was my smoke alarm.

‘What? That’s a smoke alarm? All I’ve got is a beeping smoke alarm.’

Well, I would, but I’m profoundly deaf. There would be absolutely no way I would wake up to that if I’m fast asleep in my bed with my hearing aids out.

And it takes absolutely a mission to wake me up. I’ve been known to sleep through fierce storms, rocking earthquakes, annoyingly deep snorers and, once, an ax murderer banging on my door. (But that’s another story).


The Cumberland Hotel



Quite often, I would wake up in the morning, have breakfast with my family and friends who would remark about an entertaining screaming match in the street during the night. I would eat in silence, annoyed that I missed such a commotion because I simply didn’t hear and wake up.

Unless I was being abducted by aliens.

So, let’s go back to that night.

Yes, my Bellman Smoke Alarm transmitter suddenly went off due to a very cremated toast in the kitchens below. My Bellman flashing receiver as a result, flashed me lights into my face disturbing me from my REM sleep and the icing on the cake was my Bellman vibrating pad under my pillow making my eyes snap wide open.


Bellman Smoke Alarm


It worked! My smoke alarm woke me up in an emergency!

Well, it made me think initially the little green men were to kidnap me but suddenly I jumped out and grabbed the coat hanging on my door and walked outside the hostel to stand outside at the assembly point.

I was impressed. I was out and safe while the firemen tutted at the waste of bread.

Suddenly, I heard a snigger behind me. I looked round to find a group of people pointing at me and doubling over in laughter.

I looked down at myself. Ah, damn.

In my rush to get outside to safety, I was wearing my bed short shorts that I sleep in. On top, I had picked up my leather jacket. So, you can imagine I looked a sight, standing on a street corner, bare-legged with my jacket just covering my shorts, and my leather jacket zipped halfway down revealing my chest.


Two firemen came out of the building to announce it was safe to go inside and threw to a sheepish looking guy the blackened toast. But, as they started walking to their fire engine, they stopped at the sight of me:

‘Alright, Tootsie?’

They roared out with laughter as I glared at them before going back inside, out of the cold.

I climbed back into bed and calmed down. But I was glad to see that despite the situation (in hindsight) was hilarious, I could be safe in the knowledge that my smoke alarm is working.

As I dozed, my nose could pick up the smell of burning toast. My eyes snapped open,

‘Oh no, it’s going to go off again!’

It did. The aliens were back.


Read more deaf travel stories:

When my hearing went down the toilet…