That was the sound of the evening in our household, when one of our smoke detectors decided it needed a new battery. The unfortunate part was that we’re fairly new homeowners, so I’m still figuring out some of the things most people my age already know, like rhythmic beeping means new battery. Luckily, the smoke detector company thought of people like me when they put the instructions inside the case, right where you can see them when you’re trying to figure out how to disconnect and smash the beeping devil.

(I know, it also has the warning about radioactive materials in the detector. No smashing.)

We didn’t have any 9-volt batteries — since nothing else in the house uses them — but our friendly neighborhood Walgreens just started a 24-hour schedule, which was a night-saver. So, I’m over at Walgreens, dressed in a “Jackie Manuel has a Posse” shirt and shorts, way too bleary-eyed for the actual time — long day — eavesdropping on a conversation where people were talking about gang fights at local high schools, while trying to figure out whether 2 packs for $7 is a good deal.

The moral of the story? Change the batteries at least once a year. And Walgreens Store #07317 is a little piece of household shopping heaven.