Have You Checked the Children?
I tucked AJ into bed and settled down on my luxury sectional for the final episode of "The Shield" (Season 4), the last I possess on DVD. That will apparently be the case for an unknown period of time as Season 5 has not been released and no date is announced. I'm not confident the folks at FOX will jump to fill my jones before Season 6 starts in January based on the fact Season 4 was released on Dec. 26th last year. How was the entire marketing department not fired over that one? Maybe they were going for the "Return Your Crappy DVD Gifts for Season Four of The Shield!" crowd.
Anyway, I settle in when I hear a scream. It sounded thin, like a little girl's. There are plenty of kids in my little corner of the gated apartment community, so I let it go and settled back. A few seconds later, I heard it again. Then another. As a concerned citizen, at least one who doesn't live in a 'hood and must fear witness retribution, I grab a weapon (spatula) and walk out on my balcony to attempt to discern its location. I hear the scream a few more times, but don't see anyone or anything. Nor is the scream accompanied by any other voices or sounds of struggle. Then it hits me. Halloween.
I check my watch and the screams are exactly 20 second apart and last two seconds each. Same pitch, same volume. Somebody's got a holiday squawk box they're trying out. Surely they'll turn it off soon because it's annoying the shit out of me.
I get into my episode and still hear it. I close the sliding glass door, but it fails to quiet the noise, doesn't even seem to lessen it. I try to ignore it, focus on Mackey and Co., but after 15 minutes I'm ready to strangle someone. I put my shoes on, go downstairs with my spatula and head out into the courtyard. I shut the door behind me, light a smoke and listen for the scream. But I can't hear it. One minute...two minutes...nothing. When it dawns on me...
IT'S COMING FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE!!!
At this point, your finer movie scorers will cue the ominous music as I sprint up the stairs, fear radiating on my face to check on AJ. Being that this is my real life, however, the only background should have been clown or circus music. The scream was coming from my laptop, specifically, a pop-up ad for Halloween-themed California Lottery scratchers.
Obviously, devouring the entire Shield canon has not improved my detective skills.