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Secret Midnight Scarecrow

Stop birds from activating house alarms early in the morning
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// The problem //

Every dawn for the past week or so, I have been rudely awoken by the shrieking sound of an extremely loud house alarm. It has stopped me from getting some much-needed sleep, and has caused some great dreams to come to an unwelcome end. I try wrapping my pillow round my head but I can still hear the sound. I try opening my window and shouting expletives but my curses are drowned by the noise. I have one option left: find the source of the problem and put a stop to it.

This morning, I set my bedside alarm for 5am, a full hour before the neighbour’s house alarm usually goes off. I cracked out a pair of binoculars, opened my window and spied on the alarm, to find out what it is that’s setting the alarm off. On top of discovering that it is actually birds flying past the alarm at great speed that’s setting it off, I also found out that the woman across the garden who’s husband works a night shift has a very dark secret. But never mind that, it is more important that I now have the information necessary to put an end to my sleep deprivation.

I don’t want to use guns or loud noises to scare off the birds, so the next best thing I can think of in bird-scaring technology is the good old-fashioned scarecrow. Unfortunately, my neighbours objected to my erecting a scarecrow on their property, but I don’t want to lose the battle now, so I think I’ll need to employ some other means to solve this particular problem.

// The solution //

My plan is to suspend a length of rope (via two pullies) between our two houses when the neighbours are out, so that I can hang a scarecrow from the line and pull it back and forth. Before I go to bed, I give the scarecrow an almighty push across the line so that it hangs in front of their house alarm. The birds will be in for a shock when they try and wake me up this time! To make sure that the neighbours don’t wake up to find an effigy of a man hanging from their wall, I rig the pully system up to an alarm clock and set it for about 7am. Instead of sounding an alarm, it will craftily pull the scarecrow back towards my house, and my neighbours will be none the wiser (I’m no engineer, but I’m almost certain that this is possible, having watched the beginning of The Goonies). If the neighbours object to the rope, I can hopefully negotiate a washing line situation with them. If not, then it’s back to the old drawing board.

spiritualized, Aug 06 2004

Illustration http://i28.photobuc...nbach/scarecrow.jpg
The scarecrow itself, dangling from a length of rope between our two houses [spiritualized, Oct 04 2004, last modified May 29 2006]

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       OK, so your scarecrow has worked throughout the night, the birds have not dared to enter the bounds of the alarm detection system for fear of the effigy that is suspended there, the hours creep by interminably, it reaches 7am, your system goes into operation (along these lines that your neighbours of course haven't noticed yet) hauling the effigy back across the road.....   

       Now surely if little birdies set off the alarm, then a person sized object would be sure to?
Sattamassagana, Aug 06 2004
  

       We'd just have to pull it back slowly, as I'm almost certain that it's more to do with the speed that the birds are flying past it.
spiritualized, Aug 07 2004
  

       Nice artwork, but what happened to the lady and her dark secret?   

       Years, I tell you, years...
normzone, Jun 28 2012
  
      
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