The Garage Door of Existential Dread
The Flood

Push It Real Good

Yet Another Important Update On The Ongoing Cat/Box Situation:

Somebody peed in the box.

So now nobody gets to play in the box anymore, this is why you can have nice box things, you are gross guys, etc.

Of course, the matter of WHO peed in the box is a mystery for the ages.




So many bladders, so much nonsense.

Speaking of mysteries (and nonsense), can someone tell me WTF this is?


This is in our upstairs hall linen closet. It is some sort of pushable red button up near the top shelf. 

It has mystified us all ever since we moved in, although we have (SO FAR) all managed to resist the urge to PUSH THE RED BUTTON, OH GO ON PUSH IT, JUST SEEEEEEE, WHAT'S THE WORST THAT COULD HAPPENNNNNN? We didn't notice it during the inspection or anything and mostly forget that it's there but then I go to get some towels and I'm like guuuuuuuhhhhhwannapushwannapush.

All my Google searches for "WEIRD RED BUTTON IN CLOSET WHAT DOES IT DO" and a million other variations have turned, exactly nothing helpful. My first guess was some kind of panic button, as the previous owners did install a pretty impressive security system...but it's a also a very modern one, with panic buttons on the control panels. This looks older, possibly original to the house. Perhaps a relic of a previous system? There's also no attic fan or anything else nearby that isn't controlled by a more straightforward switch, at least not anymore. 

(Although we received zero information on the current security system, including HOW TO TURN IT OFF WHEN IT JUST STARTS BEEPING OVER AND OVER AND OVER FOR HOURS AND HOURS. I yanked the battery out and disconnected a bunch of random wires a few months after we moved in until it shut up. Still too scared to push the red button, though, lest I awaken some missed connection and summon the police to come rescue me from folding the fitted sheets.)

So...seriously. Does anyone have one of these in their house? What's it connected to? If I push it, what will happen? Loud noises? Office supplies from Staples showing up at our door? Absolutely nothing? Semi-relatedly, how much will someone pay me to just fuck shit up in this bitch and go press the stupid button already? Cuz I could be up for a dare. 


Valerie Gibson

Omg please use push it it's driving me crazy. Push push push.whats the worst that could happen?


No clue what it's for, but the fact that you haven't pushed it and it's in YOUR HOUSE is somewhat astonishing to me. No way in hell I could live with that there and not push it.


It's obviously the button to open the door to the secret room.


PLEEEEEEEEASE push the red button!

Amy Jo

It's a history eraser button, obviously.

Fraulein N

Old intercom system, maybe? Or maybe it's like that mystery button on Friends that actually controlled stuff in the apartment across the hall. If you push it, your neighbors will think they have a poltergeist.

All of which is to say, I'm with Wendy: it's in your house HOW HAVE YOU NOT PUSHED IT YET?


PUSH IT! Triple dog dare you ;)

Megan H.

Just saw this episode of Friends the other day.
You might as well push the button before you go 'Monica' and punch a bunch of holes in the wall!


It will take you to Narnia... Just think of all that yummy Turkish Delight waiting for you on the other side... And just as yummy afternoon teas with Mr Tumnus or whatever his name is...
Puuuushhhh thhheeee buttttoonnnnnn
You know you want to.
You know we all want you to.
What's the worst that could happen? Whatever it is, it'll make for a great next post...


Wait till Jason is home, push it, and walk away all casual-like. Take the dog outside.... leave potential catastrophe-handling for other adult. Then report back!


It opens the door to the panic room?

Erin Miller

Now I have salt n pepa earworm.


Is it a circuit breaker/reset switch thing? (Can you tell by my choice of words that I CLEARLY am an expert on this?)

But yeah. It's in your house! Push the darn thing!!!


We have one and it makes a heinous noise.The elderly man who lived here had it to alert authorities, I guess?

Julie Goldman

It might have been a button to activate a moving tie rack or closet part, which is no longer there.

Nicole P.

OMG I hope this opens a wall to reveal a secret room!!!


Not reading all of the comments but we have one in our closet, and it is a panic button. The only other control panel we have is by the door, so it's for when you're in your house and you hear someone breaking in and don't want to run past the intruder to press the button!


Pleeeeeeaaase push the button. How have you spent months NOT pushing the button? I wouldn't have lasted a week.


100% push the button! But, prior to, just maybe take the plate off and have appropriate tools ready to disconnect the button (in case of heinous noise).


When we moved into our house, the previous owners left behind a small canvas painting hanging in the master bedroom - when we moved it there was a BUTTON behind it. Similar to yours, but older looking, definitely not red and therefore, less ominous. So of course, it being Thanksgiving Day and having only gotten the keys to the house the day before, I pushed it. Nothing. I said, "What the hell is this?" The husband pushed it. Nothing. I pushed it again (and maybe pushed isn't the right word, more like jabbed it multiple times in a row) and wouldn't you know the damn thing was the panic button and connected to the home security system which the old owners hadn't turned off yet. So it was really loud, scared me and my poor 5 month old to death, and the across-the-street neighbor had to call the old owners to come turn it off. On Thanksgiving.

So, in short, I say press it. But prepare yourself first.


I hope it calls The Doctor. Tennant version please!


PUSH IT!!!!!!!!!!


PUSH THE DAMNED THING!!!! Blame the dog, if required. But it sounds very much like a door to a secret place.


My husband thinks it looks like some sort of emergency shut-down switch.


Whole house fan!


We had this in our house when I was little. It was a panic button and I *think* it was a silent alarm that contacted the alarm company and/or police directly. It was also in the closet. We actually had one on each floor (master clothes closet and hallway coat closet).


Push it real good! 😂

Olivia Enabulele

I would have pushed that button as soon as I saw it.


I don't watch "Friends", but I do watch "Would I Lie To You?"

I love David Mitchell, in all his nerdy glory.


I'm going to guess clothes line, and go against the current and say PULL it and see what happens.




We have a light switch in our garage that we have NO idea what it's connected to... Have lived in this house almost 17 years & still haven't figured it out.

Renee Hopkins

It's a panic button for the circa 80s/90s system in your home that's likely no longer monitored.


Probably the entrance to the Bat Cave.


My cat will pee in a box every single time. I think he thinks he is supposed to pee in it????

That is a panic button to your security system - calls the police. I had one in my master closet in my last house. Why is this one in a linen closet? Is it big enough to hide in if you would hear an intruder?

Samantha Healy

Push it!

I would've the moment I saw it :p and if the police come, thank them. They need some praise in these troubled times.

Emily Staats

Where is your furnace? Anytime I see a red button/switch in a house its typically an emergency shut-off. Kind of weird that yours would be in a closet though, but if its original to the house maybe your closet wasn't always a closet? People do weird things in houses... I don't know if you have a basement, but we do and our shut off looks like a red light switch at the top of the basement stairs.


It doesn't look the same, by my aunt and uncle have a button in their bedroom that closes the garage door (I guess in case you realize when you go to bed you forgot to close it?) And yup, I'm with everyone else--you need to push that button.

Sue W

Any box that would come to the house, Orleans would pee in it. Then it went in the trash.
The button might release the Zombies. I would proceed with caution!


How have you not pushed that yet???


If you call the non emergency number to the police and tell them you think it might be a panic button but you're not sure and are going to push it, they won't come storm the castle if it does call them.

Then push it!


Repeat after me: "Now, Ike - I DON'T want you to push that matter what!"

Then leave a chair next to the closet...all casual like.

Thirdly, hide across the hall under a blanket with a video camera.

And B) post the video, please. I'd like to see how close my guess is. I'm thinking it'll take him less than 5 minutes to push the button.

At least you can blame it on the baby if it ends up being a disaster.


I vote for clothes line. Rachel: have you checked if it's connected to an outdoor outlet?




I'd be tempted to unscrew it from the wall and see what color the wires are to see if I can see those wires somewhere else in the house. Maybe ever get carried away and put a multi-meter on the wires to see if it's live. I suspect it's a low voltage circuit (think doorbell wire) at the button but it could easily be connected to a relay to switch a larger load.


Have a couple cold beers ready, a pot of coffee on, some fresh cookies, and a chainsaw/baseball bat at the ready THEN push the button. That should cover most situations...oh, and make sure you went to pee first. LOL!


I came back hoping for an update (you MUST have pushed it by now, right?). But I scrolled through the comments and realized Jeff's idea is probably the best place to start if you're not sure. Grab a multimeter (they're cheap and handy to have around) and see what you're dealing with.


Delurking to confirm that it is a panic button. Our house was built in the late '70s, has what looks like an alarm system from the late '80s or early '90s, and we have two of these--one outside the master suite, and one outside the children's bedrooms.


Come on Spindarella...PUSH IT!


I'll pay up $10 for you to push it. :)


I can't believe you've lived in this house for so long now and haven't pushed that button!


How is it possible that there are 51 comments in this thread and there's not a single Lost reference? If you push it once, you're going to have to do it every 108 minutes for the rest of your life!


Robin wins the comments!! hahaha
Please push the button! I'll be back tomorrow to read about what happened.


It's a panic button/silent alarm that connects to the police station. I know this because we pushed the button the day we moved into our house back in 1994. It took some doing to convince the police that we were not robbing the house.


If you push the button, Donald Trump will disappear from politics.


First thing I thought was clothesline - pull it? Is there a corresponding hook thing in the other side?


It's got to have something to do with the garage door from your dream right? Maybe the creepy neighbor from the dream has the answer...


It's not a panic button.
It's a bypass button. My mothers house in Baltimore county has one EXACTLY like it from an old alarm system from when we were kids (I think it was from Moose alarms). Just like yours it was in an upstairs closet.
Pressing it would switch it between red and black, and would also control whether or not the upstairs windows were part of the alarm circuit. In other words if the bypass was on you could open the windows without setting off the alarm- useful on warm nights.
My guess is it's not part of the alarm system anymore as you said it had been replaced. Probably does nothing at all, the installers probably didn't even know it was there.
Call your alarm provider and ask if they have either a bypass button or a dedicated panic button in the equipment list. If not, it's probably not hooked up.
You can also tell them you're going to press it and if it triggers a silent alarm then it's just you testing it.
The other test is to put your alarm system on and open the upstairs window. If the alarm doesn't go off, it's a bypass and it's on (and you should press it to put the windows back in the circuit.) either way just tell the alarm company ahead of time so they don't dispatch the cops if you do trigger a silent alarm (highly unlikely).


As I think about it more-
Pretty sure red was bypass OFF aka upstairs in the circuit. Black was bypass ON.
If your upstairs Windows make the alarm indicate that something was opened even with it disarmed then you can test it without setting off the alarm. Click it so it's black and open a window, no indication means it's an active bypass.
Still, tell the company you are messing with it, just in case.

Amy in StL

So you disconnected your alarm system rather than fix it? You also just told the whole internet that? I put in an alarm system the week I moved into my house. Most systems also can be set to beep when a door is opened so you know when a child is going out - or an intruder is coming in. It might come in handy.


Push the button, but have someone video you while you're doing it. I want to see what happens!

Amy A

How old were the previous owners? Possibly a Life Alert button? Why in the closet I have no clue, but it resembles, on a larger scale, the Life Alert button my elderly mom wears as a bracelet.

Now I need to know what the hell this is!


@Meagan: Yes, we have & no, it's not. :)


That is the most pushable button I've ever seen! It reminds me of sci-fi from when I was a kid. I would love a panel full of candy-colored buttons to push! I sincerely hope you figure it out, but part of me thinks it's cool that you have no idea what it's for. It makes you so mysterious!


Have you pushed it yet or what? It's been two days. Make one of the kids push it. Then when the police/SWAT team arrives you have plausible deniability.


I didn't know that the Yellow House is really the Hatch. You've lived there for way longer than 108 minutes and not pushing the button. Thanks for basically bringing world's end.

Amy A

Okay, this is getting really weird now, shades of Twilight Zone or other-worldliness weird. So, I just tried to bring up your blog, certain that you were set to tell us curious readers what the red button was, because of course you'd have pushed it by now--right?--and, and.....nothing came up on your blog!!!!!! Like, your name and picture, but otherwise nothing--just a vast blank rectangular space, screaming OMG she pushed the red button and now look what you've done, readers, you've consigned Amalah into oblivion!!!!
But then I tried again and here you are, all safe and sound, and I'm immensely relieved. And a bit abashed by my leap into nonsensical-ism, but what's important is that all is well.
Yet there remains still the unanswered question--did you???


Are y'all all in jail or something for pushing the button??


If y'all pushed the button and the aliens came and got ya, but forgot me, I will be a super sad panda! ;)


I think you should read Button, Button by Richard Matheson.


Normally a lurker, but I think you live near EC... so hoping everyone and everything is okay.

The comments to this entry are closed.