The Doorbells of Perception

Khanbell alert.

Ding dong. No, I’m not referring to the chocolate frosted cakes with white creamy filling, but if that is the first thing you thought of, I have a feeling we are going to be very close friends. I’m actually talking about the kind of ding dong you hear, as in the common household doorbell.”But why would you devote an entire post to doorbells? That’s incredibly boring,” you’re probably thinking. WELL YOU’RE WRONG. Doorbells are fascinating little pieces of suburbia that have been around for centuries. In fact, did you know that the first electric wired doorbell was invented in 1831 by a guy named Joseph Henry? Pretty neat, huh? No? You’re still bored? Maybe I should spice things up a bit: Doorbells were invented by Genghis Khan, who had grown tired of knocking on village doors before burning them to the ground. The first prototype was a cow bell that rang when you tugged on a length of horse hair. Genghis coined the term “Khanbell,” but the name never stuck for obvious reasons: it was terrible. Centuries later, his great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandson, Dor Bull Khan, discovered the blueprints for the infamous Khanbell in a armoir filled with teeth in his attic. He spent days trying to improve upon his great predecessor’s invention, but to no avail. Just as he was about to make himself a BMT (bacon meat and turkey sandwich), a satellite crashed through the roof and killed Dor Bull instantly, but not before he could scrawl detailed instructions that outlined The Secret of the Dor Bull onto a neatly typed, 12 pt font double spaced information packet that was discovered by the authorities – who incorrectly read it as “Door Bell” – weeks later when neighbors reported a putrid smell wafting from Dor Bull’s house (somehow they hadn’t noticed the giant satellite crash). And that is why doorbells, like the one in my front hallway, are so fascinating.

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