Thursday, November 5, 2009

Lock and load

If you locked yourself out of your house, how would you proceed? Would you consult me? Yes? Well done.
As it happens, I have a little experience with this. In my experience you would:

Near Washington, D.C.:
  • Realize you locked keys and phone in your apartment.
  • Try to remember where a pay phone is in this day and age.
  • Go to the one that you vaguely remember at the not-particularly-nearby convenience store.
  • Discover that urine-smelling phone doesn't really work.
  • Try phone next to it.
  • Call your ex who still has a key to your apartment and leave a message you don't expect her to return saying you're locked out and need her key.
  • Borrow phone book from the convenience store.
  • Call locksmith, talk to answering service, explain that you don't have a callback number but will be waiting at your apartment.
  • Wait at your apartment for more than an hour and a half, until your across-the-hall neighbor comes home.
  • Introduce yourself to across-the-hall neighbor, who you've been living across from for three years.
  • Ask to borrow her phone.
  • Call locksmith back and learn that they won't come without a callback number.
  • Express some frustration that this was not mentioned earlier.
  • Give answering service your neighbor's number.
  • Continue to wait outside until neighbor comes out to hand you her phone.
  • Talk to locksmith.
  • Get locksmith to let you in.
  • Prove identity.
  • Pay approximately $80.

In southwestern NH:
  • Gasp, and feel glad your friend is there.
  • Call AAA, just in case they'll send a locksmith, and to ask their advice on locksmiths if they won't.
  • Call three locksmiths recommended by the very nice and sympathetic customer service rep at AAA.
  • Leave messages for all three.
  • Try every door forty times.
  • Ask across-the-street neighbor, who you know well, to borrow a hammer.
  • Laugh at his horrified expression and explain you just want it to remove a window from its hinge, not to smash stuff.
  • Try to remove window from its hinge.
  • Fail.
  • Go to work, assuming locksmiths will call back soon.
  • Look up other area locksmiths on the Internet.
  • Call three more locksmiths.
  • Go to dinner with your friend, assuming locksmiths will call back soon.
  • Come home.
  • Decide you can't bear to smash even a small window, because that's breaking the house you own, deliberately, but hand the hammer to your friend.
  • Be impressed both at the strength of the window and at the strength of your friend.
  • Return hammer to neighbor who does not at all say I-told-you-so.
  • Tack cardboard up over the window.
  • Never, ever get a return call from any of the six locksmiths.


As if you couldn't guess Amanda said...

I recently interrupted the open house at the Bailey's Crossroads Volunteer Fire Department near me to ask if I could borrow a ladder to get into my very high up balcony on which I'd left the door ajar. Robert had left to drive to the home of one of our two friends with spare keys. neither had answered when we called from our way-down-the-row neighbor's house. Both of our phones were in the house.
Back to the station house: Asst. fire chief said no and handed me a phonebook.
Nice fire chief overheard one his employees being a dickhead in the middle of a community fundraise and said sure, we'll come down in a few minutes --- after the kids get done playing in the truck and having their pix taken.
I walked back down to the house only to see Robert and Bailey(who'd been in the locked house) coming toward me. Turns out, one of friends with a toddler was not at one of the gazillion fall festivals going on that Saturday and was at home with our key.
I turn around and run toward firehouse as to not ruin the kiddies' fun.

As a I get 100 feet away, here comes the truck. I wave them off, only to asst. fire chief roll his eyes.

bzzzzgrrrl said...

Just re-read this post. It occurs to me that, if I'm going to mention never, ever getting a call back from the country locksmith, I should also mention never, ever getting a call back from the city ex.

You know, in case you were wondering.