Thursday, May 21, 2015

Locked Out!

     It happened yesterday morning when I left for work. I knew I'd done it as soon as the back door clicked shut.  I had made a quick bicycle ride to the supermarket the previous evening and had transferred pocketbook, cellphone and keys to a smaller purse for the trip.  The phone, I'd got.  The other two items?  Still in that purse, still on my bedroom desk.

     Ordinarily, it wouldn't be a problem.  Tap on a window 'til Tam came to see what was the matter.  But she'd left on a day-long trip to the Greater Cincinnati area a half-hour before.  The back yard is fully fenced: I was trapped!

     Well, almost trapped.  I had my car key and garage opener.  I'd even packed a nice lunch.  And I work for a living, which means I wear Carhartts or jeans; so I climbed the fence, opened the garage door, and nipped through to the person-sized door that opens into the back yard -- the door which, as it turned out, which Tam had helpfully left unlocked.

     Called our local locksmith on my way to work and arranged for them to call me when they had a guy in the area in the afternoon.

The Uncooperative Locks: A Short Drama

     (Opens in black, fade up on A Locksmith, working on the back door with his picks and muttering--)

     A Locksmith: "The other locks were easy, but this inner one, it's real loose.  The pins won't stay-- Nope.  Keyed alike, is it?  I'll just make up a key to fit the other two." 

     (Fade to black, with sounds of metal being cut; fade up on A Locksmith, trying three very slightly different keys.)

     A Locksmith: "That's funny.  It works the other two locks and the one on the garage.  Aha!  Oh, nope."

     Helpful Homeowner: "We could try the front door, maybe?"

      (Fade to black, fade up to image of a clock with the hands spinning,  fade to shot of A Locksmith and Helpful Homeowner at front door.  A Locksmith is holind four keys in one hand while trying a fifth one on the main door lock.)

     A Locksmith: "It didn't pick any better then the other one, but this key -- I started oversize and I'm taking it down just a tiny bit every time-- Ow!"  (Key turns with a jolt, causing A Locksmith to jab himself with the other four fresh-made and quite sharp keys.)

     Helpful Homeowner: "Don't open it!  I'll go through first.  Otherwise, that yellow cat who's been watching us in the window will be off like a shot.  Oh, by the way, how much do I owe you for this?"

     A Locksmith: [short, bitter laugh.] "Standard charge, sixty bucks."

     The End

     It took an hour and a half.  The locks here at Roseholme are old, but they're not easy to pick.


Sevesteen said...

I have a combination deadbolt for this reason. Schlage has worked well, Kwikset not so much.

Anonymous said...

We have gone to these kinds of lock for that very reason:

also have some mechanical pushbutton locks too:
(More expensive though)

Very handy for when you can't find your keys.

Eagle said...

I'm surprised you with your general DIY handiness approach you didn't pick your own locks. Or previously engineered some sort of secure electronic gizmo for opening one of the doors.

Sigman said...

Old but hard to pick sounds like a feature, not a bug.

Jerry said...

So,which version of CLP do you use on the locks?

Anonymous said...

Real Estate lock boxes work great, as long as they aren't in a visible location. And they are cheaper than the good combination dead bolts.

But I second the motion about having a plan in place. I would lock myself out of everything otherwise.

Stingray said...

On the bright side: when the next wave of paranoia about bump-picking sweeps the internet, conveniently forgetting about swift kicks to the latch area, you'll be well ahead of the curve and know you're protected!

Anonymous said...

Glad it worked out finally.

My problem was locking my keys in the vehicle. I finally started carrying a second set, and I never needed them. For 30 years it has worked, and I never, ever needed the second set. I accidentally left one set at my sisters, and yes, I locked myself out the next day.


waepnedmann said...

I lost the only key to the tool boxes on the utility body of my work truck.
The local locksmith was an old hippie in Waldport, Oregon who started his business with a key maker powered off of an inverter in his van.
I took the truck to him expecting that he would have to drill the cylinder and replace it.
He took his penlight, peered into the keyhole, then walked into his shop and cut a key.
It worked first try.
He told me that if he can see a key that a tourist has left on the floor of their car and locked themselves out he can cut a duplicate that works every time.
It is rare in today's world to not only find competence but excellence.

Dorsai said...

I keep a key to our detached garage hidden in a place near the house. A truly dedicated searcher might find it, but it would only get him into the garage. Finding the house key hidden in the garage would require fanaticism rather than mere dedication.

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

The apartment I lived in before I bought my house only had a deadbolt, so when I left I could only lock it from the outside with the key. That ensured I had the key with me, every time.

I made a conscious decision to continue that habit after I bought the house, rather than locking the knob before I close the door. Sure, it's not as convenient, but it's saved me from being locked out on more than one occasion.