Home Again, Home Again (Almost)
When last we left you, our plucky heroine had just reached the safety of her home after enduring a harrowing adventure that included numbing cold, punishing winds, a disconcerting warning beacon, a near collision with a directionally challenged driver, and highway robbery by a hissing air pump. Failed by an unreliable tire gauge and abandoned by not one but three video crazed gamers, she was feeling quite distressed when a gallant knight came to her aid, resolved her dilemma, and bid her safely on her way.
Okay, so it wasn’t exactly a chivalric romance, but I can honestly say I was one relieved old damsel when at last I arrived home and walked to my back door. I put the key into the deadbolt lock, gave it a turn and . . . nothing. The door wouldn’t open. I tried again. Still nothing. I was perplexed. This had never happened before. I checked to make sure I was using the correct key. I turned the key again, this time ramming my body against the door. Nothing. Then I tried the standard no-fail method: While turning the key I kicked the door. Zilch. Next, I combined the no-fail method with the sure-fire method, the “kick-and-cuss.” Zip. The same tactics proved no more successful on the front door.
It’s A Lock
Then, I realized the problem. Both doors have three locks, an inside safety deadbolt, a keyed deadbolt, and the doorknob lock. Only the second deadbolt accepts the key. The previous owner had never had the knob lock keyed to match the deadbolt. I had lived here for a year and a half and had never so much as touched that knob lock. But today, the coldest day since last winter (and a holiday besides)–this day of all days that miserable little button got turned somehow and my fate was sealed. Why??! (I have my own theory about such inexplicable mysteries which I’ll explain in a future posting.)
For now, though, THINK! Suddenly I recalled noticing recently that my bedroom windows were unlocked. (I open them occasionally for fresh air.) These windows face the street and overlook the roof of my front porch below. I retrieved the stepladder from the garage and set it up at one end of the porch roof. Despite a three-foot gap between the top of the ladder and the roof, I climbed up to assess the situation. Not daring to risk life and limb on such a long shot (I’m only 5’3″) I stopped to consider other options. Just then three young men came out of the house across the street. I called out and asked if they had an extension ladder. “No, we don’t have any ladders,” one replied and they all got into their truck and drove away. If not for the different model truck, I’d swear they were the same three from Mesquite. Same cavalier attitude. Twits!
One More Rescue Tale
I looked around and saw lights on at another house across the street. Beyond worrying about being a nuisance, I knocked on the door. My neighbor’s parents were visiting her and their granddaughter. All were very gracious and sympathetic to my plight. And, yes, they had a ladder, one of those multi-positional, scaffolding types–and it reached the top of the porch. Up I went, my neighbor asking if I couldn’t have picked a warmer night. I gingerly crawled onto the sloping roof, inching my way across the shingles in my ivory-colored moleskin pants to the nearest window. Using my car key I pried the screen from the window casing and, after a couple of upward jerks, the window was open. I tossed the screen inside and climbed over the sill, stepped onto solid flooring, and immediately tripped over the footstool in front of the rocker. Never mind. I was home and breathing in warm air at last.
After greeting the animals I returned to my neighbor’s house and thanked everyone for their help. Back home, I fed the animals, treated myself to a generous glass of wine, and collapsed into bed.
Next morning I called a locksmith.
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