Saturday 03 Dec 2016

The Locked House
Jennifer Flaten

The following story is a true story. To protect the dumbass, I changed the names. All right, all right, you guessed it I'm the dumbass.

Imagine the scene. Girl takes dog for walk. Upon returning home, girl tries to open front door, only to find it locked.

Keep in mind, girl usually makes sure door is unlocked, therefore, girl has no key to unlock door.

Why, don't I take a key with me? Well, I hate carrying stuff with me when I walk, besides I always leave the door unlocked.

No, don't even ask. We don't keep a spare key hidden. Well, we didn't, but now do.

After I stand there for a minute or two, I try the knob again, because, you know maybe I turned it wrong before.

Nope, the door remains locked. I look at the dog to see if, maybe, just maybe he has the answer or, perhaps, a key to the door. He doesn't.

I try the door again. Yes, I'm the eternal optimist. After that, I say a few choice words, most of them very, very naughty, but useful in such circumstances. I start thinking about my next step.

I did have a cell phone with me I could call for help. It's just (a) I hate looking foolish and this would make me look foolish. I know you are wondering why I don't feel foolish telling you dear reader, well because it's funny now. It wasn't then and (b) help wouldn't arrive in time.

See, the clock was ticking down. I had about 45 minutes until I needed to be at school to pick up the kids.

If I cupped my hands to the window and squinted, I could see my keys dangling from the key rack mocking me.

Hey, I could go in through the garage! Regrettably, it took me too long to realize that was an option.

I hurried to the garage, pushed the super secret code to open the garage and rushed to the door leading from the garage to the house.

Locked, drat and other useful words in my circumstance. Who locks the door from the garage to the house? Why I do, that's who.

Apparently, we do. I threw myself at the door a couple times and gave it a couple kicks for good measure. It looks so easy on TV to kick in a door. Unfortunately, my kicks have absolutely no effect what so ever on the door.

The dog, realizing this was going to take a long time, found a nice place to take a nap.

Okay, back to square one. Hmm, I have a garage full of tools, I could use some or all of them to get in the house.

I immediately rule out anything super destructive, like the ax and useless like the snow blower.

I grab a screwdriver and a Swiss army knife.

Okay, I had tools, now all I had to do was find a way to break into my own house.

I decided it would be best to make my debut as a cat burglar in the back of my house away from prying eyes.

No reason, to the have the police come knocking. Especially, since my id proving my right to enter is inside sitting under the key rack with my keys, as I mentioned I don't like to carry things when I walk.

Besides, I think my family provides enough entertainment to the neighbourhood. I see no reason to give them anything else about which to laugh. I would like to take a moment to thank my property owner, who hasn't updated the windows in the house since 1952 and the home builders of the 1950s who thought screens were a passing fad.

Our screens attach to the window frame on the outside of the house. Granted, there are six screws holding the screen frame in place (six rusted, painted over screws) but I was on a mission. Come hell or high water or police I was getting in that house.

From there, it was simple to drop the top window, unlatch the window itself. Did I mention how safety consciousness is a main family concern? Then I push both windows up and slither through the minuscule opening.

I will spare you the details of how a grown woman managed to wedge herself into a small kitchen window. Spiderman I'm not. In fact, I am not even cat woman. I run to the hardware store and get a spare-key woman.

Jennifer Flaten lives where the local delicacy is fried cheese, Wisconsin. She writes about family life, its amusing or not so amusing moments. "At least it's not another article on global warming," she says. Jennifer bakes a mean banana bread and admits an unusual attraction to balloon animals and cup cakes. Busy preparing for the zombie apocalypse, she stills finds time to write "As I See It," her witty, too often true column. "My urge to write," says Jennifer, "is driven by my love of cupcakes, with sprinkles on top. Who wouldn't write for cupcakes, with sprinkles," she wonders.

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