Well, the Locks Work

I love my new home, which was built in 1979 and still has mementos, shall we say,  of those early days.

No sense getting rid of something if it works, right? I learned the hard way just how well some of those pieces have held up over the years. Take the doorknobs, for example. Or let me say, take the doorknobs, please.

Last night I had one of those fluke home accidents that are difficult to reconstruct and embarrassing to explain. So rather than try to paint a detailed picture for you, suffice to say, some tissue caught on fire, I tossed it in the toilet, had the presence of mind to turn the fan on, and closed the door so the smoke detectors wouldn’t go off. It should be noted I was certain the fire was doused at that point.

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Yeah, one of the cats could’ve opened it.

Later, when I was sure the smoke was cleared, I returned to the bathroom and — the door was locked. I did everything I knew to do with a locked bathroom door, including breaking a hanger so I could use the hook at the top to pop out the lock, sliding a credit card past the latch and looking at the other locks for clues.

Oh yes, checking the door sills for a magic key. Those, no doubt, were lost long ago.

This morning, promptly at store opening, I entered Lowe’s and headed to their key counter, hoping they had a magic key. No such luck. Use a hanger, the guy told me, or a credit card.

My neighbors helped me with a tool or two, but still, nothing worked. I was forced to call my landlord, who got a good laugh out the situation. She’d done it herself, she said, but she couldn’t remember how she’d gotten the door open again.

A picture is worth a thousand words…here’s before and after…what you can’t see in this picture is how we tried to take the door off the hinges, then realized we’d have to pull it straight out and try not to tear out the latch. We abandoned that idea.

Eventually Catherine, my landlord, somehow got the door open with a credit card and a screwdriver. We’d tried that before, to no avail, but this time she got it to work.,

It took an hour, and that was the time spent on it after she arrived. The cats were confused, but friendly (they like Catherine).

Last summer she debated about changing the door knobs. Now I helped make that decision for her.

But I can get into my bathroom again.


Image of Cat © geosap — Fotolia/AdobeStock