I am lock challenged. When I was growing up in Murdo, I didn’t have to lock anything. We didn’t lock our house. I don’t remember even having a key to the house. Jimmy from up the street used to come to our house and watch television whether we were home or not.
We didn’t lock the car, the Motel, and definitely not our suitcases. Why would someone lock a suitcase anyway? If someone wanted to steal something inside, why wouldn’t they just take the whole suitcase?
This freedom from having to lock things was hard to give up. Locking things became a real problem for me. My first experience of locking myself out was when I was staying with my brother and his wife in California. They had a nice apartment on the ground floor not far from my summer job. The building was small, so the apartment had lots of windows, which turned out to be a good thing.
The first time I locked myself out, I walked around the building and found the window to the bathroom of the appartment I needed to break into. While trying to pry the screen off, it ripped just a little. That was too bad, but it did make the reach to the inside easy enough that I could sort of pry the window open. Once I got in, I tried to get everything back together, and felt it was good enough that no one would see it. As it turned out, I got into the house through the bathroom window all summer, and as far as I know, they were never robbed.
I think, (at least I would like to think), I remembered to tell them about the broken screen when I moved out.
Fast forward several years. I’m a slow lock learner. I would go by myself to 3k and 10k races that were pretty close to home. You have to remember, it was much different before electric garage door openers and cell phones. There was a key for the car door and another for the ignition. One Saturday, I went to a race and did as I saw others do. I took the key to the car door off the key chain and tied it up in my shoelace. That way I could lock the rest of the keys in the car. It worked great. I got into the car easily enough and drove to the store. When I finished my shopping and came back to the car, I had the keys to the ignition, but the door key was laying on the front seat. Right, I couldn’t get into the car. I had to call a locksmith.
I had a job in sales, and while I was out calling on customers, I had to stop every few hours and return phone calls. It was still before cell phones, so I knew where every payphone was. This particular day I stopped at Tom Thumb. I had a run in my hose and had to buy new ones. The pay phone was right outside the lady’s room, so I took my folder and called my office to get my messages. I took the folder with the keys on top of it in with me to change. when I was ready, I leaned over to flush and WHOOSH! My house key, car key, my son’s apartment key, and I don’t remember what else went down to live with the sewer rats. I screamed and the woman in the next stall screamed too. There I was at Tom Thumb, and couldn’t do anything because I didn’t have a key. I used the payphone and finally got a hold of my son who had just moved into his own apartment. I prayed he still had a key to our house. He did. I heard him yell to his co-workers. “I have to go to Tom Thumb and get my Mom, she flushed all of her keys down the toilet.”
I got home, got my extra set of car keys and took the key we had stuck in the inside of the back door so I could get into the house later. I intended to get a copy made and put the key back, but I ran out of time. Later that evening my husband asked where the key to the back door was. When I explained, he said he had never heard of someone flushing their keys. I agreed that it was strange. After all, sometimes you have to flush 3 times to get a Kleenex to go down. I now just had one set of keys. I hadn’t made it to wherever I had to go to get another car key made. Those things cost about $40.00 back then, but so did the locksmith.
I started out with two sets of keys. A week or so later… It’s very early in the morning and I am at the airport. I pull up to a place outside the airport, where they park your car and you take a shuttle to the terminals. I pulled up, got in the trunk, and got my golf bag and suitcase out, then I got on the shuttle. I looked out the window and there was a guy motioning to me. It looked like he was saying he needed my keys. I drug my clubs and suitcase and got off the shuttle. After searching through my purse, I finally realized I must have locked my keys in the trunk. It’s 6:30 a.m. My car is right in the way of every other car trying to get in. I called my husband, who was still at home, but 45 minutes from where I was. He said something like,”I don’t know what you want me to do. You don’t have anymore keys.” I was distraught to say the least, and he wasn’t being very helpful. I told him I could get into the car, just not the trunk. He said to try opening up the glove compartment and push the button that opens up the trunk. In all fairness, it was a company car and not every car has that button. I got some looks as I got back on the shuttle that had been nice enough to wait for me.
Except for my brother’s apartment, all of the things I just told you about happened within a few weeks. I would like to say I have never had another problem with keys or locks, but I would be lying. It has helped to have a cell phone and an electric garage door opener. I can now make it through most days. Well, unless something totally unrelated happens.