*The story you are about to read is based on actual events. Names have been altered to protect the innocent.
Friday, October 26, 2007 – 11:50 p.m.
Somewhere in Downtown Indianapolis…
After an enjoyable evening supporting a local movie producer/friend’s movie premier and throwing back a few beers at the local Scottish pub, my two friends, Josephine and Edna, and I decided to call it a night. We all piled in my car and made our way to Edna’s house, as she was the first one to be dropped off. Almost as an afterthought Edna asks if Josephine and I might be able to stick around for a few minutes while she walks her dog, Rufus. We naturally agree. Edna lives downtown, and since it is nearly midnight we are happy to escort her in the interest of friendship and safety.
Edna walks up to the front door of her very trendy tri-plex and inserts the key. She goes to push the door open but is stopped by the “burglar latch” (you know those latches infamous on the interior of hotel room doors?). Immediately thereafter, Edna’s security alarm, since it could not be turned off as we were not in the house, began to sing a sirens song loudly into the night. Josephine and I look to one another in an understood “uh, oh” while Edna, in her infinite cool-headed-ness, says “well, that’s not good.” Meanwhile, Rufus, a very cute dog that Edna recently rescued from the humane society, begins to freak out a little.
Josephine and I commence a perimeter check. As Edna’s house is a tri-plex (new term I invented to describe a HUGE downtown home that is divided into three houses) there is only one entrance (which is currently out of commission with the burglar latch). The porch offers a window option but it is a really, really big picture window. The only way to open it is to break it, and that is just no good. Around the side of the house the kitchen window is a possible option except it is locked (way to go on the security Edna) and it is about 10 feet off the ground…so it’s also a no go.
Edna is now on the phone with the security company, who have called to see if there is a problem. She goes through the chain of command (repeating the same information like name, security password, date of birth, blood type, etc.) not less than three times. Finally, after telling them her rescue dog very well may die from a heart attack if they do not turn the alarm off straight away the company complies and we are afforded some silence to consider our situation.
After the perimeter check, and while Edna was still on the phone repeating information to the security people, Josephine and I decide we should call a locksmith. Whipping out our respective Palm One Treo’s Josephine consults Google and I dial 411. I win and get a very enthusiastic man (*drips sarcasm) at the AAA Locksmith who is “ready to help.”
I convey our predicament to Mr. Locksmith receptionist to which he replies, “when do you want someone to come?” I repeat the story again. “We have a burglar latch that has been flipped over. You know, a really thick metal bar the dog must have moved in his excitement. No other entries into the home.” Again, he says “when do you want someone to come?” This is where I begin to think, to myself of course, “Sir, I realize your job stinks a little. It’s Friday night, well Saturday now, and you are answering phones at a locksmith. But I don’t think you understand the issue. Do your technicians come equipped with laser vision whereby they can simply melt the lock away? And, more importantly, what I want from you is some advice. If your people are just going to come and break the glass on the front door to open the lock, maybe we will save the $75 fee you charge, break the window ourselves, and then apply the money we saved tomorrow at Lowes when we buy a new pane of glass.” All of this was lost on him. I gave up and handed the phone to Edna…she’s good with this sort of a thing.
Meanwhile, I noticed at some point during my conversation with Mr. Exciting that Josephine had picked up the garden hose on the porch and she was now pressed up really tightly against the front door. Hmmm. With Edna now handling the locksmith situation I went up to see what Josephine was doing.
Taking the garden hose and sticking it in the mailbox slot on the front door, Josephine was attempting to flip over the latch with the hose. Just in case you are wondering, this does look as hysterical as it sounds. By the time I get up near her she turns and says, “I think I got it but I can’t see to make sure.” There is a window on the front door. It’s a high window and Edna has some venetian blinds covering it so I couldn’t see to confirm Josephine’s suspicion. I then had an idea. “Josephine, could you maybe stick the hose up and then push back the blinds so I can see?” She complies (again, just imagine a garden hose seemingly moving itself inside your good friends front door window and holding back some blinds). Alas, I am too short to see the lock…so is Josephine.
At this point Edna has tired of the locksmith and hangs up on him. She came over to the front door (so now we are all pressed up against it) and looked to see if Josephine and the garden hose was indeed successful. Sadly, her 2-3 inches in height did not add enough because she couldn’t see the lock either. Our only option was to tempt fate and try to open the door again – accepting the fact that the alarm may go off again causing Rufus to flip out for the second time in 15 min.
Deep breath. Doorknob turned. Pushing in slowly. And, WE WERE IN!! Well done Josephine. The dog is happy to see us and he did not die from a heart attack. Edna is relieved to be in her house. Josephine’s wrist is a little sore after having been in a mailbox slot for about 5 min. I amused by the entire situation and can’t wait to blog about it.
Moral of the story: Burgling your best friends house can be wildly entertaining and a fun weekend activity. Mailbox slots are uber useful and should be on all front doors. Burglar latches are excellent at preventing entry into homes. Always ask your friends to wait around until you are in the house (imagine if Josephine and I had left Edna to deal with this on her own-some). Lastly, garden hoses are useful in more ways than one imagine.