Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Breaking In

Adventures are never much fun when you're going through them.

After work at the assisted living place, I went home and gathered up many of my belongings. I cleaned out my dresser, stuffing each drawer into a plastic grocery bag or two and discarding the excess T-shirts into the Donation pile. Then I put my boxed food items into paper grocery bags and put the essential refrigerator foods into a cooler. I loaded it all into my car and topped everything with some more closet clothes.

At my friend's house (my new home), I started unloading the car. First stop was to shut off the alarm. I put my purse in my room and started bringing things into the house, leaving the front door open and my car doors open too.

But when I had the cooler and my computer speakers in my hands, I reached for the security screen door, and it was locked. Tight!

My keys and my cell phone were in the house, so I couldn't call anyone, and I couldn't drive anywhere (though I don't know where I would have gone, except by that time I was thinking about how I was going to get to work in the morning without my keys).

My friend's house is a duplex in a senior community, so I knocked on her roofmate's door, but nobody responded. Across the street a light was on in someone's garage. I rang the doorbell, and a really wasted-looking woman came to the door. She led me to the garage, where she and her friends were hanging out. They smelled more strongly of beer than of the cigarettes they were smoking.

Beggars can't be choosers, so I asked for their help. They lent me their cell phone and a phone book, and I looked up the couple I thought was most likely to have my friend's spare key. They didn't. But they had my friend's cell phone number, so I called her, hoping she could tell me who I should call for a spare key. Her phone went right to voicemail.

I looked for her son in the phone book under multiple possible spellings and couldn't find it, so I called back the other friends again to see if they had the son's phone number, but they didn't.

I had no more leads. It left me with only one option: We had to break in. Rather, the guys would have to break in.

There was an older (in his 50s) big guy and a younger (in his 20s) skinny guy, and they scouted the house for weaknesses. The gate had a lock on it, and the big guy hesitated about climbing over, for fear of disturbing the neighbor whose yard he'd have to bother. But the wasted lady said the neighbor had recently passed away, so nobody was there.

The big guy jumped the fence and then reported back about the same time the skinny guy saw a neighbor lady in her driveway and went to her to see if she had a key. She didn't, but the big guy said that if he had a wire coat-hanger, he could break in through the slider door. The neighbor lady said she had one in her car, so she got it and donated it to the cause.

The skinny guy got the door to the back of the garage open and tried the door from the garage to the kitchen, but it was bolted. So all our hopes were on the coat-hanger and the big guy (with some help from the skinny guy).

The skinny guy held a crowbar between the two doors to allow room for the coat-hanger to get in, and the big guy twisted and pulled on the coat-hanger in an effort to get it below the fat dowel that was wedged against the slider door. It took several minutes, but he finally hooked the dowel and gave it a good yank, knocking it onto the floor.

Next was the shorter dowel that lay on the slider track. The big guy straightened out the hook and worked at the end of the dowel until he moved the end away from the door. Then the slider slid open, and we were good to go!

I thanked the two guys and went inside. Then I grabbed my keys from my purse and put them in my pocket and proceeded to bring the rest of my stuff into the house without further mishap.

Once I had finished, I set the alarm for the night, because now I know how easy it is to break into a house.


janice said...

What an adventure!

Two days after we moved into our Columbus home Nick and I got locked out. It took Nick about an hour to bust the garage-to-the-kitchen doorknob out so we could get back in. And it was February.

Thank goodness for unsavory characters.

Malott said...


Breaking and entering is a valuable skill to possess and opens the door, so to speak, to many career opportunities. I applaud the fact that you're branching out.

Tsofah said...

It's almost as scarey to lock yourself out and feel like you can't get back in as it is to realize there always seems to be a weakness in the best of lock systems.

That almost sounded intelligent! ;-D