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December 30, 2004: Coming undone

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When we first moved into our house we rather quickly discovered that the front door bolt was a little unusual. Not only does it latch in the normal manner, by sliding a deadbolt into the wall, it also has a super special secret lock, which can only be triggered by accidently turning the knob inside one extra twist to the right. This has the unfortunate advantage of essentially 'freezing' the latch on the outer side of the door so that it cannot be depressed, which means that even if you happen to have your key with you, and attempt to unlock it, you will be unable to do so.

In the first year we each managed to lock ourselves out a time or two, but luckily it wasn't ever too much of a problem - the other person was always home (although there was one incident when Richard went outside to the backyard to do something rather quick on the front porch in his bathrobe and pulled it shut behind him, and then had to sit on the front porch and wait because I was in the shower and oblivious to his frantic ringing of the doorbell). And since then we've been mostly pretty good about always double-checking the latch when we pull the door closed behind us, just to make sure we were not trigger the super secret lock. I will admit that I have become almost paranoid about this. Apparently Richard had not.

At about 2 or so today I received a rather sheepish call from Richard. He'd gone outside to help someone load a computer into their car (a computer we were given from one friend to overhaul and give to another friend, except the second friend ended up getting a far nicer computer beforehand, so instead we offered it up on Freecyclers, and the woman came to pick it up today), pulled the door shut behind him to make sure the cats wouldn't get out, and then realized a split second too late that he had forgotten to check for the super secret lock. As I sat on the phone with him he ran around the house checking all the other doors, but we're fairly good about making sure all doors and windows are always kept locked, so he was out of luck. I eyed the time, pondered various possibilities, but everyone who has a key to our house was out of town. So if he was going to get back in the house, I was going to have to come home to let him in.

I had to let a pile of files download from the main server to my email because I knew if I left them on the server over the weekend I would hear about it from our IT guy, so I was impatiently waiting for them to complete when the phone rang again.

We've been in this house nearly four years now and we always figured that the super secret lock feature was sort of permanent and could only be undone from inside. Desperation had never before been a factor. Turns out there *is* a way to get the door latch to release, if you fight with it long enough. So now we know. Heh.

All my coworkers got a huge laugh out of the whole ordeal, however. And I am sure, once back inside and not having to lurk on the front porch for half an hour while I drove home to let him back in, Richard probably found the humor in the whole thing too.

This has been a Holidailies entry.

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