Weekend Before Christmas: Adventures in Lock Picking

Thanks for all the slaps on the back re: the Ursula K. Le Guin cover blurb for Returning My Sister’s Face, everyone! I am still in a squeeful daze ’bout it.

The balmy autumnal weather we’ve been having in Georgia has come to an end, and now we’re feeling the wintry pain of everyone else in the country. And I am reminded—not that I needed it—that I really, really don’t like the cold. But I’m glad the freeze snap hit yesterday rather than earlier in the weekend ’cause we had to spend a couple hours outside on Friday afternoon.

fosteronfilm and I were heading out to finish up our Christmas shopping. Ahead of me in the garage, Matthew suddenly turns, his hand in his pocket.

“Wait, do you have your—”



Yep, that “*click*” was the sound of the house-to-garage door shutting…and locking. And, no, I didn’t have my keys.

We debated whether it would be cheaper to break a window or call a locksmith, but in the end decided that a locksmith was the way to go. Especially as we weren’t sure whether fixing a window could be done in a timely fashion, and having a broken window during winter seemed like a particularly bad idea.

There was an old phone book in the garage—slated for recycling, but because we are less-than-conscientious about such things, it hadn’t been hauled to the curb yet—which we used to look up a locksmith. We picked one with a big ad that promised “15-minute emergency response.”

We called, talked to the dispatcher who told us to expect a callback from the locksmith shortly, and settled down to wait. Twenty minutes later, we called then again. This time, the locksmith called right back and told us he was on the way. “‘Bout 20 minutes.” Forty-five minutes later, we called again. “Caught in traffic,” he said.

Well over an hour after we first called, he pulls up. At that point, I didn’t care about the wait. I was just gladdened by the prospect of being able to get into our house again.

Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to pick the lock.

It seems we had a really good lock on our garage door. And it wasn’t even the deadbolt (since we didn’t have keys to finish locking the door), just the knob lock. And yes, “had” past tense, as in, since he couldn’t pick it, he had to drill it. I guess technically we still have the lock, but it’s in pieces and sitting on our washing machine in a little metal pile.

And for the final “wah!” in our afternoon of wah-ness, the bottom line ended up being $230.00—which we really don’t have to spare—for getting us into our house as well as replacing the sad little pile of metal on our washing machine with a shiny, new lock. (Which now gives us three house keys to juggle: the two that we had before that still fit our other doors, and this new one.)



Writing Stuff

New Words:
• 900 on The Stupid Novel.

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17 Responses to Weekend Before Christmas: Adventures in Lock Picking

  1. Oh no! Doesn’t it seem like this sort of stuff waits for the holidays? We have the same bill from our two heating system pipes that froze and broke!

  2. puskunk says:

    Wow. Since you were already in the garage, I would have been drilling that thing out myself.

  3. j_cheney says:

    Ouch! The last time we had the entire house rekeyed, I don’t think it cost that much.

  4. chutzpah722 says:

    I can so relate to your plight. I think it was New Year’s Eve, 2002 (headed to 2003) when we locked ourselves out of our just-moved-into Townhome. I had turned to a few moments before we left and said, “I don’t have my keys”, hoping that she would know to make sure she had her keys.

    Well, I shut the door, and I instinctively locked the door behind me. Then I see a flustered when she realized she didn’t have her keys. We were frantically going door to door to find a phone book. Luckily, the folks a couple of houses down had one. We called a locksmith, and they came out about an hour later.

    Thankfully, we turned lemons into lemonade. We hadn’t gotten our locks changed, and they just had to do the cylinders. Therefore, it would have been pretty much the same fee for the trip anyway….. Still, I understand the not wanting to spend the money!!

  5. Oh, no! My purse got stolen in April, so we had to call the locksmith on a Sunday and paid a lot for that, too. So I feel your pain.

    Do you two normally each bring a key, just in case? That’s what we’ve started doing.

    • Eugie Foster says:

      Ouch. Much worse to have a purse stolen than to lock oneself out! Mucho sympathy.

      Do you two normally each bring a key, just in case? That’s what we’ve started doing.

      Well, I don’t always bother taking my keys when the hubby’s driving, but this time he forgot to snag them on his way out. A confluence of unfortunate oopses. Sigh.

  6. Poor Eugie and Matt. Did you ever get your shopping done? What a bummer. Hope all has improved by now.

    And just why is it dubbed the “stupid novel?”

    • Eugie Foster says:

      Thanks, sweetie. Yeah, we postponed our shopping until Saturday, and it’s now all a irksome memory .

      And just why is it dubbed the “stupid novel?”

      Hee! To reflect my ongoing frustration with it?

  7. jean_roberta says:

    Happy Birthday! (Better late than never, I say.) I hope it’s been a fun day.

  8. miafedup says:

    Sooo next time bust the window? Good excuse to let off some steam, I say!

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