Saturday, July 24, 2010

How to Break Into Your Own Home in Ten Easy Steps

Last Thursday started off like any other. (Dun dun duuunnn.) Get up, brush teeth, contacts in, get dressed. Only this week I was dog sitting (see previous post for photo reference) for my dear roommate Elise, so I also had to take the dogs out for a quick tinkle. I rounded up the voracious hounds, put their leashes on, untangled said leashes from around my legs, and locked the door on my way out.

The only problem? My keys were inside. As was my phone. Ka-ching! 

In shock, I stood staring at my door while I questioned myself. Did I REALLY lock myself out? (Yep.) Were my keys actually in my hand and I didn't realize it? (Nope. But thanks for asking.) Who else had a key? (Elise, but she was in New York. Elise's mom, but she was in the mountains. Check and check.)

Then I realized my landlord would have a key, but I had no phone to get in touch with him. He seems pretty active in the HOA, especially since we got that letter about not being allowed to have parties anymore (what? don't be mad just because we didn't invite you). Maybe one of my neighbors would know my landlord from the HOA and be able to call him! Perfect plan!

Except that my neighbors are apparently all party poopers workaholics who are already gone at 7:45am. And no, they weren't just “not answering the door" because I aggressively pressed my face against each and every one of their windows to check for movement inside. (It's not creepy, it's being thorough.) In fact, out of my whole three-story apartment complex, only ONE of my neighbors was home. She looked a little like this*:

*Image has been exaggerated to show resentment
While I assumed that a twenty-something female toting around two little dogs would seem non-threatening, the way she cracked open the door and peered at me suspiciously proved me otherwise. (Hey lady? We live in Myers Park. I’m pretty sure the worst crime ever committed here has been teenagers stealing beer from their parents.)

Once she realized I wasn't going to brutally murder her on the spot, she opened the door all the way. Over the blaring voices of Regis and Kelly in the background, I (politely) explained to her that I lived upstairs, had locked myself out, and could I please use her phone?

Her response: "Uh, you need to do something with those dogs because I don't want them in my apartment." Fine. I could tie them up out here, put them on your balcony, heck, I'd put them in a box marked "Free to Good Home" at this point. Just LET ME USE YOUR PHONE LADY.

Finally, she offered to hold the vicious beasts outside while I went in and cased the joint used the phone. But not before she asked me to “make it quick” because she “had eggs on the stove”. Being 137, she didn't have a cell phone, and naturally the only number I have memorized is my parents', which is long distance. At short range, the volume on Regis and Kelly was beginning to make my eardrums rupture. Facing the elements alone sounded better than spending one more minute in that apartment.

I went back outside, told her to suck it thanked her, and said I would try to find someone with a cell phone. Being the kind, helpful soul that she was, she left me with a few pearls of wisdom to carry me on my journey:
“This is why I never lock my doorknob automatically behind me. I’ve always wondered what I would do if I got locked out.”

Wow. That IS helpful! Between the suspicion, lack of sympathy, and overall rudeness you’ve shown me this morning, have you ever thought of writing a book? It could be called “Old Hag’s Tales: Tips and Tricks for Getting Rid of People When You Desperately Need to Change Your Depends.” I bet it would be a large-print bestseller!

Seriously though. Now I am soooo not even sorry that the icy beer-foam water our keg sat in at Elise’s birthday party dripped down onto your patio. In fact, I’m elated about it. You’re lucky the HOA said we can’t have parties anymore, because I would definitely tell some drunk dude he was free to take a leak over the side of our balcony.  Karma, baby.

I sat down on the steps with the dogs to go over my options. Turns out, without keys or a cell phone, there weren’t that many options. I thought about how robbers break windows to unlock doors. Genius! Making an executive decision (the dogs weren’t being much help anyways) I grabbed a loose brick from downstairs and headed up to my apartment. After tying up the dogs a safe distance away, I grabbed the brick and braced for impact. I held the brick like a shot-put and slammed it into my bedroom window.

Nothing happened. Except it left a wicked scratch in the glass and made a weird nails-on-a-chalkboard sound to my poor Regis-and-Kelly traumatized eardrums. So I smacked the window again. And again. On the third time, it shattered, with glass raining down all over my walkway and into my bedroom. Did I mention I was in sandals? Oh yeah. Now I was trying to figure out how to get through the window without fatally impaling myself.

All of a sudden, my luck changed.
(Can we say F-I-N-A-L-L-Y?) Out of nowhere, a young, NICE couple was just coming home and came over to help me. The woman tried to open my door with a credit card (which thankfully didn’t work considering I’d just tossed a brick through my window), while the man became my knight in shining armor and climbed through the Window of Certain Death for me. If his girlfriend hadn’t been standing next to me, I probably would have given him an open-mouth kiss right then and there. (I still considered it. He was hot.)

I was mentally calculating all of the ways I could say thank-you to this sweet couple (a bottle of wine! Flowers!) until they told me they were moving out. That day. Crap. In denial, I tried to bargain with them, offering to let them help me pull pranks on Ms. Cranky Pants McGee downstairs if they stayed. Unfortunately they were unwavering. I guess I understood. All the neighbors here are either rude or throw non-stop ragers. You aren’t in the HOA are you?

Within two hours, my new friend Brian from Binswanger Glass was at my apartment. While he made me feel better by telling me that “people did this all the time when they locked themselves out”, he was also going to have to special order my glass. It would be here in 7-10 business days.

Awesome. Luckily he gave me a piece of plywood to stick in my window. I didn’t think Elise would find it funny if I spray painted “BEWERE OFF DOG” on the outside, but I considered it. Welcome to the trailer park roomie!

In closing, I will leave you a short checklist on how to break into your own home in ten steps easy steps.

1.   Lock yourself out
2.   Curse the day you were born.
3.   Get choked up and begin to cry
4.   Realize there is no one around to feel sorry for you, and stop fake crying
5.   Ask neighbor for help
6.   Curse the day, 487 years ago, that neighbor was born
7.   Throw brick through window
8.  Get hot neighbor to climb through said window
9.   Shamelessly hit on hot neighbor
10. Pay your new friend Brian $150 for glass you won’t see for at least a week.



YSP said...

Great work, Ensley. Great work. Woo-hoo for Myers Park!


{The Most Loved Granddaugther}

xo Queen Bee xo said...

That sounds like something that would have happened to me.. I would not have the guts to break the window though!! I did something similar once though involving taking dog out in front yard early AM and I was in a bathrobe (it was early AM no one was up!) and had to knock on neighbors door to call locksmith then time passed and it wasn't early anymore but I was still in my bathrobe when the locksmith came.. it was certainly memorable. :)

Lina said...

Uum sounds like something I would do... only try being pregnant, with 2 kids and locking yourself out of your car while your husband who happens to have a spare is about 2 hours away!!! yikes! Thanks for the great post though, I enjoyed reading it and learning how to break into my house :)

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