Saturday, February 17, 2007

My Bad No. 2

There were two other occasions when I locked myself out of my house in Arizona. They both came of my anal-retentive habit of thoughtlessly locking doors as soon as I had opened them.

In the first instance, I don't recall what lured me outside without my keys, but the security door slammed behind me and somehow I had managed to lock the doorknob. I crossed the street and asked my neighbors to call a locksmith. The locksmith came over and, without taking out a single tool, got into the house and let me in the front door. All he had to do was push the kitchen window open and crawl through it.

I was peeved. That window was supposed to be locked. I went around the house testing the locks on all the windows and discovered that many of them opened easily, even when they were supposedly locked. So my next home-improvement project, after rekeying the doors, was to cut lengths of half-inch PVC pipe and stick them in the window tracks, to make the place a little more buglar-proof.

I also realized that I needed to have a spare key somewhere outside the house. That "somewhere" had to be inconspicuous, yet reliable. I soon hit on a solution. In the side yard I had a clay statue of a Mexican having a siesta, as pictured here. The body was hollow and open on the bottom, making it a perfect ornament to conceal that little bit of pipe sticking above ground from the septic tank. Another nice feature was the removable sombrero, concealing a small hole on top of the Mexican's body, through which I could fit my hand. So I took a spare house key, lifted up the sombrero, reached inside the Mexican dude, and stuck my key under a flap of tape on top of the septic tank pipe. That way I would never be caught outside without a key again!

Yet there was another, even more embarrassing incident in which I was locked out. Tune in another time for full details!

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