Wednesday, April 20, 2011


The wail was so loud it practically made my phone vibrate. I could only imagine what it sounded like in person.

“What’s happening?” I asked WonderWife™ during my traditional I’m on my way home to you phone call from the road.

“The Bean locked himself out of his room.”

This was not entirely unexpected. The Bean had started playing with the locks on the doors in our house. I was afraid that my previous warning to him about the consequences of such actions didn’t stick.

“Keep him locked out for a bit,” I snickered. “That’ll learn him.”

“Oh, I plan on letting that kid dangle for a while,” she said a bit gleefully.

I came home to an exasperated wife and a son who’s eyes were rimmed red from crying. She immediately shoved a bent paperclip in my hand and asked if I could try my luck at getting the door open. The Bean was clearly upset at his prediciment and knew he was in trouble. Plus it was bedtime. WonderWife™ had to get Sprout down and then figure out what was to be the Bean’s alternative sleeping situation in the event I proved unsuccessful.

No pressure.  I was confident I’d be able to get the door open. Growing up, I figured out how to circumvent the locks in my house. This was especially helpful when it came to sister torment. And although I am not in the slightest bit handy, I figured I’d use some of my old magic and the door would pop right open.

What I didn’t count on was that this was not your everyday interior lock. No, the geniuses who used to live in my house had installed a standard outdoor lock to secure this bedroom. I'd never noticed this in the five years we’d been living in the house. It was yet another astounding decision the previous owners had made in this house, which included the bathroom that was too narrow to open the door and the refrigerator that blocked off a good portion of the kitchen's entryway. Any key that might have existed to this lock was long gone.

I kneeled down in front of the door with the flattened paperclip and an eyeglass screwdriver. I examined the doorknob and it wasn’t long before I realized that I didn’t know the first thing about picking a lock. I jammed both the clip and the screwdriver into the lock as I had seen in countless movies, but this only served to bend the screwdriver. Dipping back into my movie knowledge database, I tried the ol’ credit card trick. But there wasn’t enough space for a sheet of paper let alone a card.

A few times a very concerned Bean appeared in the hallway and offered suggestions. I have no idea what he was basing his ideas on. I was hardly listening to him. I was channeling all of my energy into not cursing in his general direction.

On to plan C. I grabbed a hammer from the toolbox and using the claw end, I went to work separating the base of the doorknob from the door. After a few satisfying pulls of the handle, the lock broke and the door swung open.

The Bean dried his eyes and happily ran into his room and jumped on his bed. As I tucked him in moments later, I couldn’t help but feel manly.  But best of all, I felt useful.


Surfer Jay said...

Wonder what the previous owners were locking themselves away from.

Your escalator operator said...

I'm glad you blogged this because I've been looking for an excuse to brag about the time that I broke into my own house (I forgot my keys that day) with a violin string and a pair of gardening scissors.

Suck it, McGyver.

Daddy Geek Boy said...

Jay...Probably their kids?

YEO...Really? That's awesome!

twistedxtian said...

You see those long screws on either side of the door knob that hold the inside knob to the outside knob?

You can take a 1/4" drill bit and drill where those screws attach, breaking them free from holding either side together. The knobs pull apart and you can open the door.

Mostly I like using my drill (and power tools in general). :D

Daddy Geek Boy said...

Twisted...You might not be able to tell from the picture, but because the knob is for exteriors, you can't get to the screws from the panel. The only way in was by force.

christopher (twistedxtian) said...

O yeah! Sorry, that's what I meant. You drill in where the screws attach (on the external side), to try and break the screw posts free from being attached to the outside knob. You hope to catch them and break them free from the plate.

See this image:

Sorry, I'm probably just confusing things, not a good start for my first comment on a blog I just discovered. lol

Anyway, I stumbled upon your blog, enjoyed it, and wanted to say as much. Don't mind the confusing ramble, I'm usually more coherent. :) Have a great week.

Daddy Geek Boy said...

Twisted...No I totally get it. Either way the end result was the destruction of the door knob. In the end, the most important thing is that the Bean didn't have to sleep in my bed last night.

Thanks for stumbling here and thanks for reading!

SciFi Dad said...

So no plans for quitting your day job for a career in burglary, eh?

Daddy Geek Boy said...

SciFi...Who says I haven't already?

OneZenMom said...

If it makes you feel any better, my kids no longer have a doorknob on their bedroom door as a result of a very similar incident. And I AM fairly handy. Some of those older internal knobs can be seriously tamper-proof. Hmmm, I suppose I'm going to have to replace that by the time they're teenagers, don't you think? Meh. There's time.