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.