Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Why I shouldn't be allowed to live alone

I locked my self out today. In a fluey fog I left the flat without my keys, and the door locked behind me. As soon as I heard it 'click' i knew what i'd done. You know that feeling, when you realize something in the very instant that it's too late to do anything about it? Like when a deer jumps into the headlights of your car 6 inches from your hood (bonnet) when you're driving 50 mph and you have just enough time to think "well crap, i'm going to hit a deer," before you plough into bambi. Yeah, one of those moments.

Me and doors that lock automatically don't get along. I really shouldn't have them. Sadly, lots of student housing is equipped with this type of door, and since I've been a student for the last 10 years, I've had a lot of these doors. And locked myself out a LOT.

Would you like to hear about my very best lock-out story of all time? It's a good one.

I was an undergrad at Connecticut College, doing my double major in English and Botany. ('cause i'm that cool, sistah. *snaps fingahs*) I was living in Blackstone House, the substance-free dorm, where no alcohol, tobacco, or drugs were allowed, even if you were legal. (Sorry, what was I just saying about cool? never mind.) I lived on the second floor (first floor to you Brits) next door to one of my best friends, Billy-Jean. (Who just had her first baby, by the way. I WANT A BABY! WAH!)

Outside our windows was this goofy little balcony thing. It wasn't accessible by any door, and in fact we weren't supposed to go out on it at all. It was just an architectural feature of the building (which was made of New England granite and built in 1914, one of the three original buildings of the college and the oldest dorm). The down-side of this balcony was that people were constantly accidently throwing their frisbees onto it, and either I or Billy-Jean would have to retrieve them by climbing out our windows. The upside was that A) it was a great place to keep ice-cream in the winter, since Blackstone didn't have a kitchen or a freezer, and B) when I locked myself out I could go to BJ's room, climb out her window, cross the balcony, and climb into my own. This was useful since, according to college rules, if you locked yourself out Campus Safety would let you in for free once, but after that they charged you $10 a pop. Generally Sampus Cafety was pretty sympathetic to 'Stoners (the ironic, self-styled residents of Blackstone) since we never caused any trouble with partying and damaging property, but even so I didn't like to push my luck.

So one day, in my usual dipshittedness, I locked my self out. I hung my head, mumbled "for fuck's sake" and went next door to BJ's room. No answer. I tried the next room down, which was BJ's boyfriend's (now husband's) room. BJ wasn't in Tooth's room, but had some suggestions where she might be. Being a shy kind of girl, the list wasn't very long, and I tracked her down without overmuch difficulty.

I apologized profusely and asked her if she could come open her room so I could climb out her window. You wouldn't think this was a huge favor, except that she had a fish tank set up in front of the window I needed to use, and there were several plants hanging from the curtain rod above with tendrils hanging all over the place, along with numerous other obstructions in the form of furniture and clothes crammed in everywhere. She sighed but came along willingly. In total it took about 15 minutes to move everything out of the was so I could get out the window, which eventually I did.

I squeezed myself out, padded gingerly across the balcony (which was actually the roof of the living room down stairs, but we were never certain how much weight that roof would hold), threw open my window, climbed inside, crawled across the (strategically located) bed, walked to my door, opened it -- with the intention of going next door to thank BJ one more time-- stepped into the hall, and...

you guess it. Closed and locked the door behind me.

When I realized what I'd done I fell to pieces right then and there in the hallway, laughing hysterically. BJ heard the rucus, saw me in a state of impenitrable giggle-fits, immediately deduced what I'd done (I'm fairly predictable), and joined me in the chorus. I don't know how long we sat there, laughing until we cried at my sublime stupidity, but eventually we went back into BJ's room and repeated the whole procedure.

I've never lived this incident down. To this day, whenever i do something really, really dumb (which is often), BJ still reminds me of this story. And I still giggle.


Anonymous said...

"You know that feeling, when you realize something in the very instant that it's too late to do anything about it? Like when a deer jumps into the headlights of your car 6 inches from your hood (bonnet) when you're driving 50 mph and you have just enough time to think "well crap, i'm going to hit a deer," before you plough into bambi."

So this incident you speak of here, is this one that you actually had happen to you? Not many people go out hitting Bambi.

Chaucer's Bitch said...

In fact yes, I did kill Bambi. (Oct 1, 1996, while driving to school.) I used the analogy because I felt it would be one that a lot of people could relate to, but of course i forgot that most of my readers DIDN"T grow up in a state with the densest concentration of whitetail deer in the US of A. Most of my friends hit a deer with their car before their 18th birthday. It's a non-event where i'm from.

B said...

Talk about going in circles...

I spent a good 1:30 hours trying to convince a relativist of the futility of trying to argue that we couldn't prove mathematics to be correct using various different arguments including my favourite boomerang argument (arguing that relativism is internally inconsistent when taken to the extremes she was trying to do).

*Sigh* I should know by now not to get involved in such arguments but like the sap that I am I let myself get drawn in.

On the up side "Multiculturalism and Secularism" (a talk by Professor Tariq Modood that I was heavily involved in arranging) went very smoothly with loads of interesting questions afterwards.

Rimshot said...

CB: I thought your story was hilarious.

Dave said...

I stuck tape over the catch on my rimlock, so that I can't lock myself out (there's another lock that I need to use a key to engage, which is what I use).

In case the tape ever fails, the key to the unused lock is hidden outside, so that I can still get back in.

Thst's called forward planning.

ziggi said...

I locked the keys to the car, my handbag and coat in the car and then had to ring Himself (reverse charge from a Phone Box!) to come and open it (I was about 50 miles away). After about 1/2 hour of standing around getting cold it occurred to me to try the other doors and yes, one of the back ones was open (no central locking on old car) I retrieved coat and some money (left bag because I'd told him it was in there) and then locked it all up. I've never told him!

Anonymous said...

Ah yes, I thought i remembered you killing bambi once. I wanted to make sure I remembered that correctly. I agree as well. In that part of the blue marble, it is hard to not do that. Hit two myself.

Babs said...

Oog. I know that feeling. Herself's mother put her purse in the back of the truck once. It was only right after I shut the door that I realized I'd asked her to pop the keys in it as I'd had no pockets.

On the plus side I got to go to the nearby firehouse to call the locksmith. Hurrah!!

The Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
FirstNations said...

"oh crap, i'm going to hit a deer" cracked me up. out here it happens regularly and that exact level of panic is pretty much anyone registers about it. if you're REALLY LUCKY you're driving a truck-bambi goes over the bursh guard, through the cab, lands in the box and you drive home with a month of venison.

Chaucer's Bitch said...

b: glad the talk went well. sorry i had to miss it, but i would have been a distraction, hacking and coughing my way through it.

rimmy: ta

dave: and that's why you get awesome jobs and i'm just a schmuck

zig: Ha!

anon: do you remember that from a previous post (that i don't remember writing) or do we know each other? Reveal Thyself!

babs: ooh, were they all fit and sweaty and soot-streaked and wearing nothing but trousers and boots?

spamming asshat: fuck off

FN: sadly, the speckled wee thing i crunched wouldn't have made enough meat for a venison cocktail weiner. still had spots. *sniff*

Geosomin said...

This made me laugh...sounds like something I'd have done.
After having spectacularly locked myself out of my house with no spare key and spending 2 hours trying to get in (with a husband who had conveniently lost his key too -we're both pathetic) I'm happy to know it's hard to break into...but now have a key hidden after I had to pay a locksmith to get it.

Henry North London said...

That is a classic moment...

I fortunately have only ever been locked out once and I was intelligent enough to realise that my door took Mastercard, the frame being soft pine and not much substance and I let myself back in.

Nowadays I wouldn't be able to do that as I have a four inch thick solid seasoned oak door frame and a two inch solid door. Anyone trying to get in would have to make a racket and get past my Doberman first.

I always have a spare key situation for those blonde type moments however. Saves a fortune.

Anonymous said...

"At last we will reveal ourselves to the Jedi. At last we will have revenge. "

You never posted it, not that I have ever read. I know you, you know me. It is more fun this way :)

オウム said...

I do stupid things like that all the time. So this story made me feel better. Thanks!