Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Locksmith Knows My Secret

Last week the lock on our back door broke, and we couldn't lock it. Herb took it apart when he got home from work, because he can fix everything. Usually. But this time he couldn't. It distressed him terribly for two reasons: 1. It insulted his manly pride; 2. It was a security breach that he, as Grand Protector of the Family, could not bear.

I suggested that we just ignore it until the morning. "Unthinkable!" my husband assured me. I offered to sleep on the couch with a loaded sawed-off shotgun pointed at the door. He rolled his eyes, unimpressed.

So even though he had just gotten home from an hour-long commute, he left again on his white horse to go to the hardware store to procure another lock set and save the day. He purchased one and had six keys made for it. He checked each one. One didn't work, and he had the lady re-cut it.

Is he not incredibly capable, dependable, and wonderful in every way? Did I mention handsome and smells awfully good too? How any man so perfect got stuck with me, I'll never understand.

An hour and a half later he got home only to find that the new lock set wouldn't fit our door; the hole was too small. It turns out that our door is not standard. He wanted to drill the door to make the hole big enough, but it is a metal door. No can do.

Thoroughly miserable, around 10 p.m. he resigned himself to unlockableness. The next morning after he had gone to work, I texted him the names of two locksmiths for him to call, which he did. One came, announced that he had never seen a door knob hole like ours in his 30 years of locksmithing, and made the repair. He presented me with a bill. I wrote him a check, and he departed. Case closed. Door locked.

Monday, I got a call from the locksmith. I had made out his check to the other locksmith, even though the one who had done the work had handed me a clearly labeled receipt.

How embarrassing.

I made arrangements for him to come by and pick up a new check. He was to arrive a little before noon, and I told him that I would make sure to have the gate open. I drove down there mid-morning and opened the gate with the remote. I thought I might as well check the mail while I was down there. I pulled out of the driveway and over to the mailbox. With that done, I turned around and drove back to the house.

Shortly I received a phone call. It was the locksmith again.

"Mizzes Hawwwwt," he drawled, bigger than Texas. "This is the locksmith. I'm at your gate, and it's closed."

"No," I said without stopping to think. "I drove down there and opened it!"

Then I remembered checking the mail and going back through the gate to the house. I must have punched the remote and closed the gate behind me out of habit.

"I am soooo sorry!" I gasped. "I'll be right there."

Then I had to leap back in the car and take the new check down to the closed gate, where Mr. Locksmith stood waiting and smiling.

Intense mortification pulsed through my veins.

I tried to explain again--with my head down, shuffling my feet--about the check and the gate, but I sounded pitiful. "What a whiner I am!" I thought.

Mr. Locksmith was real sweet about it, and I hated him thoroughly for it. I think if he could have reached my head he would have patted it and said, "That's OK, Mizzes Hawwwwt."

"I bet he thinks I'm 'brain daid'," I thought to myself.

I couldn't wait for him to be gone. If he calls again, I'm not answering.


Emily G. said...

Your house sounds just like ours. Things are hard to fix because they aren't standard, so you end up calling a repairman who says he has never seen anything like this before...

And I have had my fair share of embarassing moments with repairmen. Like the dude from Kentucky who I thought I might have to chase out of my house with a firearm when he started asking me if I'd go home with him. " 'Cuz Ahm a l-o-o-nely feller." This, to a woman eight months pregnant. That was just too weird. I said, "No thanks and you can go now." Luckily he went without anything further than a parting injunction to call him if I changed my mind. I called the city, who had sent him out, instead and told them to stop contracting him.

Wendy Haught said...

Gosh, Emily, you get all the good ones!