The Other I

November 7, 2011

The urgent displaces the profound

Filed under: Just Stuff — theotheri @ 5:05 pm

My plan to explore the comments following my post yesterday in today’s post has been postponed as a result of the more urgent demands of the concrete.

This morning I closed the bedroom door and could not get it open again.  Peter thought that the wood had swelled and that a serious push would release it.  My fear that it was a jammed latch turned out to be justified.

It took three hours to regain access to the bedroom.  At least we were trying to get back into the bedroom, not out of it in the first place.

  • I tried the credit card trick which I’d read criminals use routinely.   But I do not seem to possess all the requisites necessary for accomplished criminality.  I broke the credit card, but did not budge the door.
  • I took off the handle and used a wrench to try to turn the metal bar that would ordinarily release the latch.  The bar turned with distressing ease, and I could see the metal that would operate the latch had broken.
  • So I went to another door and dismantled the handle to see what was involved in removing the whole inner mechanism.  Meanwhile I started to charge the battery for the electric drill.
  • But on reexamination, I could see that the latch mechanism extended all the way through to the door edge and that I wasn’t going to be able to get it out simply by drilling a bigger hole.

I began to wonder if there was any way to get into the bedroom in time to sleep there tonight without bashing in the entire door.  I poured myself a cup of coffee, and stood there looking at the unyielding door.

Then Peter suggested cutting into the frame around the door, which might enable us to slide a knife against the latch and push it back to release it.  So we got out our wood-working tools, chipped and hammered and sawed, and eventually dug out a couple of square inches of door frame.  I slipped a kitchen knife into the slit.  It got us back into the bedroom.


We now have to buy a new set of door handles with a working latch, and replace the door frame.  But I consider this a happy ending.

I agree this was a lot of work to achieve a happy ending, but I am sitting here at my computer now wondering if we would still be in the bedroom if we’d been locked inside when the door closed.  No tools, nothing even strong enough to bash down the door.  A toothbrush wouldn’t have done the trick.  I could have climbed out the window but then I would have been locked outside where it was cold and raining.

The only alternative would have been to call the police.  Or perhaps a local burglar, though I don’t keep his telephone number handy.

So all in all, you see why I say this was a happy ending.




  1. happened to me at my sister’s home where i was house-sitting/babysitting called fire department who raised a ladder to her second floor appt (i had locked myself out of apartment by locking two locks on the door, one of which was faulty and they never locked) fireman entered apartment threw a window opened front door – had to replace the glass in a window and sweep up the glass also an apple pie that i had just taken out of the oven and was cooling. they passed on the ice cream


    Comment by kateritek — November 7, 2011 @ 8:54 pm | Reply

    • Thank you for confirming my suspicions – I *did* get off easy. Terry


      Comment by Terry Sissons — November 7, 2011 @ 9:54 pm | Reply

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