[HOUSE AND HOLMES] The Key to Success

Rob Loos, Ledger Columnist

Even though our frisky black Cocker Spaniel knows he has it great, he sees our side door as his ticket to run free in urban Los Angeles, which is why we recently christened our laundry room the “airlock.” Like in a super cool sci-fi movie, we enter from the kitchen, close the laundry room door, then safely open the side door to exit the “home pod.” This achieves the dual goal of keeping our dog safe and making good use of our time between writing superhero cartoons.

All of the doors to our house have different keys; I’ve always told my wife that this was a superior security approach — like having different passwords on Internet accounts. It seemed logical until I came home and found her trapped in the airlock.

She was strangely calm, as if I would clearly understand the unspoken “I told you so.” She informed me that the laundry room door was locked and she had no key. None of my nine keys unlocked the impenetrable kitchen door either. I trekked to the front door, where I spotted our new deadbolt and I realized that I didn’t have an up-to-date key. Then I clumsily scaled the three-foot wrought iron railing onto our first floor balcony like an out-of-shape new recruit ascending a repelling wall in basic training, and confidently tried my keys on the patio door lock, which also refused to open.

So I did what I always do. I called my super-contractor friend Dave, who was installing a draft beer tap to the Tiki bar at his infinity pool. I told him my problem and he responded with solid wisdom, “First, you should have rekeyed when you moved in; second, please find a way off your balcony without hurting yourself too badly; and third, go to your back double windows — that ones that open inward — and shake the lock a little. I’ll bet you can push them open.”

After jumping from the balcony and only marginally scrapping my right arm on my flying dismount, I raced for our back windows, which popped open faster than a canister of Pringles on a discount flight to Cleveland. We enlisted the help of the passing mail carrier (thank you William) to lift a small table into place so that I could vault into the back room and open the locked doors from the inside. Two Advils, a tube of Neosporin, and three big bandages later, I decided that we were re-keying our home, which goes to once again prove, “If I can’t figure it out — and I know that I can’t — my friend Dave can.”

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