“I can’t get into my room!” shouted my daughter from upstairs. Her dad and I looked at each other and rolled our eyes.
“Yeah, right,” I muttered, going upstairs to sort it out. A minute later, it was my turn.
“Steve….we can’t get into Emma’s room…”
We’d just returned from supper with friends. It was a chilly evening and the plan, once home, was simple – light the fire, slip into snuggly pyjamas, make a cuppa and watch Silent Witness. Now, though, that was on hold. The door to our daughter’s bedroom just wouldn’t budge.
“It’s like it’s locked,” I said, prompting Emma to look worried and ask if we thought anyone was in there. I found the key and tried it; it turned easily but the door still wouldn’t open. The handle waggled up and down, but whatever mechanism it is that makes the latch retract wasn’t working. (I have no idea if it’s called a latch, by the way – my locksmith terminology isn’t up to much. I mean the bit that goes in and out of the door frame when you turn the handle.)
“I can probably get in through the balcony door,” mused Steve. “But it’s too dark to try it now, it will have to wait until morning.”
So I made up a bed in the spare room, and Emma tried to hide her mortification at having to wear her mum’s pyjamas. I pointed out it was only like an impromptu sleepover, and at least she had access to a bathroom and could brush her teeth. Like that’s news to cheer up a teenager missing her iPad and cuddly blanket.
The following morning, Steve climbed a ladder onto the balcony and tried to get in that way with a spare key, discovering too late that Emma had left her key in the lock on the other side. There was nothing for it – call in the cavalry.
Our friend Eser arrived and tried that perennial favourite, picking the lock with a credit card. No joy. Finally, we capitulated and called a locksmith.
He turned up an hour later, a youth of about 12 years old (or at least that’s what he looked like) riding a moped. With a flourish, he withdrew a very bendy bit of plastic from his bag of tricks….and slid the door open in about 30 seconds flat. He replaced the broken lock, too, the whole operation done and dusted in no more than 25 minutes.
We were grateful while hoping our external doors wouldn’t prove quite that easy to master, should we ever have a similar situation with them. Emma, meanwhile, was just happy to have her own pyjamas back.