You always hope that the locks to your house are secure against people trying to break in until you’re the one trying to break in.
If that was already obvious to you, then, chances are, you wouldn’t be the type to lock yourself out of your house anyway, so congratulations on having your life together and stop rubbing it in the rest of our faces.
Today, 7:20 PM
It’s dusk as we pull into the garage. Reaching around my distended stomach—courtesy of five too many chicken wings—I scoop up our takeout, Walmart purchases, and my cat-print tote bag before clambering out of the car.
Mom heads to the door first and twists the doorknob. Nothing happens. A look of abject horror twists her features, and she jiggles the knob again. We’re locked out.
The cat, on the other side, meows dolefully, as if to lament: “Who will feed me now?”
Mom: WHY WOULD YOU LOCK US OUT OF THE HOUSE
Me: I DIDN’T LOCK US OUT OF THE HOUSE
Mom: THERE ARE ONLY TWO OF US AND I DIDN’T LOCK US OUT
Me: STOP SCREAMING AT ME
Mom: *screams* I AM NOT SCREAMING
A moment of silence.
Me: At least, if I did lock us out, it wasn’t today.
Mom starts scrolling through her contact list. “Hi, you don’t by any chance have a key to my house, do you? No? Yes, I’m locked out.” She laughs ruefully. “There was a spare, but Nicole lost hers so I had to—”
I heave a sigh. How to break in, I type into Google Search. Upon further thought, I add to your own house, so it’s a lot less suspicious but infinitely more stupid. 158 million search results pop up, though, so at least we are not alone.
These YouTube videos seem promising. I click on How to Get Into Your House with a Credit Card If You’re Locked Out.
“Do you have a credit card?” I ask Mom, who is currently considering smashing down the door with a hammer.
“They make it look so easy,” I whine after rewinding for the third time and examining our doorknob. “Push the card in and it just opens? How does that make sense?”
Mom returns with a credit card, gesturing for me to move aside. “I used to do this in college,” she says by way of explanation that really only gives rise to more questions. “I don’t think it works on all doors.”
“Is that disposable?” I point to the card. Because, I mean, imagine all this doesn’t work out. You could be left with a broken doorknob, a broken soul, and a broken credit card with which you can’t even pay the locksmith.
Mom tears off the mold (not the kind you think) from the door crevice, and I hold it above her head as she wiggles the card against the latch. Most of it goes through, but it’s stuck there. She jerks it back out in exasperation and tries some more phone contacts.
Armed with WikiHow and online tips from professional thieves, I try my hand at the credit card trick but can’t even stick it halfway through.
I give up and search for some bobby pins, instead.
Of course, there are no bobby pins. Bobby pins are never present when you need them. I’m pretty sure it’s some sort of universal law.
“There are 24-hour locksmiths in the area,” I hint.
“Why is this happening to me?” She asks. Anger, the third stage of grief—four more to go. I take that as my cue to leave her alone.
Mom, in a last-ditch effort, shoves the card in from higher up on the door to check if the second lock above it is locked. It’s not.
She saws her way down to the first lock and meets the same resistance. Pulling on the edge of the card so that it starts bending away from the knob, she persists.
Well, at least you have to admire—
The door SWINGS OPEN, revealing Cat, who jumps to her feet. Paws. Whatever. The three of us stare at each other, and I can’t tell who is the most surprised.
“How did you do that?” My voice is almost a shriek.
“I’m never doing that again,” Mom announces, like I’m asking for future reference. Which I am, of course, but not for illegal purposes. “But it was the angle.”
“… Can I put this in my blog?” I can feel her beginning to say no, so I continue. “You can’t object to being the cool mom!” Who can break into houses. I mean, there’s got to be an award for that.
I enter my room and begin gleefully closing all the “how to break in tutorial” tabs on my phone. The video from before, How to Get Into Your House with a Credit Card If You’re Locked Out, continues to play. “If you got into your home, don’t be so smug,” the narrator says. “It means you have a crappy lock.”
Some people just have to suck the joy out of everything.
*I considered titling this post “low-key no key” but ultimately decided I’d prefer to still have subscribers
**I was yelled at for not titling this post “low-key no key”