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Charlie Hatton
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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

Dammit, Stop Licking That — I’m Getting Creeped Out!

Well, this whole door thing has just gotten ridiculous.

If you were paying close attention, then you noticed in my Friday post that I broke my front door key off in the lock on Friday evening. And you’ll also know that I complicated matters by taking the lock apart, trying — and failing — to get the key out, and then screwing the lock back into the door.

Where it stuck. And I couldn’t get it back out to replace it.

So I jammed a screwdriver in the lock, and used it to twist it off. Well… partway off, at least, where it stuck again. Except now, the outside of hte lock was all screwed up and stripped where the screwdriver had slipped. Nice.

Finally, I got the bright idea to try some WD-40 to loosen the thing up. Fine. Only we don’t have any WD-40, so I did the next best thing. Or what I thought was the next best thing. Look, how the hell was I supposed to know that you can’t substitute olive oil for WD-40? I’ve tasted plenty of Italian dishes where it seems the chef did the same thing in reverse. I thought it would work.

But no. All I got was a slippery doorknob and a dog that wanted to lick it.

(You know, sometimes I find myself writing the strangest sentences when I’m talking to you people. That one sounds like something out of ‘Penthouse Pooches’. Eek.)

Anyway, I went through all the lubricants I could find — baby oil, Crisco, toothpaste, peanut butter… okay, yeah, by the end, I was stretching it a little, all right? But some combination of the stuff must have worked, because I finally was able to shimmy the lock cylinder out of the door.

Now we had a door with no knobs, no lock, and no way to get it open if it closed. So what did we do? We pulled the door nearly-but-not-quite shut, and took the bits and pieces of our lock to a hardware store, and asked for help. They found us a substitute cylinder, complete with keys, and we came back home. We opened the screen door… and the inrush of air pulled the front door, and it shut, with us still on the other side. Bitches! Screwed again!

So, we trundled around the back, let ourselves in, and went to work on the door. Me on the outside, my wife on the inside. We opened a window, so we could pass tools and doorknobs and advice back and forth, and got started. After ten minutes or so, we got the doorknobs hooked up, and got the damned door open. Which was good, because I’m not sure she’d have let me back in the house otherwise.

After that, the work moved quickly — I screwed the faceplates back on, tightened the knobs, and installed the lock cylinder.

Well, almost.

See, I screwed the cylinder in — with plenty of WD-40 help this time — as best I could. But it’s still sticking out of the door by about an eighth of an inch. Which means that the little locking doohickey on the back doesn’t reach the mechanism inside the door. Which further means that it’s a useless piece of crap that you can turn a key in — for fun, if you’re amused by such things — but which will not, under any circumstances, actually lock or unlock the damned door.

So, finally, after a full day of farting around with the stupid thing, we called a professional locksmith. He said he’ll get back to us. That was early this afternoon. Apparently, he meant ‘I’ll get back to you ever‘, not ‘I’ll get back to you today‘. Again I say, ‘Bitches!

And here we are, with a door that still doesn’t work, a lock that won’t install, and no prospect of any help for the rest of the weekend. It’s a damned good thing our house is on a hill — otherwise, we might as well just put out a ‘Come and Steal Our Shit!‘ sign on the front porch. As it is, it’s damned inconvenient. I’m not happy about this, to say the least.

I’m not sure there’s anything left to do but wait. My wife says I’ve done ‘enough damage’ already. Still, I think I might take one more shot at getting that new lock in there. Since we don’t want to ruin this one, I suppose I should eschew the use of a screwdriver, or hammer, or plastic explosives to get the thing moving. That means I’m back to the lubricants. I just hope I can remember where we put that can of WD-40 — the last thing I need is to have the dog licking olive oil off my doorknob again.

Um… yeah. I think I’ll just quit while I’m behind. No good can come from that.

Permalink  |  1 Comment

One Response to “Dammit, Stop Licking That — I’m Getting Creeped Out!”

  1. Brad says:

    “All I got was a slippery doorknob and a dog that wanted to lick it”

    I bet you re-wrote that a few times before you settled on “doorknob”, didn’t you

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