Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Broken Key: Life Imitates Art

The following is not meant in any way to imply that either Amazon or the company that supplies the below-mentioned tools condones illegal activity. Seriously. No fooling.

In December, I was leaving for work one day when my key broke off in the lock of my front door. Just a bit of the ragged metal of the broken-off part was visible. That evening, my parents came by because they needed to get something. With no real choice, I shoved what was left of my key into the lock and managed to unlock it. But now the broken-off part was completely jammed inside the lock, with no part of it visible. To say I felt harassed is an understatement.

photo by Ydam 

But Instead of paying for a locksmith, I looked up what to do on the internet. I was shocked I could order the group of tools you see above from Amazon. And, if you could use these tools in a legitimate way, you could also . . . but more on that in a minute.

First I squirted some WD-40 oil into the lock and promptly had the oil squirt back into my face—obviously, the broken-off key filled the lock, so where was the oil to go? Then, after several minutes working away with a couple of those tools, I wrested the broken-off part of the key from the lock.

I was quite amused at how life was imitating art. Why? Because of this scene I had written for my vampire parody. The main character is Dee, but her younger sister Olivia is doing some investigating on her own at a university.
She grabbed the doorknob and turned it to see how much play the tumblers allowed.
 It opened.
         The professor who had major linkage to the alchemy rumors on campus worked here, and the door was unlocked. No way.
Olivia stood on the cusp of going solo against whatever forces were conspiring against her family. She hadn’t told Dee she had narrowed the rumors of alchemy down so specifically because there was no point: Dee couldn’t be dragged here to do something this clandestine. But alchemy led to vampires, and Olivia would do her part. Alone.
The lack of security cameras inside this old building had inspired her surreptitious mission, but Olivia wasn’t about to get cocky. She controlled her body language to show no surprise at the unlocked door. With no need to think about tumblers and pins anymore, she lowered her hand and let a couple of slender tools slide down from inside her sleeve to her pocket. Amazing, what a girl can find on the internet.

For more wholesome fun, you can look at other excerpts, like this one


Carrie Butler said...

That is pretty funny. :) Great excerpt!

Giovanni said...

My girlfriend and I were in this same predicament last year. We came home from work and broke off our key in the lock. After a hard day at work, this is not what I wanted to come home to. She found these tools online and at first I was skeptical that they would work. To my surprise, I was able to get my key out with little effort. They really work.


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