A Reflection On The Little Things In Life While Picking A Lock

Pants? Check.

Wallet? Check.

iPod? Check.

Cellphone? Check.

Keys? Oh crap.

Every two or three years something happens and I manage to step outside my apartment, close the door and almost immediately discover that my keys are now on the otherside of 2 inches of wood and a Schlage lock.

I guess I was due because that was the situation I found myself in this morning just before 8am. My internal clock had me up early since we just had our time change. I was doing a little cleaning around me apartment. When I went to take the trash out, I immediately discovered that although I had managed to have nearly every other technological gadget about my person, the necessary keys were sitting on the counter.

Thankfully since I had my cellphone I was in touch with a locksmith within minutes and a half-hour later he was crouched at my door jiggling his tools in the handle.

This was obviously the first call of the day for him and he had that rumpled “I just got out of bed” look about him. But he was a friendly fellow and proceeded to wax rather philosphic while I stood around impatiently waiting for him to let me in.

“Wow! Look at that tree! It’s beautiful! You know you have quite a view up here.”

I guess he was working on the lock by touch and sound because he was looking past me down the hill and over the morning rooftops of Burbank.

“I bet you could just sit and stare out the window on the other side of your place looking at the mountains all day long.”

“Actually that window just looks into an alley.”

“Still, you know a tree like that takes a lot of work to get it to look that beautiful.”

“Yeah. Probably.”

“You know, you have to trim it once a year. You have to make sure all the branches are pointing up or they’ll just end up breaking off.”


“You know how much it costs to trim a tree that size.”

“I have no idea.”

“Five thousand bucks.’


“Yeah. Hey! Check out that hummingbird! You know a tree like that supports an incredible amount of life.”

“Uh huh.”

“All kinds of different things live in a tree like that. Imagine if all of us could live in a tree like that. The number of people it could support. That would be incredible. You know my neighbor this old guy doesn’t trim his tree. The branches don’t point up. They’re all going ‘zoom’ like this and back like that. Ok, let’s try this lock the other way.”

“Actually it opens clockwise like how you were first going.”

“I know. I’ll reset it if I get it open.”


He went on and on like that for the twenty minutes it took him to get the door open. After suggesting that I hang a shower curtain in front of my balcony to get more privacy and informing me that my neighbor’s wooden shingle roof was a huge fire hazard, the lock finally popped and my cat Max who was really curious about all the racket that was going on at the door stuck his head out through the crack in the doorway.

I managed to get Max back inside before he escaped, thanked the locksmith for coming to my aid, and went on with my life with a whole new outlook.

Ok. Maybe not.