The train from Seattle arrived in St. Paul eight and a half hours late so we were out $500 in wages. We missed the 7:30 a.m. scheduled arrival time by way too much to actually get in even a partial day of scheduled work.
The cabbie hit us up for another $66 (including a generous tip) just to deposit us at our doorstep in Eagan. A few hours later, an ingenious credit card scammer who somehow compromised our Visa card started charging pizza and buying purses and Metro Transit passes. (By the way, what type of criminal steals a credit card number to buy bus tickets?) But even worse, we arrived home only to discover we were locked out of our house.
My house key was with a neighbor who was at her job at four in the afternoon. My wife’s key was locked inside the house. I won’t be commenting on that. The combination to open the garage door failed. The combination to open the front door failed, so I inserted the key. It failed. I inserted it farther and harder. It broke.
“I have a key to the sliding glass door on the deck,” I yelled to my wife.
The only problem: There is no stairway to the second floor deck and the ladder was locked in the garage.
“We’ll have to climb up to the deck,” I told my skeptical wife.
Okay. If you’re a thief and have gotten this far without getting in my house, trust me, give it up. In lieu of the ladder, we became creative. Including the railing around the deck, I figured we had about 12 feet vertical to traverse. We started with the four foot high, hard plastic recycling bin. When we added two stacked lawn chairs and a two-foot high tool box, we were getting close.
If you are thinking this might have been a little shaky, you are correct. For stabilization, we grabbed the garden hose and tossed it over the deck railing. I tied a sort of square knot in the hose (a creative feat itself) and we had a Tarzan-like vine with which to climb up and jump over the railing onto the deck.
One of us had to climb, while the other simultaneously stabilized and pushed. My wife volunteered to be the climber. She went up and over. She put the key in the door.
“The key won’t turn!” she said.
“Yes it will. I tried it before we left!” I screamed.
“Well, it doesn’t turn,” she calmly said.
“It does too!” I countered.
I leapt up the climbing conglomeration, catapulted over the railing and approached the door. I tried the key. It wouldn’t turn no matter how hard I tried. I descended the deck like a rejected prom date and headed for the shed. Nothing was about to stop me now from getting in that house even if I had to break every window and door in the joint.
Meanwhile, my wife headed for the front of the house, doing her best to stifle the smirk that was morphing into a huge belly laugh. She realized it was best that I not observe this.
Attention burglars: This is the part that works. You can easily get in my shed. Unfortunately, you will find no tools, but there is an L-shaped plant hanger that is made of a fairly sturdy metal. Take the plant hangar back to the sliding glass door and force it under the bottom side. This will be noisy and look real strange to the neighbors, but you can actually jam that plant hanger under the door and pry it up. After many efforts resulting in moving the door a quarter-inch at a time, with luck you will find that the door will slide just enough to open.
I made it in my house and you can, too. However, there is no gold, no jewelry, and no bags of cocaine or pot. All our valuables are in our suitcases that go with us on our travels. There is absolutely nothing in this house worth breaking into unless you are burned out from the late train arriving from the west and desperately need a bed. You would do better to try the neighbors; I think I saw him wearing a Rolex.