I’m glad to see the whole Harvard-professor-break-in incident is finally off the media radar blip since the peacemaking at the brotherly brewfest between Obama and The Players.
I had a similar incident happen in my neighborhood, but it was I who was the star player, and I couldn’t exactly cry racial discrimination in my very white-bread neighborhood. And I didn’t get a beer out of it, either.
Recently, I drove my very suburban SUV into my very suburban garage, only to have the garage door revolt on me, plummeting down its tracks as it attempted closure, popping and screeching loudly as springs sprung, wood splintered, tracks warped and the entire door collapsed in a crooked cave-in halfway down its descent, dangling a mere six inches above my car. The Mister and I sprinted to manually shove the door up just enough to back my car back out of the garage – just in case demon devil-door wasn’t finished with its destructive forces – and watched as it proceeded to buckle and slam down to the ground only seconds after we extracted the car.
Luckily, the company that installed the door accommodated us with an appointment the next morning. As The Mister headed off to work the next day, I hung around waiting for the door man. Knowing they would need the serial number and dimensions off the door, I proceeded to tiptoe with my morning coffee in my bare feet out into the garage to scribble down numbers, whereupon I slammed the mud room door behind me. Freeze frame. I winced as it occurred to me that hubs had decided to lock that inner door – which we never do – to thwart off anyone getting in through the now semi-exposed garage (how? by morphing through the slits of the quarter inch door panel gaps???). He’s a bit anal when it comes to safety. It’s an occupational hazard…post cop syndrome.
There I stood, locked and confined in an empty garage on one of the sultriest, muggiest days on record…with no exit access in sight. I immediately went into Suburban Survival Mode, gazing at the tools, garden equipment and 260 cans of alphabetized canuba car wax, wondering if they would find me in a few days in a prone position with the headlines reading “Woman Attempts Suicide from Carbon Monoxide Fumes, but Forgets Car.”
I immediately flashed back to moving day into the house, when my husband insisted on putting yet one more telephone in the house, choosing his man-room garage. I snidely mumbled something about overkill, as he judiciously ignored my attempt at emasculating him and proceeded with his TimAllenesk task of installing yet another toy, grunting with pride.
Ah-ha! The phone…yes! I have a neighbor with a key to my house. I’ll just call her and she’ll pass the contraband…er, key…through the crippled garage door and I’ll be free! Wait… I don’t know any phone numbers without my speed dial or directory on the upstairs phones. Sigh. On to Plan B.
It was then that my brain went into uber-logic mode, and I remembered she had called me only a day or two earlier. I picked up the phone to view “previous callers,” and was able to auto-dial her.
My little Tatooed Angel of Neighborly Necessities brought the key over, peered through the slat, snapped her finger and shouted through the pane, “Oh no you diiiiiin’t!!!” Snorting the entire time, she finally slid the key under the door. Jiggling the key in the lock, I soon realized she had an older key, as we had recently installed a new lockset. Dohhhhhh. On to Plan C.
In unison, she and I hummed, “We shall overcome.” Hell, we’ve raised children…this should be a cakewalk. She then proceeded to get on all fours, scraping her knees on the cement driveway, with her rear end jutting toward the neighbors, whereupon she lifted one panel of the garage door off the ground as I shimmied on my back out of the small access like an elephant squeezing through a turtle’s birth canal.
Trying not to pee in our pants, we laughed loudly enough to raise the dead, and we envisioned nosy neighbors peering out of their windows at the two women who looked to be breaking into the townhouse. “I cain’t be sure, officer….they looked white to me, but with the shadows from that Mandevilla Vine and all, I really couldn’t identify them in a court of law…”
I was finally able to phone my husband from her house. (Darn, what’s his number again?) He eventually appeared with THE key, like a white knight ready to save the damsel…his masculinity now intact. But he hesitated for a split second before letting me in, saying, “And what was that ‘overkill’ comment about the garage phone????” Oh mea culpa already…
And it was only later that my neighbor smacked her forehead with a duhhhhh! and said, “Oh, wooops, I just realized I had brought you the key to the OTHER neighbor’s house!”
Well, at least if we get caught next time – breaking into the other neighbor’s house – I’ll willingly offer up my AARP identification card to the arresting officer…..without resisting.