A Managing Editor proofing the latest publication of a property magazine that will be published in the next two days. His mobile phone rings.
“You’re not going to believe this: says his wife ” I’ve locked myself in the bathroom”.
Of course the lady in question is 7 months pregnant – however at least she has access to the facilities.
“I’ll be right there darling. You people continue proofing – back in a bit”.
A short cab ride later and up to the eighth floor and sure enough – daughter number one is ready with a hammer and has already laid into the door.
“Mom’s stuck”. Says the beautiful 8 year old.
Thankfully I do have a Leatherman as every person who grew up in Africa has. Let the expats laugh at the addition to the belt. There’s many a time that I’ve got them out of a jam with the tools.
On this occasion it was slightly more challenging. Not because the multitool wasn’t up to the job – but because dealing with a cat and a small child with a hammer, as well as the fact that there wasn’t any toilet paper on the other side of the door.
So – first the cat. No idea where the can opener is – but a Leatherman will sort that out no problem. Can opener – check.
Small child with hammer? No problem – door’s got a number of divots anyway, carry on.
Wife – OK. Sitting on the toilet and laughing herself sick. Old fashioned round door lock – not an issue. Leatherman saw straight into the lock, twist, crunch and hey presto the lock is now officially broken. Leatherman is still absolutely fine so on to plan number two – except there is no plan number two and we’re 8 stories up. I’m not climbing out on to a ledge to squeeze my way around to a window that I’m not going to fit into anyway.
So – what to do? Child with hammer? Great. Leatherman knife used to cut an X into the door next to the lock – child number one – have at it.
5 Minutes later a hole next to the lock, pass the Leatherman to the wife and ask her politely to stick the knife into the lock and give it a good solid wrench from inside and hey presto door open.
A quick peck on the cheek. Confiscate the hammer from child number one (very disappointed) remove the can from the cat’s head and back to the office.
Time taken – 1 hour. Wive’s rescued x 1. Cats traumatized x 1. Hammer lost x 1 (never did find it). Doors destroyed x 1, Landlord puzzled x 1.
Cost – not a cent – I don’t pay for faulty door locks and I saved a fortune on the landlord’s behalf – no fire brigade, no emergency services.
Story with Leatherman – priceless.
What my wife was doing in the bathroom with her mobile phone… as any good husband knows there are times to ask questions and there are times just to accept the scotch and a pat on the back.