Friday, March 26, 2010

Feeling like I'm in a Summer Wine sketch...

I managed to lock myself out of the house last night - not for the first time. There's that hanging moment just as the door closes behind you when you realise that you haven't got your keys on you, but by then the Yale latch is already shooting home and...ka-lick. It's too late.

I was due to play in a quiz, so there was no time to do more than take a quick peek through the back door keyhole. Had I stupidly left the key in there, so that it couldn't be unlocked from the outside? Yup. So a night in the car was looming.

Fortunately my quiz mates are versed in matters beyond the cerebral. They'd know how to hotwire your motor, and they certainly know how to get into your house. So after triumphing in the quiz, three of us beery fellows returned to Argyle Street to do some burglary. I'd left a top window open, and Tweets thought he'd have a go at shinning up the drainpipe. He could probably have managed it too - except that there was no drainpipe. The bare stone walls offered little purchase, and it's not every rugby player that can double as Spiderman.

I was all for smashing a quarter-light. The opportunities for hooliganism diminish with age, and I definitely don't get to throw as many bricks at windows as I'd like. But Roy (let-me-through-I'm-a-roofer) Button thought we should at least give the lock a try. The voice of reason.

We all had a go at jiggling around in the dark with my spare back door key, but as the keyhole was already blocked from the inside we had no success. Well, I knew we wouldn't. Finally Roy had to get serious and deploy the builder's equivalent of the Vulcan neck-pinch. It's an emergency measure, potentially very dangerous, and not something to be used lightly. He gave the door his special kick.

Now this is a kick apparently known only to roofers, tax collectors and the Grim Reaper himself. No door is proof against it, and certainly no door in Argyle Street. If I'd clapped my hands and cried 'Open Sesame!' it couldn't have been more dramatic. The door flew back with a yelp of apology at having kept us waiting, and we were in.

So next time you're locked out, my dears, or your cat's stuck up a tree, or you're surrounded by Klingons, don't bother the Fire Service with your little problems. They have far more important things to worry about. Just call your local Yorkshire quiz team, and leave it to them.


Jennifer Morian Frye said...

In attempting to catch up on your blog a bit, I stumbled across this story, and found it immensely fun. Thanks, I needed that today.

Steve Augarde said...

Ha. Thanks, Jennifer - and also for your earlier post on Winter Wood. I'm very glad you enjoyed it.