Wednesday, December 18, 2002

It's days like these* that I wish I had a shotgun.


So, I got locked in the bathroom on Tuesday morning. I feel that it is of great import to note, from the start, that there is no lock on our bathroom door, but merely a sticky latch. Occasionally the handle is difficult to turn. Yesterday morning I took a shower with the door firmly shut, the heat lamp on, and the water fairly hot. I got out, dried myself off, put lotion on my hands and face, and opened the door.

Ahh. Right. I tried to open the door.

The handle didn't turn. Assuming that my hands were simply too moist from the steam and the lotion, I grabbed a towel and tried to open the door holding it around the knob. Nothing. I called to Will, who tried to open the door from the outside. No good. Worried that Will (and possibly I) would panic, I began fiddling with the knob, trying to figure out how to take it apart. There was no obvious solution, as there were no screws or in fact anything that one might normally find on a doorknob that would enable one to take it apart. By sheer luck, I found the small slit on the side of the knob which, when my nail file was inserted, released the catch and enabled me to take the actual knob off. I fiddled with the insides, hoping to force the latch. Nada. I attempted to explain to Will how to take the knob off on his side. I had him pass me a screwdriver under the door, and took apart the rest of my side of the knob. The latch remained firmly stuck, even after Will took off his side of the knob. I think the thing was made of titanium, or some such material.

In past experience, I've found it possible to force even a locked door to open if you insert a flathead screwdriver between the door and the jamb and wedge it into the latch, using your body and the tork of the screwdriver for leverage. Unfortunately, this has to be done from the outside, which is the side of the latch with the 45 degree angle. The outside of our bathroom door has molding around the jamb, which made it impossible to insert anything, let alone a screwdriver, and get it anywhere near the latch.

So there I was, naked, stuck in the bathroom, with a small hole through which I could see my boyfriend, and both of us late for work.

I decided, naturally, to take apart the hinges. There are (were) two, and as I'm sure you know hinges merely rest together and are held in place by a long bolt. Using my screwdriver and a wrench that Will slid under the door, I managed to extract the bolt from the bottom hinge with very little trouble. The top one proved a challenge, though, as it was above my head and the only thing in the bathroom upon which to stand is the toilet - across the room. After much sweating and cursing, I did it, though. I am very strong.

With both bolts removed, I climbed back into the bathtub and hid behind the plexiglass door while Will used his body weight to force the door open. He managed, with his shoulder, to lossen the top half of the door, but the bottom hinge, painted over several dozen times, held firm. I told him how high it was off the ground, and he started kicking.

Suffice it to say, I got out, but the door is now in two rather large pieces, having broken in half horizontally at approximately the height of the damn latch. Incidentally, the latch moves smoothly now that it is nowhere near the doorjamb.

There were other reasons for wanting a shotgun, all of which involve the mall, but I'll leave you to draw your own conclusions.