Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Lockout


It began as a typical evening at the Taylor home. I had showered, slipped into my smoking jacket, and was spending some quality time on the couch with my Kindle when Ashley came into the living room and inquired as to whether or not I had fed our dog Sandy. I admitted that I had not, and realizing that it was almost 10:00 I quickly gathered up some dog food and made my way onto the back deck.
While I was scooping food into the Sandy’s bowl, Ashley decided to come out onto the deck and pet our beloved canine. As she exited the house, she pulled the back door closed to prevent moths from flying into the living room but did not realize that the door’s knob lock was engaged. We spent several minutes on the deck and finally decided that it was time to make our way back into the living room when we discovered that we were locked out of the house.
We quickly assessed the situation and it was grim: I was wearing pajama pants, a t-shirt, and a pair of old sneakers. Ashley was wearing shorts, a t-shirt, and no shoes. Neither of us had our cell-phones, keys, or even wallets on us. To make matters worse, I was not even sure we could get out of the back yard. I had secured the gate of our six-foot privacy fence from the outside with a large piece on concrete to prevent Sandy from escaping (as she could manipulate the lock) and even if we got out I had no way to call for help.
I left Ashley on the deck and proceeded to try and force the gate open. My first few attempts were unsuccessful and just about the time I had resigned myself to climbing over, I felt the concrete move enough for me to get my hand out. Finally out of the back yard, I ran around the perimeter of my home checking to see if I could jimmy any of the windows open. I must say, as a block captain of my neighborhood watch I was slightly disappointed that a disheveled man desperately trying to force open windows in the dark did not attract more attention.
At any rate, I reported back to Ashley that our only option was to wake up a neighbor and ask to use their phone. We have an elderly woman living next door who goes to bed before Wheel of Fortune is off the air, and although I knew beating on her door would scare the bejesus out of her it really seemed to be our only option. Ashley, however, noticed that a neighbor down the street still had several guests at what appeared to be a party. I lobbied for scaring the elderly neighbor, but she insisted that we try the shindig down the road. It became a test of wills, a matter of principle and I would not be defeated.
Thirty seconds later we found ourselves explaining to lady of the house (and several party guests) that we had locked ourselves into our own backyard and needed to borrow her cell phone. She graciously agreed and within minutes I found myself attempting to explain what my key looked like to my mother who was unable to hear me due to loud volume at which the Purple Rain soundtrack was being played in the background.
After I returned the bedazzled cell phone to our hostess, she invited us to wait with them in her kitchen and listen to a “story” that one of her slightly inebriated guests wished to share. In the kitchen we found an older gentleman I will refer to as “Silverfox”, a jovial middle-aged man I will call “Hambone,” and his wife “Lil C.”
Hambone had just begun to explain that his parents had been flamboyant “swingers” and progressive nudists whose penchant for sexual deviance had been legendary. He recalled (in youth-scarring detail) that his father would often mow their front yard dressed in nothing but a pink man-thong and some tastefully applied nipple jewelry. His parents were also unusually concerned with his romantic relationships and would often inquire as to whether he was properly providing his dates with “the pleasure.” 
Against this backdrop, Hambone revealed that his family decided to have a garage sale one year in order to liquidate some items they no longer used. The sheer volume of pornography and adult accessories apparently attracted shoppers from a one-hundred mile radius. Some of the more easily identifiable items included some sort of motorized spanking machine and a ceiling apparatus, but the point of the story (other than to stunt any unrealized emotional development among the listeners) concerned a homosexual Latino couple. According to Hambone, the couple arrived in a sub-compact Ford and proceeded to purchase all of his mother’s “leatherwear” for their own recreational use.
This narrative was punctuated several times by a hearty “No s**t ya’ll!” from Hambone and the occasional “F***ing real deal!” from Lil C. About halfway through Hambone’s tale, I noticed that Silverfox had become uncomfortably focused on my wife’s unsupported chest and touched her arm at several intervals throughout the story. Wishing to feel productive and avoid an uncomfortable conversation with Silverfox, I requested a butter-knife so as to jimmy the lock while waiting for my parents.
Hambone boisterously insisted that he would be more than happy to follow us to our home and get the door open. Before we knew it Ashley, myself, and a man whose childhood could reduce Larry Flynt to tears found ourselves walking up the sidewalk toward our home. True to his word, Hambone was able to gain entry to my house much quicker than I was comfortable with.
Safely inside our home, I felt the overwhelming urge to shower for a second time that night and vowed that when given the choice between scaring the elderly and scarring myself, I will always chose to scare the elderly.  

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