When Daisy got locked out:
She found the cottage through a friend who lives next door…it’s a rural area, so “next door” is a euphemism for waving your hand loosely in the air to indicate “somewhere in that direction”.
The track to her cottage could be a firebreak. Hard to tell. You can’t see the cottage until one is parked 3 feet from the front door. Lots of vegetation. It’s up a really big hill and down a little valley, around a couple of hairpin turns.
Her city friends bug her for a weekend opportunity to take in the country air. Clearly, they’ve read too many romanticized English Empire novels. Once they realize Daisy took the cute little rural cottage because of the gigantic state-of-the-art barn and paddocks exactly 20 feet from her doormat, it’s usually the last self-invite.
If you love horses, this is country perfume. If you love Ikea, this is the smell of poop and dirt 24/7.
She has one die-hard friend who loves to visit: Paolo. Paolo is a total city guy. The sound of five deadbolts sliding home one after the other, is music. He’s the kind of guy who won’t use his car clicker to lock the car because someone might record the sound on their cell phone, unlock the car and steal it. Paolo knows all the latest break-in and robbery angles.
It drives him insane that beautiful Daisy won’t lock her front door when she steps outside on the porch for her morning coffee. Her door should be locked At All Times. Even if she’s one foot away, and it’s still ajar. What if she needs to run in quickly? If she’d just pre-lock the open door, her safety meter would increase exponentially. A Lurking Menace could be out maneuvered.
Daisy being Daisy, she rolls her eyes and tells him she’s not listening.
Okay: The Lurking Menace would have to hike up a two mile hill without alerting the geese, dog, goats, horses, an extremely cranky pony, and Hoover, the free-roaming pot-bellied pig. All of whom are convinced the sound of every car engine or footfall means manna from heaven, and LOTS of it. You CANNOT sneak up on Daisy. Those animals will have you immediately pinned down and frisked so thoroughly you’ll think you’ve stumbled upon a secret Presidential hideaway.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the geese had a waterboard hidden in the pond reeds. Come to think of it, send a million perpetually hungry, territorial, and crabby geese to Iraq, and they’d have the entire country sorted out – Iraqis and American’s – in a month. The war would be over. You don’t mess with geese rules of conduct.
Paolo’s solution to Daisy’s affectionate “What EVER…you freak!” is to stealthily lock the door behind her back. Daisy is key OCD like me, so it was never really a problem, just annoying. She always has her keys on her when leaving.
One Saturday Paolo left to drive back to The Big City. Daisy lolled around watching gruesome suspense videos. Her idea of ultimate relaxation. An 11pm yawning fit signals it’s time to go out for a pre-sleep smoke. The door shut behind her. No big deal. She never locks it. But Paolo did. Right before he left.
Great. She’s on the porch barefoot in a T-shirt and underwear locked out of her house near midnight. Wait, she’s still okay. She keeps a window cracked.
NO!!! Paolo found the window.
She goes around the whole house, every door and window, even the CAT door is locked. Her cell is on the kitchen table. Her friend-with-spare-key is uh, within waving distance. Barefoot, across a muddy dried-grass field.
Nothing to do but bite the bullet and tromp over to Angie’s house. The house is completely dark. Both cars in the driveway. Crap, Angie and her husband are asleep. Daisy rings the bell. Nothing. Not even a peep out of the mop dog. Well, if you’re going to be humiliated, why not all the way? She pounds on the front door. Pause. Nada. No one sleeps THAT soundly…do they?
There could only be one reason they can’t hear her at 11:30pm. They’d have to be, uh, making noise themselves.
Who wants to think about that with your friends? She puts more determination into her pounding. She pounds on the door so hard it opens. Turns out they don’t lock their front door either. Great. Now what? She rattles the knob loudly, bangs on the open front door and yells HELLOOOO??!
Silence. She bangs and stomps and yells her way through the house…finally the mop dog starts barking. Yip yip yip. “HELLO??? ANGIE? JERRY? YOU GUYS UP??” Yip yip yip yip yap. Pause. She bangs on the wall and looks for things to throw. Shit. It’s all breakable.
Please no. She is NOT going to have to go to the bedroom door, is she? She is. Noodle is yip yapping and scratching on the other side of the closed bedroom door. No light under the crack.
Thinking, “I am SO going to hate that this happened tomorrow“, Daisy knocks loudly on the bedroom door. Then the frame. Then the door. Noodle is going berserk on the other side. How could anyone sleep through that? Answer…they can’t. You could only pretend to sleep through that while scrambling for your clothes.
“IT’S DAISY. I’M LOCKED OUT OF MY HOUSE. JUST TELL ME WHERE THE EXTRA KEY IS.”
Muffled whispering. Scrambling and shuffling on the other side of the door. Jerry opens the bedroom door as nonchalantly as possible while clutching a pillow to his pelvis.
“Uh Angie says we lost the key. Cleaned out the junk drawer and tossed it accidentally. Sorry, didn’t hear you, we were…sleeping.”
Muffled from a dark corner where she will NOT look: “Oh Jerry give it up, Daisy knows we weren’t sleeping.”
Jerry brightens up when he notices Daisy isn’t exactly dressed all the way herself; he gets a sort of we’re-all –half-dressed relief that makes it easier to pretend nothing was going on.
“Shit shit shit. What am I going to do?”
Angie’s disembodied voice commands from the dark: “Jerry go help her break in.”
So Jerry does. But in his discombobulation and anxiety he doesn’t grab his pants first. He’s still in that we’re-all-half-dressed relief. He rushes out clutching the pillow to get some tools. The way the roads wind around, it’s faster to walk across the field back to the cottage. They tromp in silence: naked Jerry with pillow and a crowbar, Daisy mortified. He goes to break in and Daisy realizes crowbars are two handed operations.
“So THAT” she finishes, “is when I got locked out.”
“Do you guys still talk to each other?”
“Yeah, we all pretend it was no big deal…like it was funny.”
I nod my head in agreement. There’s something to be said for group denial.
There’s a big difference in me going blank and losing my keys in my sleeve being NOT locked out, and Daisy being tricked into being locked out. One: everyone around me had all their clothes on, two: it wasn’t simple stupidity on her part. But I feel better anyway.
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