Sep 16, 2011

The Keeper of the Keys

When the weather is out-of-control hot like it's been here for the past few days, it's always nice to seek refuge in a constantly air-conditioned building (i.e., not our apartment), and a favorite meeting spot for good company and caffeine and the icy chill of the AC happens to be Rituals, our local coffee shop, which is very Americanized (minus the fact that they don't bake their muffins or pastries until noon each day... still confused on that one, but oh well!).  Feeling the need to catch up with a few friends and enjoy the AC, I organized for a handful of us to meet at Rituals this morning... and everyone managed to show up, except for me.  So, here's the funny story about that...

You know those locks on the middle of door knobs where you just turn the little button to lock the door?  Well, we have one of those on our bedroom door.  Our bedroom is usually the cooler room in our apartment, as it's the room that houses the AC unit and it doesn't heat up when I cook  the way our kitchen/living room does.  We usually run our AC for a few hours at night (the cost of electricity is astronomical here, so running heavy-duty electrical items must be kept to a minimum), so at night and in the mornings, we keep our bedroom door closed to keep that room cool and trap in the AC for as long as possible.  This morning I got up to go meet friends for coffee, and went into the kitchen to say hey to Charlie as he made the coffee. As I left our bedroom, I pulled the door closed behind me (like I usually do), and somehow the door locked behind us.  We have no key to this door.  So, it was Charlie, shirtless, and me in my boxers and tank top, locked out of our bedroom and bathroom.  Sweet.  We do have a back door that opens into our bedroom, but we don't have a key to that door either (very helpful) and the dead bolt on the door also happened to be locked, so even if we did have a key to that door, we still couldn't have gotten in.

So, there we were, in our pajamas, needing to be other places (school and coffee shop).  The morning consisted of Charlie (shirtless) and myself (bra-less), playing locksmith/delinquent/burglar using various items to attempt to unlock our door.  Inside of our bedroom were the main "tools" that I would first turn to if I needed to pick a lock: wire hangers, credit cards, and bobby pins.  Luckily, we know how to get creative.  Here on the Rock, we know how to be resourceful, and we quickly broke out all sorts of lock-picking items including knives, forks, skewers, safety pins, pocket knives, pieces of cardboard, pieces of plastic, flashlights and pots and pans coupled with a butcher's knife to create a sort of pick-axe situation.  Conveniently, all modes of communication such as cell phones and laptops were also locked inside of our bedroom.


Luckily our landlord happened to be downstairs, so we decided who was dressed most appropriately to speak to a very conservative elderly Dominican woman (we chose shirtless Charles), and informed her of the situation.  Mrs. Coll, being the awesome landlord that she is, walked 20 minutes home and 20 minutes back (during which time we continued our jailbreak escapades), and returned with a bag filled with hundreds of keys. I wish I were kidding about the hundreds of keys.  HUNDREDS OF KEYS.  I'm pretty sure Mrs. Coll used to be some sort of fantasy-novel character with an awesome title like "The Keeper of the Keys."  Mrs. Coll and her sidekick, Cecil (gardener and handyman), entered our apartment, dumped a heaping pile of keys onto the floor, and got busy testing keys.  Miraculously, Key #7 happened to be the lucky one.  Phew.  Charlie and I rewarded ourselves by putting on shirts and undergarments.

I found my cell phone and checked the texts my friends had sent me about our coffee date: "Clare?  Rituals???"  Ha.

Moral of the story: if you have a door with a lock on it, you should probably have the key to it, too.  {Now, if we could just get the 2 keys to our back door... baby steps.}


  1. AHahaha.. Oh my goodness Clare. Mrs. Coll is so cute. Sorry you missed Rituals, there's always next Friday :)

  2. I can totally imagine your crazy morning. What a typical "Dominica Day". We all have so many stories that we can share with our kids that start with "You'll never believe it, but..."

    Miss you!!!

  3. Oh my this is so funny, I had this happen to me this week too. I locked the stroller and Daph's diaper bag in the spare room. Our landlord took a little longer getting ours opened so I didn't have the stroller for a day, not recommended.

  4. lol my roommate locked herself out 3 times in less than 24 hours... it must be a dominican thing!

  5. That is too funny, Clare! The Keeper of the Keys! Hah! The same thing happened to Ricky except he just decided it would be easier to break down the door... MERP. Don't think his landlord was too happy about that one. Lol.

  6. Hahaha, yes it was pretty hilarious! That is too funny that so many of us have had similar experiences here! Good memories, right?


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