I figure that with today's episode I have two ways to tell this story:
- I screwed up
- I saved the household money with my do-it yourself approach to fixing a problem here at Tidy Husband HQ.
Obviously, I am choosing number 2 to share my latest tale..
This story started out without problems. It was after a late dinner when I looked out at the weeds/grass in the back forty and succumbed to the fact that I better get out there and deal with the problem, because that's why BW has me around in the first place.
So I made her an offer: "You do the dishes, and I will cut the grass and then we can meet up later once all the chores are done". She seemed okay with this arrangement and so I got up to grab the keys for the back shed
NO KEYS IN THE DRAWER!.
I looked everywhere I could think of where I may have left the keys last time but without luck. I have been known to leave these in my pockets and they end up in the wash but I checked both washer and dryer and came up empty. I scoured the house, I emptied drawers, I re-traced my steps and then finally I had to admit it: I LOST THE KEYS.
So then I did what any guy would do when he loses the keys to a lock: I hit the lock with a hammer. I soon realized my efforts with the hammer would be useless and so now what does one do?
I know, I will ask youtube.
According to my research there's about three ways to get a lock off something:
- A drill, or saw or dremel tool – I choose not to go with this option because of sparks and the fact that our woodshed is, well, wood. I didn't want to have to call 911 because I wanted to cut the grass.
- Bolt Cutters. Looks good, but these locks look pretty sturdy
- Try picking the lock.
Number 1 was out, and I didn't have bolt cutters at what now has become almost 9pm, but I did have an extra locked lock I could play with (why we are saving a locked lock with no key is beyond me, but that's for another post) but I had a hacksaw, but and the outcome with the saw was about the same as the hammer. Boy, these locks are tough.
I then spent the rest of my evening trying to pick the lock I had with a pen lid and a paper clip, and despite the fact that twelve year olds on youtube can do this, I couldn't.
For those who are still reading, I have tried a hammer, a hacksaw and picking tools and still my lawnmower is in the shed and the grass is getting taller and taller and taller. The neighbors have started to picket the house.
Of course, while I was doing all this, BW was inside reading a book about sex (I kid you not) trying to ignore my increased anxiety about getting the stupid shed opened. (some days there's not enough prozac)
Then she suggested the unthinkable:
"Hire a locksmith", she suggested. Talk about a blow to the male ego, folks. When she said that I realized this : she didn't think I could fix the problem…
Can you imagine? Me paying some $100 or more to fix my mistake? And this is when I haven't even exhausted all my options such as calling my friend to help. I mean really, BW, how could you even think that?
I will show her! I said to myself as I drifted off to sleep dreaming of unlocked locks and fresh cut grass (I really need a hobby)
This morning I awoke with a fresh start and fresh perspective. Also, I had these:
These little 22 dollar wonders worked, well, wonders:
At first I thought I had bought the wrong thing because my scrawny little arms barely made a dent in the lock and for a quick second I thought that maybe BW was right, but then I had another stab and used all my 162.8lbs of dynamite to push and push and squeeze until finally the hardened steel lock gave way to my arms of steel.
(when the lock did finally give way I fell right over because I was leaning so hard and almost knocked myself out on the shed door, but I would appreciate it if you didn't tell BW about that part. I have an image to keep..thanks so much)
There, problem solved.
Then I realized that when I was buying the bolt cutters I should have also bought new locks to replace the old ones.. so back I go to the store to get new locks:
and I bought these fancy ones at the dollar store for even greater savings. The only trouble with dollar store locks is that not one key works on both like the previous set, but with a sharpie that's esaily fixed:
As I mentioned at the start of this story there's two ways to look at this adventure and I am going to go for the positive spin where I saved the day with my newly formed bolt cutting skills.
I saved BW money today!
Note to BW:
See BW? You were of little faith, but I did fix the problem and for much less than a locksmith would cost. It was $22 for the cutters and two dollars for the locks. Add a bit of tax and my mistake (I prefer the term 'learning adventure') saved us over seventy dollars at least over taking the easy way out and calling in the pros. You can take me out to dinner to thank me for my hard work with the money I saved you.
PS. I cut the grass.