Friday, August 21, 2009
If you didn't read part one yet, consider doing that now.
To re-cap. You are locked out, trapped in your backyard, in your pajamas, you have to pee. Crazy dog and toddler son are locked inside...
You position yourself at the side gate that has a partial view of the street in front. You yell, “Fire! Fire!” at passing cars because you read somewhere that statistically, people are more willing to get involved with someone yelling, “Fire” than with someone yelling, “Help.”
Loud ranting is crack-business-as-usual in this neighborhood and cars do not stop, even those not drowning out your cries with the dulcet tones of Ghostface Killah with car stereo bass set to 10. You wait. You check on your kid by trying to get a glimpse of him through the sliding glass door. You see the dog standing with her front paws on a dining room chair, eating the breakfast leftovers from the plates on the table. You go back to yelling at passing cars. You wait. You wait. You do not pee.
A police car drives slowly down the street with the windows open. “Fire!” you yell as it continues down the street. “Fire! Fire!” 30 seconds later the police car comes back into view as it reverses up the street, stopping in front of your house. You wish you were wearing a bra. You realize that if wishes were really being handed out, a more convenient wish to ask for might be something closer to the you-wished-you-weren’t-locked-out-of-the-house variety of wish.
As the tall-ish teenage-looking cop, Officer Wilson, and his markedly shorter partner, Officer Martinez, approach you through the yard, you can hear your dog inside the house barking her maniacal "Intruders!" bark.
You explain the situation to the policemen in one crazy-lady-run-on-sentence. You don’t mention the part about how close you are to wetting yourself. You can see your own disheveled reflection a little too clearly in the lenses of Martinez’s wrap-around sunglasses. He asks if there are any imminent safety hazards for your son inside such as a pot boiling on the stove? Full bathtub? A tear stained and unbalanced mother? He doesn’t say that last part out loud, but you can fill in the blanks. You answer no. They do not ask you about the “fire.”
After testing the locks on the side gate and the security screen on the front door, they agree that picking these types of locks would be difficult, if not impossible. Martinez gives you his cell phone so that you can call your husband at work. As you would expect, your husband does not recognize the number and lets it go to voice mail. You softly curse his name and the entire Caller ID system. You call your friend Jennifer. She answers on the second ring. You explain the situation. She might have a set of keys to your house and will look for them and also try instant messaging your husband. She is a 25 minute drive away, not including key-searching time.
While you are making calls, Wilson is climbing the neighbor’s gate into their yard. He scales the fence, heaves himself over the top and lands hard in the grass. Now you and the baby-faced police officer are both locked in your backyard.
You walk with him as he surveys the windows of the house, as you have now done countless times.
“Your windows are really high up.”
“Those stained glass ones are… interesting.” Everyone's a decorator. You blame HGTV.
“It’s a rental.”
Together, you return to the front gate and see that two more squad cars have arrived on the scene, doors open, dispatch radios blaring. Martinez drinks coffee from a Starbucks cup and laughs with another officer. You don’t believe that they are problem solving your situation. You shift your weight back and forth from one foot to the other.
Wilson decides to take a look at the sliding glass door to see if he can lift it out. You explain that because everything in the house appears to have been “installed” (jerry-rigged) by someone’s not-so-good-at-do-it-yourself grandpa, you know that the sliding glass doors are in backwards and upside down. You found this out when you tried unsuccessfully to install the non-returnable sliding door child safety lock.
Your son appears at the sliding glass door waving and yelling, “Policeman! Policeman!” The dog is close behind him. Upon seeing the officer, your dog barks excitedly (Policeman! Policeman!) She jumps up, throwing herself against the glass. Her paw hits the latch and pulls it down. Click. The door is unlocked.
You are free.
It’s 10:45 AM. Someday, perhaps a year or two from now, when you have moved out of this house, out of this neighborhood, this might make a good story but right now you have some peeing to do.
Labels: the old house