Saturday, August 25, 2007

An odd talent of mine

I have some interesting (read: useless) talents. One of these is a knock with locks. I started thinking about this when I ran into a few days of lock issues in a row. One morning, I went with my relief down to a building that needed a couple doors unlocked. Our key to said building is getting worn out, so it takes some finesse to open some doors. The other guy tried for several seconds on the first door. I asked for a go at it, and it opened right up. Same with the second door. The third and final door, though, my coworker decided he would do. About a full minute or two later, I tried, and sure enough, it worked. After each of the first two doors, I had explained the means of finessing them, as best I could...he couldn't reproduce the feat.

The next night, a girl was having trouble with the key to her dorm room. I took the key, went to her door, and promptly let her in. I had her try it...of course, she couldn't reproduce the problem for me.

When I was a student, though, I had a bizarre experience. A custodian had locked her keys in a reflection room in the dorm I was occupying at the time. She asked whether our room keys would open that. They couldn't, I thought, but I'd try it. The key didn't fit properly, but the door opened. It should not have opened the door. My key was not made for the lock, nor did it work properly, but it somehow opened. I never could come up with a satisfactory explanation, nor could I reproduce the feat (I only tried once, but it kind of creeped me out).

Earlier still, when I was in high school, the football team stopped for dinner on the way to or from a game. A couple of us went to a different fast food joint than the others (we had a few options around). We decided to see about eating on the bus. I grabbed the door handle, turned it a bit, opened the door and climbed aboard. When the driver came back to the bus, she saw us and immediately went to find the coaches. She said that we had broken into the bus and shouldn't have been there. I, of course, told her the bus was unlocked. Oddly enough, it was still locked after we got in. I was able to reproduce the feat for the coaches and driver, but I was told that I'd probably be suspended. It was forgotten by the time anyone would've had a chance to talk to the principal, though, so I didn't even have to pay him a visit.

I also nearly got myself suspended for opening classrooms with ASB cards just before the teachers got there. Only once did one get upset, but I managed to talk my way out of trouble...once in awhile, I was even asked to open doors that needed to be open. The coaches' office, for example, needed to be open for various sports, and the coaches didn't always have their keys. I destroyed a few ASB cards on that one, up until I got to make the cards one year...I made up a couple specialized blanks of varying thicknesses (good old ID laminator works well for this sort of thing). It was like a set of lockpicks for my high school. They've probably improved the doors (and windows--they weren't immune, either) by now, but those were good times.

Wow...for the good kid, I certainly pulled a lot of crap, didn't I? And I didn't even mention the fights. But that's not the point. The point is that I have no idea where this knack for locks came from, but it sure comes in handy sometimes.


Hammer said...

That can be a handy skill to have. I've been open to open many locked doors just by turning the handle until it popped. I guss they were cheap or worn out.

The credit card thing works well too on interior doors. I'm always locking things out of habit then discovering I have no key.

Jerry said...

I still have my student ID from 25 years ago. It was a thin laminated card. I have used it for 25 years to open doors. It won't work on a deadbolt, but almost any single lock door, I can open. Quite handy, and usually frightens the owner of the door as to how easily done it can be opened.