The Norman Transcript

September 3, 2013

Don’t cry if this happens to you

By Shirley Ramsey
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Myrtle steps out to get the morning paper in her robe and slippers. She returns, tries the doorknob and it won’t turn. She checks her pockets.

“Oh, my goodness — I’ve locked myself out! Now what? No neighbors home this time of day.”

She hustles next door to check, but no one is there. She tries another.

“I know they won’t recognize me. I look a mess.”

Finally a door opens.

“Cynthia, I’m so glad you’re home,” Myrtle says. “May I come in and call a locksmith? Crazy as it sounds, I’ve locked myself out.”

“Maybe I can get you in. I’ve done it here before. Is it a deadbolt?”


Cynthia grabs something from her purse and they go check. Cynthia manages to slip a plastic card around the lock and open the door.

“I can’t believe it!” Myrtle cries. “You’ve saved me!”

Just don’t try this at home.

Grandparents knew better. They put every key to every lock on a huge ring and clipped the ring to their clothes.

“I can’t get this,” Grandpa says, wrestling with the key in the back door lock.

“Let me see that.” Grandma studies the keys. “Here, try this one. You used the wrong key.’

The lock opens. “Well, heck, what’s the other one for?”

“Who knows — It’s been on that key ring forever.”

Old keys, it seems, never come off the key ring.

Lisa moves to a big city from a small town. She’s quite excited about her new job, but she can’t believe the number of locks on her apartment door.

“But I lost only one key,” she complains to the landlord after one week. “I need to get in my apartment.”

The landlord grumbles and opens her apartment with the master key.

“Now put all those keys together and keep them with you,” he tells Lisa. “I’m not your Dad, so it’s not my job to look after you.”

Some folks leave an extra key with a neighbor.

“Now what?” Sam says to his wife, returning to the car. They’ve just returned from vacation. “Nobody’s home.”

“I guess we wait,” she answers.

“I could see our key hanging on a hook on the kitchen wall. I could reach them with my fishing rod if I can find a window open.”

“Seems a little risky.”

Sam takes his rod back over and fishes around with it through a window that has been slightly raised and locked in place. He is lying on the ground, almost upside down, fishing through the neighbor’s window when the cops come around the corner.

“Well, what have we here,” one says. “All right, buddy, on your feet. We’re taking you in.”

“But, wait! I can explain. They have my house key — just go ask my wife.”

“Sorry, she didn’t know who you were, trying to break in here.”

The joke on Sam ends once his wife stops laughing. The police leave just as the neighbors drive in. What a great laugh they have.

Don’t try this on the neighbor’s house.

Retired journalism professor Shirley Ramsey lives in Norman.