Today was an action-packed day. In the afternoon I played two long and exhausting sets of tennis against Alex. He won both on tie-breaks so it was fairly close. I went home, recovered from my exertions, and had a shower. I am very glad I did this. After my shower I decided I would nip down to Morrison’s to buy some dinner. I changed out of my tennis stuff (big mistake as we shall see), grabbed the £5 Morrison’s voucher from the kitchen (petrol points or something) and strolled to the big yellow supermarket. There I bought a chicken korma ready-meal (I’m lazy), some Dolmio sauce and some mince. I was about to go pay when I noticed that the gingerbread men in the cake section were looking at me. Unable to resist their sugary charm, I took two. Perhaps it was a coincidence. Perhaps they took pity on me, somehow foreseeing my impending predicament. I’ll let you decide that one. Anyway I paid and left the store. Only then, as a cold sweat took me, did I realise what I had done.
I had forgotten my key. Normally I keep my key in my wallet but as I put away my change I realised that it was gone. I’d left it in my room, in the pocket of my other pair of shorts. “Bugger,” I thought. I should outline the situation at this point. Firstly, I am home alone this week. My mum and step-dad are away in Devon, and my sister is also on holiday in a different part of Devon. None of them will be back until the end of the week. Secondly, I know for a fact that we don’t have any spare keys. The neighbours don’t have any, and we don’t keep one hidden under a tactical flower-pot. The only one I know of is in the possession of my Grandmother, who lives in London. As all of this went through my mind I wandered calmly home in the hope that I had left a window open. I had not.
Arriving home, I went around to check whether the back door was unlocked. I knew it wouldn’t be. It wasn’t. It must have been about 7pm at this point. The sun was beginning to go down behind the trees at the back of my garden. The clouds were dispersing and the air was warm. It was a beautiful evening. I sat down on the grass and had a gingerbread man. It was pleasant. As I munched away I considered my options. The obvious thing to do at this point was to make a few phone calls. First I called my mother. No response. Next I phoned my sister who confirmed that there was no spare key nearby and laughed at me. I was about to call my Grandmother in London before I realised that she too was away on holiday and that in any case I was still too worn out from the tennis to consider getting several trains just for a key. The most sensible solution was to call my dad and ask him to come and get me. He didn’t pick up when I phoned so I figured he was still working. I ate another gingerbread man.
It was at this point that I realised how inconvenient being locked out for three days would be. I didn’t have any clothes except for what I was wearing. I didn’t have my phone charger, I didn’t have my laptop. I wouldn’t be able to get to the last can of beer that I had put in the freezer to chill. This thought spurred me into action. I double-checked all of the windows on the ground floor. They were all definitely locked. I shook the back door handle a bit (dunno what I expected to happen) and considered smashing the window. “No,” I said, looking into my own reflection, “that would be stupid.” I then noticed that the first floor bathroom window was ajar. It’s about twenty feet off the ground and there’s no ledge. Acknowledging that trying to get through would be difficult and very dangerous, I went into the shed to look for a ladder. I found a fairly rusty looking bit of kit that was about five feet too short. I carefully extracted it from the shed. I then looked at the wall, the window and the concrete patio below. I looked at the ladder. I put the ladder back in the shed. I then noticed an old sand wedge that I used to use for chipping practice. This gave me an idea.
When I started writing this blog I thought it would probably be best not to reveal exactly how I finally broke in, but I realise now that that would be a bit of an anti-climax. Also it can’t do any harm now because I’ve taken steps to make sure such easy access is impossible. I took the golf club and went around to the front of the house. I slotted it through the letterbox, flipped it around, and used it to pull down the latch. This only took about thirty seconds but someone definitely walked past while I was doing it. I’m pretty sure he noticed me, but he didn’t stop or say anything so I assume he decided that it was far too nice an evening to risk challenging me and my golf club. As the door opened I felt hugely relieved. There was also a strange sense of victory. Amazingly at that very moment my mobile buzzed and I spoke to my Dad who I think was fairly proud of my achievement. After that I double locked the door and left my back door key in a discrete location for future emergencies. Please don’t try to find it – you won’t. I celebrated with the chicken korma and a very, very cold beer. The end.
Here’s a song about me by Miracle Legion who are great.
Shame they spelt my name wrong.