Leaving the house and having a house/dog sitter come is the best way to discover your home's idiosyncrasies. They pile up in droves for the uninitiated. If we had to write a user's manual for our own home, it would include information such as:
- Things that require a good slam of the hip to open and/or shut
- Potential risks of burning the entire house down
- Potential risks of the entire house floating away
- Stuff that leaks
- Stuff that clogs
- Stuff that spews
- Stuff that is installed upside-down
- Annoying noises
- Scary noises
- Don't dare open this or sharp items will fall on your head
- Scary places you don't want to go
- Appliances that don't work, so don't even try
- The entirely separate manual on how to work the 5 remotes to turn on the TV
"What will happen this time we leave town?" is the question we ask when having someone stay at our house, without full knowledge of its evil ways. We have a particularly literary house sitter who leaves us amusing notes when we come home. Here is her latest.
It was time to feed Molly. "Why," I asked myself, "do I walk all the way around to go out the sliding doors to outside when I can go out this cute little back door that is in a direct line between Molly's food bin in the garage and her food dish on the back patio?"
So I scoop up her food, unlock all the locks (so I'm thinking) and go out through the cute little back door. I give Molly her food, check her water, breathe in the beautiful spring day. I then turn around to go back inside the house, but the cute little door won't open. It's locked.
I stand in stunned silence. How can this be, I've been so careful. Because I know (I hate to say this) this house has evil doorknobs - always lying in wait for the unsuspecting, unwatchfull, untrained person who naively thinks that because the inside door knob turns freely when one tests it, this means the door is unlocked. Not so.
Even knowing this about both the front door and garage door (always checking both knobs, inside and out), I let the cute little back door sucker me in. It had worked its evil wiles and triumphantly locked me out.
I have to say I will never look at or feel the same about that door again. I'm trying to install a permanent alarm in my head about that door so that I will never cross its threshold again. "Evil - Danger, Danger, Don't approach - Go back, Go back!"
As I stand at the door that has locked me out, ringing in my ears is the story I heard just 20 minutes earlier from my sister Lisa. She also deals with a set of evil door locks at one of her housesitting jobs. Last summer they locked her out - keys inside - no way in. She had to call a locksmith ($75) to let her in. He told her he had calls that summer from several, also locked out, house sitters.
Hmm, maybe it's a conspiracy of locksmiths, breeding and distributing locks that guarantee return business. Hmm. But $75? I don't want to do that. Surely I left the sliding door opened - nope. Man, oh man, what to do?
Then I remembered, I had opened the corner kitchen window because it was such a beautiful day. Could I get in that way? Yes! Up on the chest, pop off the screen, slowly push table away from window sill, ungracefully wrangle my body through and over window sill and I'm inside!
|We need to get a hide-a-key that looks like dog poop!|