A couple of weeks ago my parents went out of town to do a favor for some elderly relatives. My parents were going to open up our relatives’ summer residence to air it out, clean it up, and make sure that no repairs needed to be done before it was time for our relatives to come and take up residence there.
So on the day that they were going up there I got a call from my mom. I thought she was just calling to let me know that she and my dad had gotten there safely. But I was wrong.
“Hi, Jen,” she said, when I picked up the phone.
“Hey, Mom,” I replied, “how are you guys doing?”
“Well,” she said, “suppose that you had gone on a trip specifically to get a house ready for summer. What would be the one thing you would not want to forget?”
“Um, shorts? Sunglasses? Your computer! (And so you can all see where my priorities lie: creature comforts and Internet access, BABY!)
“Well, let me ask this in a different way,” said my mom, taking pity on my pathetic guessing skills. “What if you had to get inside the house in order to work on the house? What would be the one thing you really need?”
“Oh-keys!” I shouted, so proud of myself for coming up with the right answer. And then the consequences of their not having keys dawned on me. “Oh. So what are you gonna do?” (I should mention here that this town is very, very far away from where my parents live, and possibly involves needing 2 separate, specialized planes to get to. So there was no question of anyone just running home to pick up a few forgotten things.)
“Well first we went to Lowe’s, because we thought that maybe they could just magically make us a key. And they laughed at us, Jen-they actually laughed at us.”
“Uh,” I replied, struggling desperately to control my own laughter, “what about a locksmith?”
“Well, ok, about that-the only locksmith around here is 30 minutes away,” she said. (And I can’t remember why, but he couldn’t-or-wouldn’t-drive out to where my parents were.) “So what they told us to do at Lowe’s was to call someone who has a copy of the key, get them to take it to a locksmith where they are, get that locksmith to decipher the magical, mystical alchemical formula of the key, and then have that locksmith call the locksmith up here, and then he could make us a key, and then we could go and pick it up.”
So I know that you will be shocked-SHOCKED!-to learn that that multi-step, multi-person, multi-state plan completely fell apart at like, Step Zero and A Half.
So then my dad called the relative whose residence this is, and he said, “Well, there is another way in. Just get a pry bar and break open one of the windows.”
Hm. Never would’ve thought of that one.
“So where are you now?”, I asked, wondering if they had some kind of Plan B.
“We’re on our way back from Home Depot with a pry bar in the backseat,” replied my dad
“Really?” I asked. As the storytellers in my family my dad and I have ahem, occasionally been known to “bend” the facts just a bit in order to make for a better story.
“Really,” he said.
“Of course,” my mom interjected, “the ladder we need to use is locked up in the garage.”
And as I was asking myself whether or not breaking and entering qualified as a felony, and worrying about how my dad was going to get up on the roof, we were all interrupted by someone buzzing in on the other line.
“Oh, Jen, I’ve gotta go. That’s [a friend of the family] calling me back.”
They called me a few minutes later to let me know that The Family Friend was coming to help them break into the house, as per the following conversation:
Dad: “So I need you to meet us up at the house in 3 minutes.”
Dad: “Yes, really.”
Mom: “And make sure you bring a ladder.”
Dad: “Yes, really. And a screwdriver.”
TFF: “OK. Do you need me to bring anything else, like some power tools?”
Dad: “No. But I do need you to bring a pry bar.”
TFF (jokingly): “Why? Are we breaking in?”
Dad: “Yes. That is exactly what we’re doing.”
TFF: “I’ll be right there.”
Now, people, THAT is my definition of a friend. Someone whom you can call and ask to help you with some breaking and entering, and who, upon receiving your request, immediately replies, “Great-I’m on my way! With my ladder.”
So eventually they all reached the house, setting Operation Pry Bar into play, at which time I handed the phone to my husband in case they needed to draw upon his many years of experience as an engineer to help them get the window open.
Important Side Note: This also meant that I could now only hear one side of the conversation.
My Husband: listening
My Husband: “Well, does it look like a bunch of strands all gathered together in a kind of an oblong shape, or is it perfectly round?”
Me: thinking to myself that they are talking about some aspect of window seals.
MH: “Well if it looks like that then it’s probably regurgitated owl vomit.”
Me (almost giving myself whiplash as I spin my head around to look at my husband) “What?! The HELL?!”
MH: “Oh-it’s moose poop.”
Me: How in the HOLY BLAZING HELL did a MOOSE get up on the ROOF?!
Me: holding my head in my hands as I can actually feel cracks and fissures beginning to form in the bones of my skull as I try and process what I am hearing.
My husband (hanging up the phone and turning to face me) “Well, according to your dad the driveway is completely covered in moose sh*t.” (Because they didn’t already have enough fun things going on.)
So a few hours go by, hours in which I happily received no phone calls from either sheriff’s offices or bail bondsmen, and then my dad called us again to report that they had successfully gained entrance into the house.
“Oh great,” I said. “So are you gonna take the cylinder out of the lock and go and get it re-keyed?”
“No,” said my dad. “We’re only gonna be here for a couple of days, so I don’t mind just going in and out of the window.
And you know what? THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT I WOULD DO, TOO. (Which means it’s a really good thing that Mr. Cranky Fibro Girl is usually with me when I’m in situations like that.)
Apparently the apple really doesn’t fall far from the tree.