Using Butter Knives to Open the Door To Enlightenment (*and Getting Fucking Nowhere*)

One of the perks of being what is known in scholarly circles as a “Silly-ass Man” is that, sometimes, situations occur in my life that I could never have thought of on my own. Not because they are over-exaggerated or ultra-violent (*like most of the short stories I wrote before I was 14 years old*), but because they are so awkward or asinine that I can’t stand it. Situations that are so odd that it is funny as hell just to say the problem out loud.

This is one of those stories. It is silly as balls.¹

I had just arrived at the apartment complex where one of my best good buddies, Techno Bear. It was a cloudy, gloomy Sunday afternoon. My favorite kind of day. Being outside, doing something, when the rest of the world would prefer to hang out around the house and watch Netflix while I’m outside, in a thick sweater or maybe, God willing, a coat, probably about to get rained on… oh man… good times.

We were to go to the movies, or just randomly hang out somewhere out in the flashy nothingness of the Inland Empire. Just for the sake of doing something. I walked towards the gate closest to his apartment and shot him a text message:

“I’m here. Come down and open the gate”

I hadn’t even gotten the chance to put the phone back in my pocket before it started to ring. It was Techno Bear.

– Hey, I just text you.

– Yeah, I saw you.

– Wait, what?

– Listen to me, do what I tell you, ok?

Techno Bear sounded odd. Not quite nervous, not quite frantic, all on a fluffy bed of desperate. My worry was piqued.

– Ok. What’s wrong?

– Nothing, just listen. The gate, you need to get in. Just turn the knob and pull really hard. Yank it. You’ll get in.

– Buh… ok.

I hung up. The gate could be unlocked from outside the complex by a small sensor key that Techno Bear has on his key ring, which he swipes in front of a sensor reader next to the gate. Then, the proper mechanism in the knob would engage so that when one turns the knob, the door would actually open instead of just allowing the knob to swing freely. Technology prevails again.

I turned the knob, which did nothing, and began to yank hard on the gate. I could see why Techno Bear thought this was fool-proof. I most definitely was not the first person to yank the shit out of this gate to get inside. This gate was busted right good. At this point, the system of sensor locks for security was purely for show. Anyone who wanted to get into this place, and inadvertently destroy property, was going to do it. I destroyed nothing, but I got through that gate just fine.

I walked on the path between the buildings and the parking lot towards the stairs. My stroll was flooded by wonder as to what exactly in the hell was going on? Did Techno Bear not want to come down to meet me? Or at least did he not want to trouble himself coming down three flights of stairs just to go right back up? I could understand that in a “We’re a couple of fat guys” kind of way. Sure. But then again, why did he sound so odd? Like maybe I was interrupting something.

It wasn’t a long walk, but it felt to go on for so much longer. I realized I was worried. I swore I could hear him in my head calling out to me. The further I walked, the louder his voice got, until eventually I heard him yelling at me. “HEY!!! LOOK UP HERE!!! I’M YELLING AT YOU, MAN!!! WHERE ARE YOU GOING?!?!”

At that instant, I also began hearing a banging above my head. Having just watched the film “Flight” the night before, I was fairly jumpy at the idea of a anything falling from above, namely, a distressed passenger aircraft being flown upside down by drunken Oscar winners. I looked up.

Techno Bear was banging on the frame of his window and yelling at me to get my attention like a puppy at the pound.

– Yo. what’s up?

– Ok, so, I’m going to toss down my keys.

I was now further confused.

– What?! Why?

– Just take them, come up, and let yourself in, alright?

– Buh… alright, I guess…

– Okay…

Techno Bear began to bend the frame of the screen on his window to create a small opening on the side. When he created a triangular hole, he deftly tossed down his keys. I watch the decent of the keys so that  I could more or less figure out where they landed, which was in a small grass spot next to a tree. I waddled down to where I suspected the keys would be and began searching. After only a few seconds, I found the keys and shuddered. The keys had landed immediately next to a fuzzy, molded over pile of dog crap.

I took this as a sign. Only I wasn’t sure how to interrupt it. Should I be worried that the keys landed so close the pile? Sort of an omen? Or should I be grateful to the God of hand sanitizer that the keys missed. That whatever is waiting inside for me inside my buddy’s apartment isn’t nearly as bad as I’m making out to be. Only one way to figure that out. I carefully picked up the keys, and continued on up the stairs.

As I went up, my mind continued to try to figure out what was going to happen once I entered the apartment. For some reason, the best guess that I could come up with was assume that I would enter, approach a blind corner, and Techno Bear would come out from around sed corner and punch me in the face. It was honestly the only damn thing I could come up with, despite the fact that this type of prank wasn’t even close to the style of prank that either of us would enjoy to carry out. Or have inflicted upon us.

But still…

I unlocked the front door, opened the door slowly and peered in.

Nothing.

I stepped in, locked the door behind me, and took off my shoes. Techno Bear had called to me from his bedroom window. That’s most likely where he was. As I walked up to his bedroom door, he called out to me.

– You there?

– Yeah. You in your room?

– (*Deflated*) Yeah…

I walked up and expected to see his door open and him standing naked in the middle of the room (*I had moved on to a new theory*). But the door was closed. Not only that, the door had no knob. I squatted down to peer through the hole in the door and looked through to find my distressed friend with a goofy grin and, mercifully, fully clothed. He held a door knob in his hand, but the latch was still in the door. It all suddenly made sense. The disparity. The window. The shit-adjacent key tossing. They all painted a dumb-ass picture.

Techno Bear had managed to lock himself, or better, trapped himself … in his bedroom.

Upon realizing the gravity of the situation, I did the first thing that came to my mind. I laughed. I laughed until my face hurt and struggled to catch my fucking air.

– It’s not funny man…

I caught enough breath the get out, “Yes it fucking is!”

He didn’t look nearly as amused as I did. I asked how he did this thing. Apparently, he decided to change the knobs just for a change. But after removing the outside knob (*which sat in the hallway with me*), he closed the door, removed the knob on inside, and found that he had no way to activate the latch.

I had nothing to say at that point. My focus was now on getting him out of there. We had a movie to catch and I would be good and goddamned if I am going to miss the previews.

I thought I could easily fix the situation with a pen. I tried to stick a pen in the hole in the inside the main body of the latch and pull it back so that we could just simply open the door. It didn’t work.

Techno Bear continued to tell me to go to the kitchen and get a knife. I asked him why. He replied, “I’m going to use it to knock the pin out of the hinges. Then we’ll just take the door off.”

Take the door off. It came to this. At least in his mind. I didn’t think it was a good idea, so I didn’t get the knife².

We spent a fair enough amount of time (*more than I wish to admit*) trying to figure out how to get this fucking door open. We couldn’t. We then spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to figure out a last-ditch effort before this fucking door claimed victory over two grown men. After exhausting every idea in my head, I walked with authority to the kitchen, grabbed a butter knife out of the drawer, came back, slide it under the door, and told him “Do this thing.”

As I heard Techno Bear knocking about with the knife, I inspected the latch again to see if there really was nothing we could do about the situation at this point. Everything looked normal as can be. There was no flaw in the make of the latch that we could somehow exploit to make the damn thing pull back and not make us look stupid. Just one giant square-shaped hole and a couple smaller holes for the screw pegs in the knob.

The knob I didn’t have.

The knob inside the bedroom with Techno Bear.

The knob I haven’t had a chance to mess with…

… no way…

… there is no possible way …

There is no possible way that we’ve spent all the time that we have spent on this now, and he didn’t try to put the knob back in the hole and just, ya know, turn the knob

… But before he takes this door off its hinges, I knew, deep in my heart, that I should ask before I truly hated myself.

– Hey…

– Yeah?

– Did you try the knob?

– … What do you mean?

Fuck.

Fuck. Ing. Shit. He didn’t do it all. I sighed to myself and told him to put the knob back in the hole. He did so, but I could tell that he had no idea why I wanted him to do so.

That was hilarious.

He poked the inner latch with the rod of the knob³ and did nothing.

– It won’t go in

– You have to actually try to get the rod in at the right angle of the hole.

– Oh… OOOOOOOOOOOH

And with that, the tyranny of the malevolent Lord of Door crumbled at our feet. My best good friend Techno Bear was touched by the glorious light of wisdom and realized that the path to escape truly was in his goddamn hands.

He stuck the knob correctly into the latch hole, turned it, and liberated the both of us from the hellish nightmare that is loss at the hands of an inanimate object.

I felt the cool wind blow in from the open window as Techno Bear stood there in his half-hearted victory.

But honestly, I’m not really sure if it was a victory though. Yeah, we got the door open. Yeah, we used the latch’s natural flaw (*or completely and purposely designed features*) against its obvious wily ways. Yeah, we didn’t have to resort to burning down the village to catch the thief, or in our case, take down the whole door just to open it.

But it was a door. A plain white, flat, wide piece of wood whose only purpose is to be in the way, and it was kicking our ass. Bad. Could it really be considered a victory when even though in the end we got our way, the thing that was doing absolutely nothing was causing us to have to do everything in our power to just get out of a room. We were being bullied by nothing.

But so it was. The door lost. And we lost a little too before we eventually won. We fought hard for freedom and zombie love stories were to be our reward for continuing the good fight until the bitter end. But we will forever live on with the inner scars no one will see, knowing that for a time, long or not, a desperate creature we never knew resided within us was forced to show its horrible face to the world and drink in the shame of letting a door outsmart us. The pain will live on.

Especially for Techno Bear. Seriously, I have no fucking idea how he did that.

¹Testicles having been scientifically proven to be the most hilarious part of the human anatomy. Sorry, ladies.

²Seeing as I was on the outside of the door, I got to make those calls, and no one could say dick about shit!

³Hehehehe

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2 responses to “Using Butter Knives to Open the Door To Enlightenment (*and Getting Fucking Nowhere*)

  1. Pingback: 5/11/13 | Bitching About Stuff Haikus·

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