Over a month without the internet in my new flat has seen me take up a variety of new leisure activities. I've bought 5 magazines, started a new theological book, and gone to the gym. A lot. But alas, nothing has filled the empty web shaped hole.
I've had the internet in my new flat for 5 minutes and already found this.
Nearly home. Your day at work feels like it's sapped away part of your soul. You don't want to interact with any human for the next 10 hours - you just want to open a bottle of something (hopefully wine) and collapse on a sofa with a television programme that allows you to judge people in a rewarding way. You've enough energy left to open a packet of something and eat yourself a few stone heavier. As you round the final few corners, that beloved collection of brick and mortar that you call Home is slides into view. You can almost feel your sweatpants/loungepants/trackies (depends on the continent) sliding on. You pull your bag from your shoulder (handbag/backpack/manbag - I'm not judging) and start ferreting about for your keys. But what's this? Where is the familiar jingle of key on key-ring? You sigh, deeply frustrated that fate would appear to be giving you one final slap in the face, making your day that extra bit annoying. If you want that drink, you're going to have to work for it.
You throw your bag/sack/pack onto your door step and plunge into it headfirst. Out comes your paper/wallet/purse/makeup/hipflask - I'm not judging - as you madly search for that precious bundle of metal. But no. Nothing. You discard your bag, and fumble about through your pockets; phone, coins, tissues... but no keys. Where the bloody hell are my keys?
Depending on your levels of frustration and general grip on sanity, your brain does one of two things at this moment. Those with any semblance of rational thought left in their foggy little mind will attempt to replay any and all moments of the day that might have involved 'keys'. Did I leave them on the desk? No. Did I leave them on the bus? No. Did I pick them up out of the bowl? N... maybe? That was almost 8 hours ago, how am I supposed to remember?! The other reaction skips out this annoying brain banter, and reaches the same sickening conclusion; the world hates me, and my keys are on the other side of this door/somewhere else in the world (depending on the lock-up-f*ck-up situation).
Getting locked out of your own house is a frustrating, tedious and tear-inducing activity we all know and hate. It's one that I imagine the first poor sod to have owned the first lock will have experienced with twice the embarrassment, given that it was the first time it will have ever happened in history; "Look, my fellow countrymen! I have successfully secured my household and all my valued possessions behind this exceptional device, which will open only at my command!" The neighbours were probably very impressed. They probably also made a note that the fool definitely had something worth stealing, other than dirt or daughters. But imagine their glee when the boasting tit was seen hacking at their door with an axe; What happened?! "Oh. Well, erm, you see... I lost the special stick bit that opens the lock... I only had one you see..."
When the problem of keeping your house secure was solved by the lock, an all together new problem instantly presented itself to humanity; what happens when we lose the key? Given that the lock and key are an exceptionally sophisticated solution to the first problem, it strikes me that we've been very, very lazy in coming up with a solution for the second problem: Hide another key. Under the doormat. Or in that flower pot. Or under that stone. Or in the hedge by the gate.Or behind the bins. Or on that hook in the shed. Or any number of locations that we believe are cunning, masterful locations, but in the grand scheme of things are blindingly obvious to ANYONE ELSE WHO OWNS A DOOR.
You could give a spare key to the neighbours next door, but that brings up a whole new world of worries and doubts. Are they stable, nice people? Can you trust them? Or are you going to wake up in the middle of the night with Mr Parker hovering over you with a kitchen knife and a prison-sex look in his eye? If you're lucky enough to have nice neighbours, then they are clearly the solution to your key problem. But then, what happens if they're out when you're locked out? Back to square flipping one...
Breaking in to your own home also causes me to reflect on just how easy I make it for any passing criminals. I live in the middle of the countryside (clearly I'm not going to say where, as this post would make an insurance claim almost impossible were I to have a break in), and thus windows are left open. Getting to the window is thus the main challenge. The closest I've come to breaking my leg was in reaching an upstairs window. And heck, even if the window isn't open, all they have to do is start looking under and thing big enough to hide a key, and sooner or later they'll be walking off with my Xbox.
The worst culprits for hiding keys are most probably students. If you're about to embark on a drunk night out, you're probably safer leaving the door unlocked than locking it and losing the key on the night out. Most people in this world are nice, and actively enjoy being nice - they aren't going to go door to door just seeing if anyone has left one open. And if they do, well then, you shouldn't have been an idiot and left it open.
Having been locked out of my house last week, I am determined to find a new, incredible hidey-hole for my key. It's going to be devious. Cunning. A masterful location unknown to anyone else in the world, and one which no one else will ever guess. Under the garden hose. I am a genius.