low-key no key: breaking and entering is deceptively difficult

You always hope that the locks to your house are secure against people trying to break in until you’re the one trying to break in.

If that was already obvious to you, then, chances are, you wouldn’t be the type to lock yourself out of your house anyway, so congratulations on having your life together and stop rubbing it in the rest of our faces.

Today, 7:20 PM

It’s dusk as we pull into the garage. Reaching around my distended stomach—courtesy of five too many chicken wings—I scoop up our takeout, Walmart purchases, and my cat-print tote bag before clambering out of the car.

Mom heads to the door first and twists the doorknob. Nothing happens. A look of abject horror twists her features, and she jiggles the knob again. We’re locked out.


The cat, on the other side, meows dolefully, as if to lament: “Who will feed me now?”

7:21 PM





Mom: *screams* I AM NOT SCREAMING

A moment of silence.

Me: At least, if I did lock us out, it wasn’t today.

7:23 PM

Mom starts scrolling through her contact list. “Hi, you don’t by any chance have a key to my house, do you? No? Yes, I’m locked out.” She laughs ruefully. “There was a spare, but Nicole lost hers so I had to—”

I heave a sigh. How to break in, I type into Google Search. Upon further thought, I add to your own house, so it’s a lot less suspicious but infinitely more stupid.  158 million search results pop up, though, so at least we are not alone.

These YouTube videos seem promising. I click on How to Get Into Your House with a Credit Card If You’re Locked Out.

“Do you have a credit card?” I ask Mom, who is currently considering smashing down the door with a hammer.

7:30 PM

“They make it look so easy,” I whine after rewinding for the third time and examining our doorknob. “Push the card in and it just opens? How does that make sense?”

Mom returns with a credit card, gesturing for me to move aside. “I used to do this in college,” she says by way of explanation that really only gives rise to more questions. “I don’t think it works on all doors.”

“Is that disposable?” I point to the card. Because, I mean, imagine all this doesn’t work out. You could be left with a broken doorknob, a broken soul, and a broken credit card with which you can’t even pay the locksmith.

7:35 PM

Mom tears off the mold (not the kind you think) from the door crevice, and I hold it above her head as she wiggles the card against the latch. Most of it goes through, but it’s stuck there. She jerks it back out in exasperation and tries some more phone contacts.

Armed with WikiHow and online tips from professional thieves, I try my hand at the credit card trick but can’t even stick it halfway through.

I give up and search for some bobby pins, instead.

7:41 PM

Of course, there are no bobby pins. Bobby pins are never present when you need them. I’m pretty sure it’s some sort of universal law.

“There are 24-hour locksmiths in the area,” I hint.

“Why is this happening to me?” She asks. Anger, the third stage of grief—four more to go. I take that as my cue to leave her alone.

7:50 PM

Mom, in a last-ditch effort, shoves the card in from higher up on the door to check if the second lock above it is locked. It’s not.

She saws her way down to the first lock and meets the same resistance. Pulling on the edge of the card so that it starts bending away from the knob, she persists.

Well, at least you have to admire—

The door SWINGS OPEN, revealing Cat, who jumps to her feet. Paws. Whatever. The three of us stare at each other, and I can’t tell who is the most surprised.

“How did you do that?” My voice is almost a shriek.

“I’m never doing that again,” Mom announces, like I’m asking for future reference. Which I am, of course, but not for illegal purposes. “But it was the angle.”

“… Can I put this in my blog?” I can feel her beginning to say no, so I continue. “You can’t object to being the cool mom!” Who can break into houses. I mean, there’s got to be an award for that.

I enter my room and begin gleefully closing all the “how to break in tutorial” tabs on my phone. The video from before, How to Get Into Your House with a Credit Card If You’re Locked Out, continues to play. “If you got into your home, don’t be so smug,” the narrator says. “It means you have a crappy lock.”

Some people just have to suck the joy out of everything.

*I considered titling this post “low-key no key” but ultimately decided I’d prefer to still have subscribers

**I was yelled at for not titling this post “low-key no key”

25 thoughts on “low-key no key: breaking and entering is deceptively difficult

  1. How could you NOT have a house key on then ring with your car key? Isn’t that a federal law or something. And seriously who doesn’t lock their doors. Otherwise people sneak in and get into your attic and wire in cameras to look down into every room and broadcast your every private moment to the dark web. Or was that an X-files episode?


      1. Hi, Nicole. So sorry for the slow response, but here’s why: When I got the email notification that you had responded to my comment, it cut off after your remark in parentheses. So I thought, well, she’s not interested. And that’s fine, other folks have said the same thing, so I moved on with my life. Then this morning I got another email that you had clicked “like” on my original comment. So now I see the additional line that is apparently giving your approval, and I feel bad for not having realized that, since it makes me look like I just blew you off. As punishment, I will now sit in the corner and think of ways to be a better person.

        Anyway, I’m rambling now, which I have a tendency to do, so I’ll force myself to get to the point: What day would you like me to feature this post? I could do it this Sunday (which would be kind of cute, considering the name of your blog) or really any day next week. I try to coordinate the “feature” posts with the author so that they know it’s coming. Sometimes there is a lot of traffic generated, sometimes there’s nada, that’s just the nature of the Internet, regardless of the quality of the story. But it’s a good idea to pick a day where you can be relatively available at some point during that day to address the comments and followers that might come your way. (It’s also a good idea to have a current post on your blog to show that you are “active”, but this post is relatively fresh so it’s not that big of a deal.)

        Side note: If you’re doing your blog for fun and you don’t really care about followers, just ignore my babbling. I was a quality trainer with Verizon for 30 years and it’s just instinctual for me to get a little bit “instructional”. I can’t help it, and I’m in therapy. 😉

        So just let me know a good day for you. And thank you for letting me do this.


        Liked by 1 person

      2. No, I’M sorry for being confusing! People misunderstand me all the time(; glad you got back to me in the end!
        You seem a lot more knowledgeable about stats than I do, so I trust your opinion more than mine. What days do you receive the most traffic? It is on your site, after all.
        Although, Saturday might be a good idea (it’s right before my next one comes out, so I’d be available to quickly respond to comments). Your thoughts?
        I would say I don’t care about follower counts, but I doubt I’d even believe myself, let alone anyone else.
        Thank YOU for doing this!!(:

        Liked by 1 person

  2. My immediate reaction on finding myself locked out of my house was to drive the car into the front room. Fortunately my better sense prevailed! Great post.


    1. I just went through all my “Pending” comments and found this! I’m so sorry I missed it. Thank you so much for your thoughts even though I’m YEARS late :/ Hope you’re well, and please… elaborate on that story lol


  3. The first day in my new apartment I locked myself out. Locksmith was way too smug. The next day in dropped my keys into the toilet. I’ve locked myself out of my car twice. Hadn’t put that all together until now. Wonder what my shrink will say.


    1. I just went through all my “Pending” comments and found this! I’m so sorry I missed it. Anyway, I feel for you (locked myself out probably twice since I wrote that blog) and thank you so much for your thoughts even though I’m YEARS late :/ Hope you’re well!


  4. Hi, Nicole. I started a new comment because we ran out of “reply” options on the first thread. I get the most traffic from roughly Friday afternoon to Saturday afternoon, so your suggestion should work out nicely. I’ll prep something for tomorrow afternoon. Keep in mind that Internet traffic is hit and miss, so you may or may not see a bump, but I’ll do my part with blurbs on Facebook and Twitter. Let’s just see how it goes. If it doesn’t work out, we’ll just try again another time… 😉

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re more than welcome, I love finding new writers that I like and sharing their work. I think we should all help each other out, it just makes to do what you can. And don’t worry at all about your response time. I’m terrible at it myself, and I get distracted when the wind blows… 😉

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! I read your “Box” post there just now and thought it was a masterpiece(;
      I would tell her you said so, except then she might adopt you instead, and I don’t have the means to live on my own just yet.
      I really appreciate you taking the time to read and comment(: Thanks again!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Oh thank you Nicole, but it really was a pleasure to find someone with such a great sense of humour. And if you’re mum bakes cake, then I’ll bring the adoption forms round myself. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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