Been There, Done That: Locked out of the house with Cletus

It was just a typical Tuesday, or so I thought. I got home from work, put dinner on the table and made out my list of things to do.

Dave is one of those early to bed, early to rise kind of guys. We’re nearly polar opposites in that respect. I get up at the very last second I can and still make it to work on time. I stay up as late as I can to get as much done as possible before I literally fall over from exhaustion.

With Dave in bed, that clears the path for me to do what I need to do. It’s a system that works for us – 99% of the time. That particular day, Dave being asleep in bed upstairs was the last thing I needed.

Our Beagle Boy Cletus needed one last trip outside before he was ready to call it a day. I hooked him up on the cable and opened the door for him. He was kind of hesitant. He’s afraid of the dark, too. So, I stepped out, pulling the door along behind me, not to latch, just to not let every bug in the state in the house.

My plan was to walk toward the driveway so the peek-a-boo I-see-you light would kick on. That’s when I heard the door shut – firmly. I flew back on the step and grabbed the knob to open it back up, but omigawd, it was locked! That can’t be good.

With the new roof and vinyl siding, workers had been buzzing around like so many bees recently. Things had gotten shifted around. So where did I put the spare keys for just such an occasion?

Oh yeah, I put them in the pickup with the flat tire and no battery. That’s not going anywhere anytime soon. At first, I put them in the little handle slot on the door, but our son said I had to hide them better than that. Why?

When our house was broken into once years ago, the burglar didn’t look around for a spare set of keys, they kicked the back door in. I guess I don’t know for sure they didn’t look around for keys first. Maybe if they had found them, we wouldn’t have had to replace the door along with the other things they stole.

Back to the problem at hand — Cletus and I were locked out at about midnight. Dave was asleep upstairs, and my phone was on the kitchen counter. I thought about walking over to one of the neighbors’ houses, but that didn’t sound like a very good plan at that time of night.

Thought I’d better start looking for that key. With no battery in the truck, there was no dome light to aid me in my search. And coincidentally, the outside light on the front of the garage had been taken down to accommodate the new siding and not yet replaced. Great.

The keys weren’t on the door anymore, and the console I thought I put them in next was gone altogether. I felt along the dash for any nooks or crannies where keys might be hiding but found nothing. Holy moly, me and Mr. Cletus are in deep doo-doo. What’re we going to do?

So I did the only thing I could think of — I banged on the back door as hard as I could, hoping by some accident of fate, Dave would hear and come let us in. Fat chance of that, I thought.

The bedroom window facing the backyard was open, so I started yelling for him. “Hun, hun, wake up!” Yeah, that got me nowhere. I shouted my nickname for him, “Fluffy,” a few times and got no response. Naturally.

For my next trick, I started throwing small pieces of gravel at the other bedroom window, hoping for a gentle, but effective, noise. Hard enough for Dave to hear, but not enough to break our new window or damage our new siding. Sort of a lesson in futility, but what else could I do?

And then by some miracle, I saw a shadow pass by the kitchen window headed for the back door. No way! He heard me and was downstairs unlocking the door! Yay Cletus, we’re saved!

Dave was a lot less enthusiastic to see us as we were to see him, but you’ll have that. I was happy enough for all three of us. And I now have a new secret hiding spot for our spare keys, which in the light of day, I found in the closed ashtray of the truck. Go figure.

Laura Nethken
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