Monday, 24 March 2008

The Modern girl's guide to dealing with emergencies, part II.

Situation 2: Locked out on a Bank Holiday

Our Modern Young Woman, dog-sitting in a friend's flat for the festive season, takes said canine companion out for a pee call and leaves the keys on the kitchen table, picking up instead the keys to her own flat. The door slams shut, with her mobile phone, credit cards and glasses behind it. It is the first day of a double bank holiday and Everything In Poland is closed. What should she do?
Follow the simple steps below, and do not, under any circumstances, panic...

- Alone on Easter Sunday, feel a sudden longing for a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon
- Trek out to the nearest all-night garage (the only thing legally open in Poland on a religious holiday)
- Return to friend's flat, put groceries, keys and mobile phone on kitchen table
- Put lead on dog and pick up keys to own flat
- Leave flat
- Door swings shut
- Put hand in pocket to get keys to lock door

- No keys

- Try to open door

- Door will not open

- Try own keys in door
- Door will not open
- Rattle door a bit
- Door will not open

- Cry
- Remember that bottle of gas-station Spanish plonk is still on kitchen table, and cry a bit harder.

- Ignore whimpering noises coming from now rather desperate dog.
- Resist urge to sink to floor and cry.
- Ring on neighbours' doorbells. No answer.
- Untwist wire from keyring to make amateur lock-picking equipment (you saw this once on McGyver)
- Fiddle with wire in lock
- Wire becomes jammed in lock
- Prick finger on wire and swear loudly

- Hear voices upstairs
- Run upstairs
- Trot out the now well-worn phrase "Czy Pan może mi pomoc?"
- Neighbour descends carrying baby
- Try to explain situation in very garbled Polish
- Neighbour says: "You can speak in English"
- Try to explain situation in very garbled English
- Neighbour: 'So where are the keys?"
- You: "Inside"
- Neighbour: "And the door is locked?"
- You "Yes"
- Neighbour: "Is there a window open?"
- You: "No"

- Neighbour laughs like drain

- Neighbour's wife descends. They discuss and then call other neighbours
- It's becoming quite a party
- You reckon that one of the windows is good for prising open
- Three neighbours, one child, two dogs and you troop outside

- Dog pees, at great length, and with noticeable relief

- Neighbour 2 climbs up onto windowsill
- Attempt to explain (in Polish) to Neighbour 2 that you could probably slide window latch up with a knife (you saw this on McGyver too)
- Window does not open

- Three neighbours, one child, two dogs and you troop inside again
- Neighbour one and family leave to see relatives
- Neighbour 2 goes upstairs to fetch tools

- Sit on floor and try to explain matters to dog

- Neighbour 2 returns, with torch and tools
- Neighbour picks lock with screwdriver
- You are very impressed

- Door does not open

- Neighbour unscrews plate around lock and pokes around in mechanism
- You are even more impressed

- Door does not open

- Neighbour tries to prise door open using screwdriver as lever
- You are slightly nervous

- Door does not open

- Neighbour 1 returns, drives you and dog to your own flat, and lends you some money for food/phonecards.

- You officially love your friend's neighbours

- You and dog settle down for the evening back home with tvn and Marmite sandwiches

- You consider taking a hot shower but decide this would be pushing your luck...


peixote said...

All this has actually happened to someone? Do you know this person?

pinolona said...

Are you mocking me, Peixote?

peixote said...

Not at all, not at all. Getting locked out happens to the best of us. Except I think most of us would actually sink to the floor and cry.

artur said...

i wish i were one of Pinolona's neighbors. it'd be fun .

Baduin said...

My father's friend is said to have locked himself out in London (long ago, of course), when picking up letters or milk - in his briefs. He had to run across half a city to get his landlord to open the door.

pinolona said...

Artur: I don't think there are any flats to let here at the moment.
On the other hand, there's always the Goodbye Lenin hostel down the road. They say it has a sort of 60s psychedelic theme going.

Baduin. Good point, at least I wasn't naked.