Do away with all deadlocks

November 14, 2017

My mother has started to deadlock all of the doors in her house and I’m yet to understand why, particularly when she has a daughter like me.

It could be that she’s into her 60s now and has started to take on that ‘‘older woman who is unnecessarily afraid of everything, including foreigners and road ministers’’ vibe or she just became one with that extra security when I moved out.

All I know is that it has posed a major issue for me or so I found out it did when the weekend rolled around.

It had been one of those really intense weeks at work and I’d spent the Saturday morning packing and speed-cleaning my house.

I killed yet another huntsman spider in the process, after it scurried out as I vacuumed forgotten corners.

I drove exhausted and a little mentally unbalanced to Melbourne, looking forward to a nice, relaxing spider-free bath at Mum’s.

She was away in Sydney for the week, which meant I didn’t have to talk to anyone as I prepared for the night ahead.

It was a boiling hot day and copious amounts of water on the drive had filled my bladder to the brim.

But when I rocked up on the front step with my five bags in tow, I realised Mum had deadlocked the door.

I stood at the door for a good 10 minutes fiddling with the lock, only to be met with a stiff turn and a literal deadlock.

Neighbours walked by smiling and I tried to remain calm, but it wasn’t long until I burst into angry tears.

I rang Mum in a huff, explaining the situation through tears and the fact that I’d have to pay a locksmith to open the lock, which, well ... who can afford that?

After I’d stopped wailing down the phone, Mum calmly explained the lock had a little ‘‘trick’’ to it, in which I had to pull the handle towards me and wiggle the lock.

God knows why she couldn’t just replace the lock. Who has time for tricks?

It took a few goes until I got the hang of it, but I finally got into the cool house, too angry and hyped up to even consider the bath.

I haven’t had a great history with locks or keys or really being reliable enough to own either.

It’s fascinating how something as tiny as a key can ruin your mood completely or leave you stranded for hours on end.

But multiple times, something as insignificant as a key has managed to do both.

I once lost my keys after a night out on the town and had to scale an extremely high fence and crawl through my bathroom window to get inside the house.

This was only after wasting $60 on a taxi fair to town and back when I got to my front door and thought I’d left the keys at the pub. But I never saw them again.

Another memorable key loss was when I was living in a share house in Geelong during my university days.

We all had locks on our bedroom doors and I managed to lock my entire set of keys in my room when I slammed the door after (you guessed it) I saw a spider.

I remember it was about 9pm and I had an exam the next morning and my housemates looked on as I freaked out and attempted to phone a locksmith.

It was only after an hour of the frantic phoning of locksmiths who, thankfully, didn’t answer their phones, that one of the housemates told me he could pick locks and proceeded to pick the lock with a bobby pin.

So as I sat on the step of Mum’s house, I felt defeated enough to cry, as the memories of all of the times I’d been locked out of anywhere ran through my mind.

I can’t say I learnt anything from the experience, although I did try to implement some unsuccessful yoga breathing.

All I can say is, wouldn’t it be great if we lived in a world where locks and keys didn’t have to exist, and we could all just live calm, happy, keyless lives.

Rhiannon Tuffield is a News journalist.

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