When the deadbolt jams shut, only a pirate sword will do. (Jennifer Bardsley)

When the deadbolt jams shut, only a pirate sword will do. (Jennifer Bardsley)

In a deadlock: When TGIF gets off to a very bad start

He has no access to a toolbox. The deadbolt to the garage is jammed. He has 30 minutes before a meeting.

“I don’t mean to ruin your Friday before it’s even started, but we have a problem,” I tell my husband.

He’s standing at the bathroom sink. “What?” he asks, stopping his electric razor.

“Uh… two problems actually.” I wince. “The first is that the inside door to the garage is jammed, the second is that I found a pool of water underneath the refrigerator.”

“Oh no,” he says. “And I have an online meeting that starts in 30 minutes.”

“Is there anything I can do to help?” I feel pathetic. I have no idea how to fix a deadbolt, and I’m not strong enough to move the refrigerator on my own.

“No, I’ll figure it out.” He puts down the razor and heads downstairs.

Luckily, my husband owns a large toolbox full of every type of tool imaginable. Unluckily, it’s locked in the garage. After examining the jammed deadbolt, he gathers whatever implements he can find from the house: scissors, a knife and measuring spoons.

“I need another measuring spoon!” he calls, 10 minutes later. I bring him a tablespoon. “Not this one.” He hands it back. “The one with the flat end.” I try again, and he wedges the new spoon into the door.

The clock ticks. I reorganize the pantry while I wait. There’s nothing like nervously organizing a cupboard in the middle of a crisis to calm me down. I deploy my label maker to settle me.

“Do I need to cancel my exercise class?” I ask. “They’ll charge me $15 if I don’t show up.”

“I don’t know.” He wiggles the knife into the lock. “If only I had a screwdriver.”

“I’ll check the junk drawer again.” I search to no avail. Someone (me) recently cleaned it out and put the miscellaneous screwdrivers away in the garage.

“Wait a second.” My husband puts down the scissors. “I have an idea.” He hurries upstairs and comes down carrying a sword our son found at a garage sale over the summer.

“You’re going to break into our garage like a pirate?”

“Desperate times,” he mutters.

The next time I look over he has scissors, a knife, measuring spoons and a broadsword wedged between the door frame and the lock. I’m afraid he’ll cut himself, but thank goodness he doesn’t.

“Yes!” he shouts triumphantly. “I got it!” The wood is mangled but the door swings open, providing access to our two cars, the toolbox and other garage treasures. “Just in time for my meeting, too,” he says.

“That’s great.” I pick up the kitchen knife and measuring spoons. “Good job. But, there’s still one problem.”

“What?” he asks.

I point back at the kitchen. “The refrigerator is leaking.”

Jennifer Bardsley publishes books under her own name and the pseudonym Louise Cypress. Find her online on Instagram @jenniferbardsleyauthor, on Twitter @jennbardsley or on Facebook as Jennifer Bardsley Author. Email her at teachingmybabytoread@gmail.com.

Talk to us

More in Life

Photos by Karina Andrew/Whidbey News-Times 

The Jacob and Sarah Ebey House will open to public visitors Memorial Day weekend.
A landmark steeped in 19th century history reopens on Whidbey

Beginning May 28, you can venture inside one of the state’s oldest buildings: The Jacob and Sarah Ebey House, which dates from the 1850s.

Caption: Incorporating frozen vegetables into your menu plan is a fast and cost-effective way to save money on rising food costs.
The secrets of cheap meals: frozen veggies and slow cookers

They not only stretch your food budget, but also timesaving godsends for busy parents. Here are three recipes to try.

Cinderella_Red.jpg: Red Riding Hood (Katelynn Carlson) gets advice from Cinderella (Grace Helmcke) in Red Curtain’s production of Into the Woods, running May 20-June 5 at the Red Curtain Arts Center, 9315 State Ave. in Marysville.
Music, theater and more: What’s happening in Snohomish County

Marysville troupe stages a Stephen Sondheim musical masterpiece. Jazz, featuring the sons of legend Dave Brubeck, takes over Edmonds. And there’s this music festival in downtown Everett …

Navigating the rough, often scary seas of a hospital stay

After helping a friend who underwent major surgery, Paul Schoenfeld reflects on ways to cope for patients and their loved ones.

Sam Bowles records the run off the water from a chalk drawing with friend and co-artist, Rhyanna Mercer, Tuesday afternoon in Everett, Washington on May 10, 2022.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Jackson High’s global TikTok star is chalk full of ideas

Sam Bowles, 18, uses vibrant videos and social media fame to raise awareness of autism.

I canceled my flight to Frankfurt, but now I can’t use my credit

Melissa Crespo receives a $2,060 ticket credit when she cancels her flights to Frankfurt, Germany. But now her online agency has told her she can only use 25% of the credit at a time. Can it do that?

Lonicera ciliosa, commonly called orange honeysuckle or western trumpet vine. (Richie Steffen)
Great Plant Pick: orange honeysuckle

Its orange trumpets announce spring is here, and hummingbirds are irresistibly drawn to it.

Home & garden happenings in Snohomish County

The Mill Creek Garden Tour will return this summer after a two-year absence due to COVID-19.

Photo Caption: Would you believe a zipper sold for $18,450 at Morphy Auctions? What about a diamond necklace that looks and works like a zipper?
X-Y-Z spells ‘big money’ with this high-fashion zipper

It’s actually a necklace, but the zipper function works. Someone paid nearly $18,500 for it at a recent auction.

Most Read