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.

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