Ron was feeling confined and kind of blue today, so we got to talking about funny things that have happened. He reminded me of an incident years ago that had the neighborhood talking for weeks. It even made an old Harlequin Newsletter when I was invited to share an example of how art imitates life - or, in my case, life imitates art.
I've never been petite, but in my forties and fifties, I was a formidable woman. Our children were all on their own, Ron was taking a print-making class at the college, and I was about to head to town to have my keyboard fixed. (Yes, it was that long ago that we still fixed them because they were pricier than they are now.) It was raining, I was going to walk to town, so I put on my raincoat and took my wallet and keys out of my purse to put them in my pocket so I had less to carry. Well - those of you who have cats will understand this - one cat wanted in, one cat wanted out - and when I finally left, I had the keyboard, my wallet, but no keys.
I didn't realize I was keyless until I got back home and couldn't get into the house. Two of my neighbors have copies of our keys, but neither was home. Ron wouldn't be home for two hours (still no cell phones in common use yet) and there was not a window unlocked. What to do?
I wandered around the outside of the house, thinking. What would one of my heroines do? Then I noticed the dog door on the back porch. Ah, hah! One of my recent heroines couldn't reach her grandfather and saw through the window that he'd collapsed. She gained entry through the dog door.
It did occur to me that my heroine was a size 6 and I wasn't. But the dog door was purchased to accommodate a Golden Retriever - not the biggest dog, but good-sized. And it was either go in through the dog door, or wait two hours for Ron on a rainy front porch. I got on my knees.
The dog door was placed about six inches off the floor because the dog had long legs. I should also mention that the year after this event, I had breast reduction surgery - and lost 4.8 pounds. Okay. I pushed my way in. With a little wriggling, I had the upper body through! I was excited, telling myself the worst was over, this was going to work!
Until my hips got stuck. I tried to think small and force myself forward. Not happening. Finally deciding that positive thinking wasn't going to get me inside, I tried to back out. But I couldn't. I tried to push forward, to wriggle back. Nothing. I was well and truly stuck. I could imagine my neighbor across the back yard calling the police to report something strange protruding from the Jensens' back door.
With my knees on the back porch, and my hands on the floor of my kitchen, I was determined to remain calm and think. Then I heard Amber, the Golden Retriever, awake from her 'nobody's home' slumber at the sound of something in the kitchen. She was the dearest, sweetest, gentlest dog - unless she encountered a threat to her family, then she became Cujo. I could hear her running down the stairs, a deep growl in her throat - Thrump! Thrump! Thrump! Grrrrr!
My biggest fear was that I could be eaten up to my elbows before she realized it was me. So, as she raced toward me, I shouted, "Amber! Hi, Amber! It's Mom!"
Thrumping! Grrrrring! "Amber! It's Mommy!"
She raced across the floor, skidded on the tile and came flying toward me. I braced myself for the worst. But she stopped an inch from my face, looked at me in confusion, the recognizing me, slurped my face once, then went to her food bowl.
Great. I made a mental note to attach a key to her collar, should this ever happen again.
Now really uncomfortable and anxious to get my knees and my hands in the same room, I craned my neck far enough to see the bolt on the door. Mercifully, it wasn't a lock that had to be turned, but a bolt that just had to be slapped open if I could . . .just . . .turn. . . . sideways . . . I did. I slapped the bolt. The door opened a few inches and I crawled with it, still stuck, only one hand now on the floor because I'd turned sideways to reach the bolt. I don't think any device used during the Inquisition could have inflicted as much pain.
Finally, I was able to back out of the door. I sat on my knees on the back porch for a few minutes, wondering if all that had really just happened. It had. I had the abrasions on my sides to prove it for a good long time.
Moral of the story : If you lock yourself out of the house, wait for someone with a key, even if it's raining.