WHY? If it opened from the bottom up, I could possible shimmy under the open window. With top down I’d be forced to climb over the glass and put my whole weight on it. I imagine this going one of three ways:
1. I get stuck and must yell for help to the surely multitude of people walking by in a snow storm.
2. The glass breaks and though I’m bleeding, I escape alive. The house is now open season for burglars. Only later do I realize that any burglar that went through the window would also end up locked in the basement… and they would deserve it!
3. I remove the window, even though it has weird screws that I’ve never seen before, and escape with ease. At that point, I’d be outside, in my socks, in the snow, with no keys, no phone and no identification. I’d be a person who didn’t exist. I’d be forced to knock on neighbors’ doors and explain this.
None of these options are appealing.
It’s ok. This is not happening. I am NOT locked in the basement.
Now a rational person might take a breath and think: ok, let’s make a plan. What are you going to do? All I could think was: I’ve got to get out of here! I suppose the worst-case scenario is I’m here for 24 – 32 hours until someone comes home. I look around. I would have nothing to do! No phone, no tv, no radio, no books, no… nothing. Except the wine rack… NO. I have to get out of here! I won’t make it solitary! This is why I don’t commit crimes (among many other reasons).
I look around. What materials are here that I can use? What else can I do? WAIT! Is that a paperclip on the floor? Get OUT! I grab it, run up the stairs. I’m going to jimmy this lock like they do in the movies! Come on paperclip, get it done!
I have no jimmy-ing skills. None, zip, zero. I’m still locked in the basement. Why didn’t I ever learn how to pick a lock?? Maybe I can Google how to pick a lock! Note: you can! If only I had my phone, which is in my bag on the kitchen counter. Damn it!
I take another look around. People kick doors with locks open on tv all the time! It’s just as easy as using the paperclip, which I’ve shown no ability to do. However, the door is directly at the top of the stairs. I visualize myself kicking, then falling backward down the stairs, being found days later in a pool of my own blood. This is undesirable.
It’s ok. This isn’t happening. I am NOT locked in the basement.
I return downstairs and up the ladder again to look out the window. So peaceful, the snow is slowly falling, creating a winter wonderland. Maybe a neighbor will stroll by and I can yell to them. Maybe that neighbor will be the one I know also has a key or will be able to get that neighbor. The snow comes down and all is quiet. I watch quietly for a few minutes. It’s entirely possible no one will come by for hours and hours and hours and hours! It’s snowing. Did I mention we were about to get 8 – 12”? Everyone is inside, buckling down. Not outside, wandering about in case their neighbors’ crazy friend has locked herself in the basement and is now yelling out the window for help.
Eventually I’m going to have to go to the bathroom. Don’t think about that!
I return to stare at the smaller window. Nope. Still not going to work.
That’s it! I’m getting out of here! I’m going to have to break that friggin’ lock. What can I use? I return to the tool room. My hands fly everywhere. Tool drawers! Display like thing guys use to hang up tools! Shelves. So many options! Pliers, that thing you use to scrape off paint, metal things that I don’t know what they are, screw drivers. Screwdriver? Can I just unscrew this MF?
I can’t just unscrew the MF. Which makes sense. If you could, it wouldn’t be much of a lock, would it? So I go to work on the lock. I can DO this! I’ve never, not one time, seen MacGyver… but I have seen MacGruber (the skit, not the film. Come on, give me some credit). I can DO this. Whatever this metal stick is with a hook like thing on the end, I can use it to pry the lock off. What if I break the lock and it’s not un-lockable? I’m in no worse shape than I am now. I’m getting out of here!! I pry and pry and pry and pry.
The phone rings upstairs. It’s probably my friends asking me if I’ve died. I wonder if the alarm company has alerted them that someone is breaking this dumb lock. Could it be? Could they call someone to get me out? No, I turned off the alarm when I came in. The phone stops ringing. Sigh. I look at the lock. You flimsy little thing. I can bust out of this. I can DO this! I pry and pry and try the screwdriver and return to my new best friend, the metal thing with the hook ending. I jiggle and pry, then pry and jiggle the lock around. I rip part of the door around the knob off. Whoops! Amazing the door seems only solid right around the frame and knob. They don’t make things like they used to. Even in crisis, a cliché is no help. I jiggle, I jangle, I bang I push and voila! The lock gives just enough to let me out.
I’m NOT locked in the basement! I won’t die in the cold, alone on a basement floor after only drinking wine for 24 hours and having nowhere to go to the bathroom!
I am motherfucking MacGyver!
And that is how you go from dumbass who doesn’t check if a doorknob is locked to MacGyver.
See…it really was ok. This didn’t happen. I was NOT locked in the basement. Except that I was and I figured out how to get out by busting stuff up. Feminism! Safety locks are for dudes!