Captain’s log: Broken front door, day 2, hour 23

We’re free.

I managed to replace the moving parts inside the door that were broken, and we can come and go that way once again as we choose.

Ultimately it was nothing some good old fashioned grit and determination couldn’t work out. Oh, and a Dremel. Grit, determination, and a Dremel. Oh, and some new door parts. So a lot of things, I guess.

Earlier, I was trying to describe the feeling of being trapped in the house to another parent while I waited for the kid to finish her parkour class, but I think something was lost in the telling. Like, he couldn’t quite grasp exactly how trapped I might feel when I had freely left my house and driven 20 miles to be at this class just minutes before. People on the “outside” just look at things differently I guess, especially when you’re outside with them.

When I was at the hardware store after Sydney’s class to seek a solution, one of the employees noticed me frowning and pacing back and forth in the front-door handle section with a school aged girl pacing behind me. He said to just let him know if we needed anything, and I asked him if he knew about the inner workings of some specific door handles.

He said, “I do – I’m the keymaster!” Without a pause, I said, “That’s great, because I’m the gatekeeper!”

Nothing.

I explained, “That was a, uh, Ghostbuster’s reference. Like Zuul. Gozer.”

He said, “Yeah. I got it,” and he stared past me at some bronze door handles without changing his lifeless expression in any way.

I wasn’t sure if he really did get it and didn’t think it was funny, or if he didn’t actually get it and just wanted me to stop saying things like “Gozer.” Or maybe he was an experimental hardware-store android. Or he’d just heard it a lot of times. But he did know what he was talking about and got me in front of the the stuff I needed, so I decided not to try to explain further. But come on – if you’re going to tell people you’re the Keymaster, you just aren’t allowed to be caught off guard by a Gozer reference.

Then like 5 minutes later when the girl and I had picked out what we needed after weighing color choices and prices, he kind of laughed from several feet away where he was stocking additional handles and handle-related products and without looking up, he said, “Gatekeeper, heh. That’s almost like a pickup line,” and I knew he’d been thinking about it and finally got it, although in a totally different way than I intended, so he actually didn’t get it. Because I totally wasn’t trying to pick up on him at all, I just wanted my front door to work again. Which it does.

(Thanks, Keymaster.)