I have a problem with accidentally becoming locked in confined places. I know it sounds odd, but after several such situations in my life I’m becoming convinced it’s a running theme.
Back in 1993, I was visiting Russia and on the overnight train from St. Petersburg to Moscow. Nature called so I left the sleeping compartment and visited the toilet at the end of the carriage. After finishing my business I couldn’t unlock the door. Needless to say I wasn’t too happy, and soon began to shout for assistance.
After a while no-one had come, so I attacked the door and broke my way out. I didn’t feel too bad about the broken door – these were the days when guards would be bribed to unlock your sleeping compartment in the night so you could be robbed. Fun times.
A long time later, around 2003 I think, we were living in a flat in Oxford and Suzanne had left early for work. I hopped into the en-suite shower, closing the door behind me so that steam didn’t fill the flat. I guess the lock closed somehow, but it also broke, and when I got out of the shower I was stuck.
The door opened inwards so I couldn’t kick it out very easily. After pondering my situation for a good while, I had a MacGyver moment and realised I might be able to dismantle the lock.
From memory, a pair of tweezers was used as a screwdriver, and various other tools fashioned from Suzanne’s make-up kit. It was a bit like in the WWII movies, taking a long time (probably an hour) to do the work, but I got there in the end. Suzanne wasn’t happy about the destruction of her kit, but was glad I was OK.
And then the other night, I went out to feed our cats, who live in a (heated) shed in the garden. I was inside the shed, but it was windy and raining so I pulled the door of the shed closed for shelter. You guessed it, one possessed door lock later and I was stuck.
This time I was in luck: I had my iPhone, and Suzanne was in the house. I phoned home and was rescued, if a little embarrassed.
What to make of all this? Is it normal for people to get accidentally locked into confined spaces? I suspect not. Should I avoid locking doors and risk mutual embarrassment in bathroom situations? I guess I could be plagued with a worse theme for my life; I don’t mind the odd minor drama like this. Where next, though – that’s the question?!