What does a bent hotdog skewer, a folding step ladder, a husky and laundry room have in common? Read on, read on.
Once a month on a specific Wednesday I have to be at work a little earlier than usual and this was one of those Wednesdays. As I stepped out of the shower I hear a clap of thunder. No surprise every time I have to do some traveling for work it manages to rain. But it wasn’t thunder my wife who just had knee surgery calls out that something must have fallen in the kitchen. ‘Okay I’ll get dry and have a look” My wife thinks it may be that her mother has fallen so she hobbles out of bed and out of the room in search of the disaster that awaits outside our door. As I’m exiting the bathroom my wife hobbles back in the room and informs me that there is nothing going on out there but the dog is whining in the laundry room, but she was just in too much pain to check on her properly not to mention that the dog always whines at this time in the morning.
I get dressed and head out to check on the dog. I can’t open the laundry/dog room door. Sometimes the dog sleeps in front of the door so a little extra shove is needed but this was not to be the case because I hear her prancing around. I turn the knob and give a harder shove. The door remains closed. I drop to the floor and by ‘drop’ I mean slowly lower my achy 47 yr old body to the floor and get my eye on the ground and peer underneath. At first I see nothing but some dog paws the ground is clear from the door to the washing machine. Then I notice a metal bar along the edge of the bottom of the washing machine. We have a folding stepstool behind the door, that metal bar is the base of the frame of the stepstool. The G*d D****d M****r F***ing step stool is wedged between the bottom of the washer and about a foot up from the bottom of the door!
I let Denyce know the situation and I head to the garage to find something to slide under the door so I can move the step stool. I found a piece of wood and a hotdog skewer, the kind used to roast a hotdog over a fire. Sliding the piece of wood under the door did no good, the bottom end of the stool was jammed under the washer, I was pushing so hard on my end of the wood that I was sliding along the linoleum floor, but that stool was not moving. The hotdog skewer proved to be of less help. My last option was the window.
As I was heading out the door to get the ladder my wife reminded me to bring my knife to cut the screen. I maneuvered the ladder up the embankment and against the window frame. I was very excited to see that the storm window was part way up. I cut the screen and pushed the storm window all the way up. The inside window was firmly locked in place. But it was one of those locks that have been around since the dawn of time, surly I could think my way around this lock. I pressed against the window and there was plenty of wiggle room, I could slide something between the upper and lower frames and wiggle the mechanism out of the catch. And I had the perfect tool! A carpet knife is a really thin blade with a hook on the end. I figure I can hook the edge of the lock and work it backwards. No problem and I still had time to get to work ahead of time. I slide my knife between the frames and guess what? No go. It seems somebody had thought of this before me. It appears the way this stupid window was built was to keep people out once it is locked! Can you imagine that? The frame is offset where they meet so you can’t slide an object between the two! My last option is to break the window. Standing on the ladder I look carefully at exactly what I have to do because now it is about to get serious. I take inventory. I need a hammer, gloves, eye protection. I’m going to break the window slide my hand inside open the lock and open the window. From there I’ll crawl on top of the dryer and voila! I go over it in my head once again before heading down the ladder. Is there another way? I don’t want to break the window. I’m missing something, I take another look at the window and with a humbling view I do a self assessment of myself. I’m no longer the scrawny 12 yr old that could wiggle through this window. I could get my head and shoulders through the window and then I would reach a sudden unpleasant and humiliating stop. Now What?
I could still break the window and try to entice my 12 year old 60 pound husky to jump on the dryer and wiggle out the window and then we would be both be balanced atop a precarious ladder, nope, not going to happen.
Entering the house my wife informs me that even if I break the window, she doesn’t think I would fit through, yeah already thought that one through, thanks.
I sit on the floor listening to my husky loudly complaining on the other side of the door. My wife asks if I knew the non emergency 911 number. She calls and talks to the dispatcher who is going to call the fire chief and have him call us back. Did I mention that my wife and I belong to a C.A.R.T (County Animal Response Team) team? Yeah and we can’t even get our dog out of the laundry room. And not only am I going to have to call my boss and tell him I’m going to be a little late, I’ve got to call and tell him I’m not going to be in at all. And then I’ll have to tell him why. But I still have time…
While waiting for the call from the fire chief I go back to playing with my hotdog skewer under the door. My wife suggests that I bend the hotdog skewer at a 90 degree angle. I bite my tongue at the first thought, and the second. Not sure what good it will do I go ahead and make the bend, I have no better idea and my wife is usually right about such things. I slide the skewer back under the door and wiggle it around. Perhaps it will give me more leverage. Perhaps I can grip the edge of the step stool between the forks and wiggle it out of the way. Nothing, then a light clicks on in my head. With the skewer bent I can use it like a lever, from there with a little swearing and patience I manage to maneuver the skewer into position and push down on my end. The step ladder moved just a fraction but it moved. I pressed against the door and it opened just enough for me to see the dogs nose. Still pressing down on my side of the skewer my wife shoved the door a little bit more. Together we freed the dog! Reaching around I pull out the offending step stool. With a sigh of relief my wife calls back the 911 dispatcher who cancels the call
In seconds my wife and I are in action. I clean the dog pee off the laundry room floor. Five minutes later we are in the car heading for work. While I’m not going to be early, I’m going to be okay I can still do what I need to do providing there are no more delays. Everything is moving nicely. I’m calculating my time. While I am going to be late it will only be by a few minutes. I can call the guys and ask them to wait another 15 minutes for me it won’t delay their day that much, life just got a lot better.
Turning off the exit to drop my wife off at her work we run smack dab into rush hour traffic. Bottleneck, dead stop! I call my boss. I have a wonderful boss and he tells me not to worry, just do what I can. Of course he doesn’t know the whole story just that I’m held up in traffic. Later in the day I would fill him in.
Finally I’m at work about half an hour late, I hop in the work van and make the 40 minute trek to Lewistown where they guys are waiting for me. Of course I owed it to them to tell the whole story, in four part harmony. They laughed and one wondered why I just didn’t take the opportunity to cut out a doggy door?