I am usually very careful to avoid locking myself out of my apartment.
This afternoon I was baking a chicken-centric entree and I decided to run the chicken scraps out to the dumpster while the dish was in the oven. As I walked to the door I saw my keys sitting on an end table but I decided not to grab them. I’m just running to the dumpster and back; I’m not even going to close my front door. What I forgot to consider was that it was a beautiful day. Such a beautiful day that I had the sliding door by my balcony open. When the sliding door is open the front door will close by itself. It closed.
My first response was to laugh. Then I remembered that my chicken entree only had about 10 minutes of baking time left, so if I didn’t get in to my apartment fast I was going to have seriously burnt dinner. I once saw my neighbor pick the lock on his front door with a credit card in less than a minute. For that trick I would need a credit card, however, and all I had with me was my phone (if I called the apartment maintenance service the extra high weekend lockout rate would apply, plus it would take them almost a half hour to arrive). So I decided to think outside the box.
My conclusion was that I needed to climb up a collection of pipes on the side of the building, swing across to a small ledge by my neighbor’s apartment, then jump to the edge of my balcony and do my best parkour impression by grabbing the railing and using friction to hold myself there (and not fall, not falling was a big part of the plan). From there I could jump over the railing onto my balcony, walk into my apartment, and rescue my dinner in the nick of time. My apartment is only on the second floor, so the risk factor was not very high.
I took a look around to make sure I wasn’t being witnessed breaking into my own apartment, then I put my plan into action. Just as I was launching myself from the pipes to the small ledge by my neighbor’s apartment a guy walked by on his way to the laundry facility. He looked at me with the most awesome expression of confusion.
Me: Balancing on a very small ledge on the side of the building by the second floor apartments, acting like nothing is unusual: “Hey, how’s it going?”
Him: Looking very confused, mumbles: “Hi.”
Me: A bit sheepishly: “I locked myself out of my apartment.”
Him: Puts his head down, as if to deny he is seeing anything, walks away while covertly stealing glances back at me (I think he wanted to see me jump from the ledge to the balcony).
Me: Waits until the guy goes around the corner before jumping (if the attempt was disastrous I wanted no witnesses).
I really felt like Spiderman for a moment, your friendly neighborhood Spiderman.
In case you were wondering, the chicken was baked to perfection.