The connection between The Princess Bride and this post won’t be obvious to most of you, even those who know me. Bear with me and I’ll do my best to explain the connection. The Traveling Jack show is about to hit the road again. This time I am traveling without groupies, minions and fans. The upside to that is that I’ll enjoy a calmer trip than I would have. The downside is that I have to carry my own luggage. That is ok, I am a big boy and happy to do it, but first I have to pack.
You might wonder why I waited until almost 11:30 the night before to start cramming clothes into a bag.
You might also wonder why I would cram things into a bag knowing full well that I am meeting a bunch of people for the first time. Perhaps it is because I am starting a trend that says that wrinkled clothing is cool. While I have been known to march to the beat of my own drummer this isn’t one of those moments and not because I lack rhythm. It is because cramming is just an expression as is the word I used when I found myself locked out of my house at 10 PM.
It wasn’t among those 7 words you can’t say on television. George Carlin can rest in peace knowing that I am not trying to steal his material. Instead I used “inconceivable” to express my feelings about the door. I put my key in said door and unlocked it only to discover that it wouldn’t open. When the knob turned but didn’t open I did what we all do. I pulled the key out of the lock and stared at it. Or maybe it is more appropriate to say that I glared. Played 90 minutes of basketball and was desperate for a shower only to be locked out.
Had that key been one of my children they would known instantly that dad was unhappy, but the damn key is an inanimate object that doesn’t give a damn what I think or feel. Eventually I decided to enter through the side door and immediately my way over to its brother-in-arms. Imagine my surprise when I found it unlocked yet still unwilling to do its job. I must admit that I tried a few more tricks. I said “Open Sesame,” “abracadabra,” “Hocus Pocus” and the very powerful but ineffective “open the fuck up.”Â And as you can imagine I was ignored. It is probably a good thing because when the door starts talking back it is time to make sure that you are taking the appropriate meds and or be seen by a nice doctor.
Since Old Jack is a stubborn curmudgeon I was unwilling to accept its desire to go on strike. So I took out the toolset and prepared to do battle with it. Our first salvo was semi-effective. We filled that sucker full of WD-40. That stuff is magical and has helped me on a million different projects, but this time it didn’t quite get the job done. For a moment I mulled over making a trip to Home Depot to buy a new lockset. I am relatively handy and have replaced locks before, but this time I choose not to. I didn’t want it to turn into a two-hour or more project. I am tired and impatient. I just didn’t have it in me to worry about complications that may or may not happen.
So I called a locksmith and spent $65 bucks to make sure that the front door works again. It was well worth it. Even though I would have preferred to use that money in a different way it had to be done. Can’t have a front door that doesn’t work and I couldn’t get on a plane for Seattle knowing that there was a problem with it. It is a safety issue.
The whole thing was so absurd that I couldn’t help but think of The Princess Bride. And now though it seems “inconceivable” I am going to go pack.