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11 April 2008 @ 11:18 pm
Insight Into My Ordeal  

So, I know some of you are like, "oh, I like that Robin. She always tells funny stories about herself and it gives me a good chuckle." Well sit back and relax because today's is a doozy (Now, I wanted to put up my new giggle loop icon since I've been watching Coupling lately, but alas, I can't decide what icon to part with to put that one up, so the crazy antics of Mrs. Featherbottom will have to do).

Today, I locked myself onto my porch/balcony. And, it wasn't some brief affair. I was out there for one frakkin' hour and 30 frakkin' minutes. So, I thought I would give you an idea of all the things I tried to get back inside by providing a timeline chronicaling my entire experience. Now, mind you, some of the things I tried weren't exactly rational, but keep in mind that at the time I was desperate and willing to give anything a shot.  So, without further ado...

Oh wait. I should probably preface this a little bit and describe my porch/balcony, otherwise you may have a hard time visualizing the insanity. So, I live on a bit of a foothill that is overlooking the beautiful city of Tucson, and basically, we have a killer view. I have this really nice porch/balcony (I have no idea how to describe it, because there's a huge drop-off, so it's balcony-ish, but it's bigger than a balcony and has porch-like qualities). There are three doors that lead out to the balcony: one from the living room, one from the hall area, and one from my bedroom (and this is a sliding glass door). There's also a cat door that Pua uses when she wants to frolic outside a bit. 

Oooo, I have pictures! That should help.


Ok, so this should give you a better idea of the space I had to deal with. As you can see, I live pretty high up. There's a good 15 foot drop to the rocky desert below (I think. I suck at judging distances). The middle picture shows a space where I spent a lot of my time while locked outside. 

Um, yeah, let's get on with the show (warning: times aren't exactly accurate, since I don't own a watch, and are mainly used for dramatic emphasis. Unfortunately, the sequence of events that I will be describing is entirely accurate):

6:03pm: I am getting ready for the 3 hour drive to my parents' house. It's my cousin, Lindsey's birthday, so we are doing some family partying. All my stuff is loaded into the car at this point. I just put my purse/cell phone in the front seat. Now, the only thing I need to get is Pua. I locked her outside because she is very perceptive and knows that packing it means that she's about to go in the car and she usually hides. It's much harder for her to hide outside. I set my car keys on the kitchen counter, pick up Pua's collar, and head outside, lightly closing the door behind me. This way, she can't jump out of my arms and go inside to hide. It's happened before. I feel very good about myself because I think I have officially outsmarted my cat.
6:05pm: Pua's collar is on and I have her in my arms. She is complaining loudly. I walk over to the door and it's locked. Fantastic. 
6:06pm: I try all the doors. They are all locked. Shish-kabob. 
6:07pm: Ok, so all the doors are locked. No biggie. There's a spare key under Pierpont the gnome. 
6:08pm: Spare key isn't under Pierpont. Spare key isn't under any of the ceramic 'shrooms around Pierpont. Spare key isn't buried anywhere in the vicinity of Pierpont. This can't be good. 
6:12pm: Spare key isn't anywhere in the garden area. I have lifted up everything that could be lifted up and it's not there. I have dug several holes. My hands are filthy. 
6:13pm: I decide to try my hand at the cat door. Granted, Pua is a tiny cat and it's a perfect size for her. It was probably originally installed for a small dog, like a miniature poodle or a chiauaha. I stick my hand in as far as it will go to see if I can reach the doorknob. I can't. I stick my other hand in. Yeah, that doesn't work either. I jiggle the knob again, hoping that some miracle has come upon me and the door is magically unlocked. It isn't.
6:16pm: Maybe the spare key got moved to underneath the doormats.
6:17pm: Nope. I have given up on finding the spare key. 
6:20pm: I have assessed all the materials around me and pick up a long candle holder with a stake on the end from the garden area. I stick it through the cat door and use it to try to flip the lock on the door. This goes on for awhile.
6:33pm: My neck hurts and I have yet to unlock the door. I take off my earrings and the hair pick that is holding half of my hair up, so I can attempt to stick my head and shoulders through the cat door. Maybe if I approach at an angle, I can fit.
6:35pm: My top half isn't that narrow and I forgot that I have boobs. I have officially scratched that idea and gone back to trying to flip the lock with the candle holder. 
6:40pm: I am officially frustrated with my attempts to flip the lock and go to see if the drop from the balcony to the ground is as far as I think it is.
6:41pm: It is that far. I could break my leg. Not going to risk it. Back to the cat door.
6:43pm: I decide to see how far I can stick my leg in through the door. I'm pretty flexible, maybe I can reach the doorknob that way.
6:44pm: Nope. It's a bad angle and my leg can't bend back to reach the knob. Screw that idea. 
6:47pm: Inspiration hits. Maybe I can use my jeans to make some sort of pulley system that would turn the knob so I can open the door. I take off my jeans and tie a knot at the end. I am so resourceful. Maybe I should petition to be Man Vs. Wild guy's quirky female sidekick. Jeans go through the cat door.
6:49pm: Well, that was a stupid idea. I put my pants back on. 
6:50pm: I'm starting to lose some light. I go to look back over the edge to check to see if maybe my house has shrunk a bit and the ground is a bit closer than it was before. It isn't. I look over at the palo verde tree to see if its branches might support me. Alas, this is a desert tree with very skinny and weak branches and it won't support me. Back to the drawing board. 
6:52pm: I start trying a different garden stake thing through the cat door. It seems to be working better. I start doing some serious praying because I can wait to get the heck off the porch and if anyone can help me, God can.
6:56pm: Praying has turned into pleading. 
6:58pm: Success! I managed to unlock the doorknob with the garden stake. I start doing a little happy dance. I go to open the door, only to realize that the deadbolt is also somehow locked. Frick frick frickity frick!
7:00pm: This is about the time that I realized that I had started crying.
7:04pm: I suck it up and move on to a different plan. Maybe I can find a way to make the drop from the balcony less deadly by putting one of my porch chairs down there. The shallowest part appears to be by the tree. I try there.
7:05pm: My chair gets stuck in the tree. I feel teary again.

7:08pm: One more pathetic round with the garden stake and the lock. I'm beginning to see that this isn't working. 
7:10pm: Hey, wait a sec. I have bobby pins in my hair. I can pull a MacGyver and pick the lock.

7:11pm: Bobby pin almost gets stuck in lock and I realize that I am no MacGyver

7:15pm: It’s really getting dark and I’m getting desperate. I find a piece of granite left from a previous tenant and contemplate throwing it through the window.

7:17pm: I throw the granite piece at the window after much deliberation. The window doesn’t break. It doesn’t even crack. Piece of granite shatters instead. Stupid rock.

7:18pm: I yell at the pieces of rock, reminding it that it that is granite and one of the hardest substances on earth. It doesn’t seem to hear me. Pua, who has been watching me this entire time, gets scared off by me throwing the rock at the window and runs inside through the cat door. A lot of help she is.

7:22pm: I look for something to write a crude note to hang off the balcony. There isn’t anything.

7:24pm: I decide to try the ‘chair-in-the-tree’ thing again. I untangle my chair from the branches and try it at a new spot. I sit on the ledge and push it down as far as it will go with my legs, but it really won’t hold my weight. I decide to add another chair on top of it to somehow anchor it a bit. It seems to hold my weight a bit better and I sit on the top chair.

7:26pm: I am sitting in the chair and sinking to the ground. I’m freaking out.

7:27pm: Ok, I somehow made it to the ground without killing myself. I do have a lot of scratches from the tree, though. I climb out of the chair, past the tree and up the big hill.

7:29pm: Woot! I left my car door unlocked. I have my cell phone again! I kiss it. But, the problem is, my car/house keys are still inside. Thankfully, I hadn’t closed the side door all the way and I manage to push it open. Cha-ching, I did it!


Ok, so that was my ordeal in its entirety. I lost my mind a couple times, but I managed to get off the balcony before I ended up spending the night. The chairs are still stuck in the tree a bit, but I’ll get them when I come home and it’s sunny outside.


I still had to drive for 3 hours and now I’m exhausted. I wasn’t paying attention at one point and missed the turn for I8, so I was headed for Phoenix instead. I had to turn around. That kinda sucked. It really wasn’t my day today.

I hope this has entertained you somewhat. I did appreciate the humor at the time, but was too concerned to laugh. The roomie and I always joke about the house being like Fort Knox, and the roomie has locked herself out a couple times. This is my first time doing that, so yeah, I was a little embarrased. As soon as I get back home, I'm putting another spare key under Pierpont. Maybe one by the front door too...

Current Mood: tiredtired
Current Music: "Open the Door"--British Sea Power
grizzly_mousegrizzly_mouse on April 12th, 2008 10:13 am (UTC)
You are hilarious!!!
Oh Robin! I kind of felt bad laughing, but I couldn't help it. It's kind of like when you go ski-ing and a friend stacks it and you can't check to see if they are ok becuase you are too busy laughing. I am glad that you managed to get back inside in the end. For a minute, when you tried the jeans thing, I thought that you were going to say that your jeans ended up inside and you couldn't get them out again so that you were now not only locked out but that you were naked as well. Hope the rest of your weekend goes better.

BTW is it just me or is the formatting off? Some of the type on the RHS of the screen has gone into the border so I had to highlight it to be able to read it.
robinpoppins: GG: Lorelai Laughrobinpoppins on April 12th, 2008 07:02 pm (UTC)
Re: You are hilarious!!!
Hee, I completely understand. The roomie and I were watching America's Funniest Home Videos the other night and I told her I would probably make a horrible mother because I would always laugh when my kids fall or run into things.

I was also especially worried about losing my jeans. My university's Spring Fling fair was going on across the street and that's a lot of people to possibly see me half naked.

No, it's not just you. It's my stupid page. I really love this one, but it's a custom one someone made, so the formatting isn't always right. I just need to find a new one.
lulu1960lulu1960 on April 12th, 2008 12:51 pm (UTC)
That's got to suck, but think of it this way and least you didn't get stuck in the cat door, now that would have been exciting.

robinpoppins: GG: Lorelai crazyrobinpoppins on April 12th, 2008 07:04 pm (UTC)
Re: Wow
Haha, that thought certainly crossed my mind. I could picture my cat walking around, free as a barn swallow, inside while my head is trapped in the cat door. Man, that really would've sucked.
ಌ: GISELLE YOU MAKE ME SO.flatters on April 12th, 2008 03:42 pm (UTC)
robinpoppins: GA: and?robinpoppins on April 12th, 2008 07:05 pm (UTC)
Hee, thanks for that ;)
Filo: Lorelai Bustedfilo77 on April 12th, 2008 05:35 pm (UTC)
Okay, I'd like to start by saying that I'm glad you're okay.

Now with that said:


Can't. Stop. Laughing.

I don't even know where to begin. I love that you were willing to get partially naked and free in an attempt to save yourself. But I think my favorite part is when you realized that you had boobs.

On the up side, I will always remember to keep my cell phone on my person now. And I have you to thank for that :-)
robinpoppins: GG: klutzrobinpoppins on April 12th, 2008 07:10 pm (UTC)
Hee! I'm always glad to be a source of entertainment.

The 'taking off my pants' bit really did seem like a good idea at the time. You always see Survivorman and Man Vs. Wild guy doing stuff with their pants and it works for them. But, no, this is me we're talking about. Of course it didn't work. At least I didn't lose my pants inside. That would've sucked when I was going down the tree in the chair.

I really hope nobody saw me. That street below me is always super busy.

I usually at least keep my car keys in my pocket when I go outside, just in case. But, for some reason, I didn't this time. I sure learned my lesson.
mag1mag1 on April 13th, 2008 03:20 pm (UTC)
Okay, I think I peed my pants a little when you went with the legs through the cat door and then the jeans. I'm sure it was a horrible ordeal for you, but I have to say, it was vastly amusing for me!
robinpoppins: GG: Oyrobinpoppins on April 13th, 2008 05:10 pm (UTC)
Ha, I'm glad my ordeal hs become a source of entertainment for one and all. It wasn't exactly funny at the time, but deep down I knew I would find it hilarious when I eventually got off the porch. Only something like that would happen to me.
jewelsverne: Giddy!jewelsverne on April 13th, 2008 06:26 pm (UTC)
This is physical comedy at its finest, my friend!! I laughed the hardest at the chair getting stuck in the tree. And the jeans! So hilarious! Oh, and now that I know where your spare key is hidden...

Well, I think I'll leave it at that. ;)

P.S. Look! I have a new icon! I actually have about nine to choose from now. Oh, happy day!
robinpoppins: GG: Lorelai Gleerobinpoppins on April 13th, 2008 11:11 pm (UTC)
Hee, though it might be creepy for you to sneak into my house, it would lead to countless hours of Seinfeld watching, and that's a-ok :)

Yay! I'm so proud of the new icons. I'm going off to look at the rest now...
jenepel: GG: Rory Jess awkwardjenepel on April 15th, 2008 01:16 pm (UTC)
Hee! I didn't read my flist while I was away so am just now catching up, but I really had to comment. I love your stories because they are so exactly the kind of things I myself do. So the laughter is filled with love and understanding - really!

At our flat there is a shared hallway that you need a key to get out of. Several times various people have come out of their flats without their keys and been locked in there. It always results in a lot of banging and stomping up and down the stairs. But if no one is home and you don't have your cell, you're SOL.

Also on the subject of getting locked into places - I once got stuck in the outer security part of our office at the Embassy. It was about 8PM and I was the only one there. Every door has a keypad and evidently they turn them off after 7 or something. I was banging on all the doors and madly trying to figure out a way out. Thank goodness I had my cell - but it took like three calls to collegues before I got the security desk number. Two marines came and let me out and it was SO embarrasing. So yeah. I didn't have to be quite as resourceful, but at least you weren't witnessed by laughing marines! Upside?

(wow, long comment)

Edited at 2008-04-15 01:17 pm (UTC)
robinpoppins: Coupling: Giggle Looprobinpoppins on April 15th, 2008 06:39 pm (UTC)
Hee, oh man, so you know exactly how I feel. I'm glad no one saw me (especially when I took off my pants).

How was your trip? It looks like you made it home without difficulty.