Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Man needed! The day I couldn't shut the door.

Yesterday was Melbourne's hottest day since March; around 36 degrees (Celsius). I had sealed my apartment shut when I left in the morning, closing windows, drawing blinds and closing internal doors. It worked. When I walked in the front door it felt several degrees cooler inside than it was outside.

I was doing the customary after work potter. There was mail to read, dinner to plan, washing to bring in. I'd had my sheets on the line and they were dried as stiffly as if they had been meticulously starched. I turned the radio on and heard the presenter ask the audience if the cool change had reached us yet. 

I looked out the window. It "looked" cooler. I opened a door and could feel the temperature had dropped significantly. This was my cue to open everything up again. It was reported on the news later that the temperature had dropped 13 degrees in less than forty minutes! The bricks were holding the heat, but the cool breeze was bliss.

The door from my lounge room to my balcony kept slamming shut as the wind forced it shut. I had some blocks of wood lying around and used one of them to chock the door open. Problem solved.

At about 10pm I decided it was time to go to bed and went to remove the block of wood and lock the door for the night. Neither the block of wood, nor the door would budge. I pulled. I kicked. I shook. I tried to lift. Nothing. My burly Irish neighbour was out on his balcony, smoking, and he asked if I needed help. Very kind of him, but I had no memory of his name. I could tell you the names of his last three predecessors, but his name escaped me. I decided to buy some time and said that I just wanted to get my hammer and see if hitting it (the block of wood, not the door) really hard would work. I found my hammer right away, so there wasn't much time to recall my neighbour's name. 

Out to the balcony I went, armed with my pink-handled hammer. I hit the block of wood. I may as well have whipped it with a piece of dental floss. My trusty neighbour was ready to come and help. He'd even put on a shirt. I succumbed. I'm quite happy to ask for the help I need, but I need to first establish that the help is actually needed. As we met at out front doors, I confessed I had forgotten his name.

"It's Allan!" he replied very cheerfully.

I handed him the hammer. He looked at its pink-handled girlishness with disdain. He hit the block of wood with it. I felt a bit better because the dental floss analogy was still relevant. He returned to his apartment to retrieve a more manly hammer. I was relieved that it wasn't a sledge hammer as I noticed that the door was now at quite an unnatural angle.  

Allan started to really hit that block of wood. I silently apologised to the entire western suburbs for the noise. At one point, I even saw sparks as there was movement in that block of wood. Two more whacks with gusto and the wood split in two, but the bulk of it was still stubbornly wedged and the angle of the door was terrifying. Just as I started to plan the conversation with the real estate agent, the wood moved and the door moved and I was moved! 

I thanked Allan as he showed me the hammer, proud that he'd been able to assist a damsel in distress.

"Next time, use a smaller piece of wood," he said as he left.

Tonight the door is tied open with kitchen twine.

What's in your toolkit? Do you know your neighbour's name/s? What would have happened if the door couldn't be closed securely? (eek!)

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