0Doors are everywhere, aren’t they? Cars have them, refrigerators have them, space shuttles and igloos and jail cells have them. The world is fairly teeming with doors, they serve a pretty useful purpose every day. If you don’t believe me, just ask yourself this: where would opportunity knock if there were no doors? Yeah, see?
Normally, we don’t give them a second thought, we simply turn a knob or trigger a sensor or give a shove and, presto, we’re in. Or out, depending on which side of the door we’re standing. They’re probably the easiest contraptions in the world to operate. Heck, they’re so easy to use dogs and cats zip in and out of their own doors all day. (The tough part is teaching them to wipe their feet.)
They can surprise you, though, doors can. Especially when you start to take their simplicity for granted. I found that out the hard way, i.e., through personal experience.
Here, let me tell you a story:
There I was, after making a success of a cumbersome load of laundry — no bleach stains, nothing had shrunk to doll size, no colors had run — so I was feeling a little cocky as I headed for the laundromat’s door. In my arms I carried one bulging laundry bag on top of another, with my library book sitting squarely atop both — the new Martin Amis novel, Lionel Asbo.
I stopped at the door and gave it a good shot with my hip. I slid on out, feeling the cool, fresh air on my face, and proceeded to my car. Or started to, but I didn’t get two steps. My progress, you see, was violently arrested by the dead bolt grabbing my belt loop in a death grip.
So, instead of continuing on my merry way, I jackknifed and stumbled backward. The laundry bags and library book? They went on ahead. I watched helplessly as they headed for a shallow puddle and — fwump, sploosh, thonk — the book landed as if dunked. Before my very eyes, it took on the properties of a blowfish, expanding to many times its original size.
There I dangled, feet kicking at the empty air. For a split second, anyway, until my belt loop was ripped from its mooring. Welcome, I thought as I plummeted to the ground, to my first atomic wedgie. Brief, sure, but it was no less unpleasant for that.
Consider yourselves warned, ladies and gentlemen. And good luck.