: gotcha :

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.

16 thoughts on “: gotcha :

  1. I once saw a stranger walk up to an automatic sliding door (entrance to a Target or something similar) and do a Jedi hand wave just before the door opened. It was so nerdy and stupid, but I loved it. Now I can’t help myself in public. Sometimes I even add a subtle “twah” for effect


  2. Next time, before opening the door, make that dry squeegee sound doors make on Star Trek and see what happens. Maybe it’s a universal sign of peace for them.


    1. I know that feeling, birdinaword, but I don’t twig to it until I hear the fabric tearing. Aaargh! Thank you for commiserating, I like knowing I’m not the only one : )


  3. As someone who gets stuck on doors fairly frequently, I feel your pain. I have to say, I’ve never had an atomic wedgie but there’s still time. I’m usually breezing around the office in my busy and efficient way, and there I go, getting my cardigan caught on the door and bouncing backwards like a contestant on It’s A Knockout (the bungee round). This faux pas is usually accompanied by a stupid noise which alerts everyone to what has happened instead of me slinking away unnoticed. AND it always happens when I’m ENTERING a room, so I announce myself in this ridiculously undignified way fairly often. Pah. Doors eh?!


  4. I’d thank you for the warning, alas I’ve had more than my fair share of door incidents. Screen doors shudder when they see me approaching – fearing I’ll forget to open them before walking through. (No piles of laundry required.)


    1. That’s the first time I was grabbed so tightly. I should have gone back to see if I damaged the dead bolt, hanging from it that way, but I was way too embarrassed.


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