Went to Madison Square Garden (asbestos-free since last Wednesday!), watched the Warriors beat the Knicks in a pretty good game, came home and chatted with my girlfriend for awhile — a good night indeed.
But all of it changed at about 2 a.m., when I went outside to close the evening out with a smoke.
Once I finished indulging in my filthy habit, I reached into my pocket for my keys, only discover that the one to the front door didn’t fit. That’s because I brought the wrong set of keys, with the right set sitting on my desk, behind my locked front door.
Ordinarily, this wouldn’t be an issue. I’d just buzz the apartment and apologize to my roommate for having to get up and open the door. But my roommate had just left town for a business trip.
My only break was that I brought my cell phone, and one phone call to the 24-hour locksmith later, my 57-cent cigarette had officially become a $245.53 cigarette*. You see, that’s how much they cost when you lock yourself out of your apartment in the middle of the night.
It could have been worse, like the time I locked the keys in the car when we stopped in a small Nevada town called Tonopah on a road trip from Reno to Las Vegas. That mistake also came in the middle of the night and we had to wake the town locksmith for help.
Luckily, it is true that New York never sleeps, and it didn’t take long for the locksmith to come over, drill a hole in the old lock, and install a new one. Within an hour of standing in the freezing cold I was back in the living room, still fuming about doing such a stupid thing, but at least I was doing it somewhere warm and comfortable.
About 15 minutes after the locksmith left, he called my cell phone, worried that he may have left a copy of the receipt in my apartment. I agreed to look to see if he had dropped it one the way out. (I later found it face down in the sidewalk in front of my building). Before I walked out my front door, I learned that 24-hour locksmiths can be quite the humorous bunch.
“Hey,” he said on the phone. “Don’t forget your keys.”
* And yes, I realize none of this would have happened if I would, you know, stop smoking cancer sticks. Working on it, ok?
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