Thursday, November 13, 2014

Safe from dummies

When we bought this old house the previous owners asked if we wanted the 2 large safes.  One was from a post office and the other a bank.  They're heavy and wouldn't easily be moved out of our basement.  Of course we said yes; mostly because they're cool, not because we have much of value to protect.

James keeps some things in one of them and the other has been sitting there empty. This summer one of our neighbors was robbed so before we went on vacation James suggested I put my jewelry in the safe.  He didn't say which safe so I chose the empty one.  I locked it up tight and off we went.

Later I went to retrieve my jewelry.  I followed the combination instructions to a T (I thought) but at the end of the directions it said to unlock with the key.  The key we had didn't open it.  Both of us took turns messing with it to no avail.  We searched everywhere for the key.  Nothing.  So, for the past 4 or 5 months I've been wearing the same 3 pairs of earrings and 2 necklaces I took with us on vacation this summer.

Finally I called a locksmith.  Apparently not all locksmiths can open old safes like this so we had to  hire one about 45 minutes from here at a cost of $135.00 just to show up and another $100.00 per hour he was here.    Oh well, what choice did we have if I wanted my jewelry back, right?  I should mention, most of my jewelry is costume jewelry. I'm not a girl whose best friends are diamonds.  I wear what matches my outfit or what I like.

The young locksmith arrived this morning.  I had envisioned him trying to pick the lock, and when having no luck, using a cutting torch to open it.  James watched It Takes A Thief as a child and may have had some more interesting scenarios, I don't know.  What happened next was nowhere close to these images.  Mr. Young Locksmith turned the dial a smidgeon, tugged gently on the handle and opened the safe. No key necessary.  I guess we should have been embarrassed, and maybe I was a little, but mostly I was happy he didn't have to use a cutting torch and spend another hour here.  He was too polite to tell us we were idiots and didn't know how to properly use a combination lock.  He told us this happens all the time and shared other stories to help us recover our self-esteem.  Also, to make us feel like we got our moneys'-worth, he lubed the combination dial and interior mechanisms, stating this may have been why we found it hard to open.  He made us both open the safe to be sure we werent' a lost cause, or maybe to prove we were.

As you can see, the safes work best as storage for paint cans.  Maybe we should only use them for this purpose.


  1. You know, I need that same locksmith! We have an old bank safe too, that opens with both a key and a combination. We know the combination, but it first takes a key to unlock the dial so that we can turn it. The only reason we haven't done anything about it, is that we don't much believe there is a lot of value being kept safe in the safe! Oh, but might we be surprised?

  2. Oh, I meant to say, as well, that I once lost the combination. At that time we had money in the safe for one of our son's wedding. I went so far as to even go to a professional who hypnotized me. I came up with all the numbers in the correct order, except for the last two!! Strangely enough, soon after that, I remembered another place I had stored the combination...only it was not in time for the wedding! Ha!
    (Heck! I could have blogged about this!!!!)