It was an interesting night last night.
First – the apartment I currently inhabit has a single door to enter or exit the apartment…and, as we’re on the 2nd/3rd floors, there is no other way to get into the unit unless you start dragging in ladders and breaking glass.
A single point of entry. Or…a single way to get OUT.
Last night, that door decided, in whatever passes for wisdom in woodwork, to go on strike.
The internals for the door handle failed.
I’m just glad we found out about this last night, instead of this morning…you know…Monday “I gotta get to work!” morning.
How did we find this meltdown of hardware? Well, the kids went out and about yesterday, where I stayed quite content at home, packing more stuff, cleaning the kitchen, goofing about on the Evil Book of Faces while ignoring the stuff that was playing on the TV. All in all, a fairly standard Sunday.
The kids tried the door. I heard the key scrape in the lock. Then a thump as they tried to open the thing. Then another scrape of the key. Yup…another thump.
At this point, I sauntered up to the door. Deadbolt was retracted, so I tried the handle.
Enter … the situation.
Actually, NO ENTRY would be the situation, as the handle was no longer retracting the little metal hasp which keeps the door rather firmly secure against unwanted visitors.
The door handle is ancient. I’d have to guess it’s older than I am (the real, calendar age, not the fiction I keep attempting to run regarding the number 29), so it’s certainly lived the doorknob equivalent of a good life. At some point … it’s gonna fail. Everything does.
They built things to last back then…and to resist their retirement.
The problem was with the handle. Now, it’s been a long time since I got up close and personal with door hardware, but I’ll assume that modern units have a handle (or round knob) that you screw onto the shaft that goes through the door. This sucker was press-fit into place, and didn’t want anything to do with me yanking it apart.
It had securely held this door shut for over 50 years, thank you very much, and wasn’t budging.
Between calling the apartment’s emergency maintenance number, listing to the kids cuss and swear on the hallway end of the door, and employing various tools, it took me a good 45 minutes to get that handle off so I could get to the internals on the door and finally open it.
Hurrah for brute strength and claw hammers!
But, I may be taking this the wrong way. What if this is the apartment’s way of telling me it doesn’t want me to leave?