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  • Writer's pictureAndy Ross


Somedays when you get out of bed you have an idea of what your day will have in store for you. On other days you get up and you have no idea what the day will throw at you. Example: you never wake up planning to get into a fight with a doorknob. I went downstairs into the room that’s in the partially finished basement and was going to head out into the said basement. Reaching the end of the stairs I turned and faced the door that was to my immediate right. I put my hand on the knob and turned, but nothing happened.

I made a sound. A little “hmm” was an indication that I was curious as to why something that’s worked every other time I’ve ever operated it suddenly didn’t want to work. I turned the knob again. Once more, nothing happened. Another “hmm” was uttered. I stood there to assess the situation. My first thought was maybe I was at fault. My non-existent wife, Sheila, had recently pointed out to me how dry my skin was and insisted I started moisturizing on the regular.

This meant that I spent most of my free time constantly rubbing my hands with lotion, often leaving a fine sheen of lotion that makes my hands as slick and smooth as a Teflon-coated pan. As a result, I have noticed some difficulty in holding things as well as I once could. Remote controls fly out of my hand as if someone holding a shotgun just yelled “pull!” Perhaps my moisture-dense hands are not getting any traction on the doorknob, I may feel like I’m turning it, but I’m not.

I went and dried my glistening hands as best I could to where they would have some surface traction again. I returned to the door and tried again. This time I could feel the knob turn, but just like before nothing happened. I tried the only other option I could think of at the time. I turned the knob in the other direction. This time there was a difference. I heard a pop and could feel a slight vibration at the same time. This must have been the latch release, at long last. Smiling, I pushed on the door and was ready to move on with my day.

However, the door didn’t open. Frustration was now rising inside me. I began to turn the knob left and right frantically, pulling and pushing on it and putting my free hand towards the top of the door to see if I could add more force to get it to open. Nothing, the door didn’t budge, despite hearing that pop again.

This is when I began to get a tiny bit paranoid that I was trapped within my own home. Would I ever see the sun again? Who was in charge of this turn of events? Was my home out to get me like in all those bad 1980s sci-fi movies? That’s when I remembered I do not have any smart home technologies in my house. I was safe from ”The Great Google Doorknob Rebellion”—for now.

I had spent half an hour trying to get into the basement, I decided to push all my weight up against the door while turning as furiously as I could. That did nothing. I then felt deep shame that it took this long to realize that there is another door in the basement room at the back, I could just go out of it. I hoped. I went to that door and opened it without trouble. Out in the basemen, at last, I walked from the back half into the half that doubles as a garage.

I returned to the door that had vexed me so and, for kicks, turned the knob from the outside side. This time I heard a pop, felt the doorknob turn and felt it move—right out of the door and into my hand. I was somehow more confused than before and wondered how quickly I run over to the hardware store. It was an odd way to start my day, but I was just happy to be in the basement and not trapped in my house.

Still, I can’t help but wonder if someone sabotaged that doorknob. Gaslighting by doorknobs could become a new psychological warfare game. I better have a talk with my fake son, Lemuel, about this. He’s getting into those “awkward years” where sabotaging daily hardware could become a common occurrence. Maybe I’ll be a poster child for a new series of PSAs? Something to think about. See you next week.


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