No big deal, I told myself. It's a somewhat rickety old house. Shouldn't be that hard to get in. Rather than drive a half-hour to get a key, I decided I'd take a shot at breaking in.
I went from door one to the next, giving each some pretty hard kicks, thinking I could just pop one open like they do on TV. Nothing doing. Those doors were thoroughly uncooperative. I moved on to the windows, shoving and cussing and making nearly as much racket with them as I did with the doors.
But I eventually found a basement window that had been left unlocked.
Except it had been left unlocked because it was too small for someone to fit through.
I've now gone back and measured. The opening is 11 inches high. I'm ever so much bigger than 11 inches. Still, I channeled my inner Rubberman and poured myself through that wee opening, then squirted onto the floor with a loud clatter. It wasn't pretty or painless, but I was inside. Now I could take a hot bath and put on some Christmas music and read myself to sleep.
Except my bad day wasn't over. Oh, no. It wasn't even close. The closing credits hadn't yet started to roll.
When I reached the top of the stairs, I was greeted by my two severely frenzied dogs. I soon realized they had been racing at full speed all around the house, urinating the entire time I'd been trying to get in. Apparently, their strategy for dealing with burglars is to drown them. Or perhaps gross them out to a degree where they'd flee.
I visualized one dog calling out as he ran, "A moat! A moat! Hurry! Build a moat!"
I did not appreciate their attempt. No, I didn't. There's not a single item in my home with a value that warrants such an extreme level of protection.
I spent the next hour scrubbing my floors, the whole time cursing Ohio and thoughtless teenagers and dogs -- and myself, for not having hidden a key. Once I was done, I went out to the car to retrieve my bag and overnight case.
And I hadn't yet reached the bottom step when I heard the door slam shut behind me.
Reach Karin Fuller via email at karinful...@gmail.com.