The Washington Times-Herald

September 14, 2013

A war with the door and the door won

The Washington Times-Herald

---- — Back in the late 70s I thought of myself as a lover not a fighter (remember the key phrase there is “thought of myself”).

I was more interested in laying down some sweet Jimi Hendrix’s riffs on my guitar for the ladies than I was getting into some ugly confrontation that was bound to leave me with a hole in the seat of my bell bottoms and blood all over my “Keep on Trucking” t-shirt.

And now, as the fifth decade of my life begins, I like to think that is true as I still try to avoid fights (once again “still think” is the operative phrase).

However, recently, even I couldn’t avoid mortal combat, this time with a locked bathroom door — and it just goes to show that the best work I do with hands still involves the guitar.

After a mid-day fiesta of local Mexican fare, I knew a pit stop might be in order. However, much to my chagrin, when I arrived home to what was supposed to be a little “alone time” I found the bathroom door was locked and no one was on the other side.

I knew this could only be the work of one of my hateful children who knew my routine far too well and would go to any lengths to keep me from any moments of the happiness and peace a king gets when he spends time on his throne.

Perhaps it was the outlandish decrees I have made while perched on that throne that inspired such a dastardly plan. Decrees such as: “Could you bring me the new Golf Digest or could you slip my socks under the door?” have often been bellowed while I was king of that porcelain castle.

Something had to be done quickly to reunite the captain and commode.

Although I’m not a licensed contractor, I knew there was some professional device that would help me get to the other side of that door.

Then I remembered, that my “special door-opening-tool-kit” consisting of a chisel, hammer, nine-iron and a Ginsu knife.

I immediately went to work on that door like Geraldo Rivera trying to open Al Capone’s vault.

I began by trying to chisel off the door knob, and although I was successful in decapitating the outside knob with a surgical skill, there was still a mangled inner-working of hardware that I knew would require the next level of a tactical attack. I began to try to swing the nine iron in a controlled but forceful manner, hoping to only hit the mangled metal, but unlike Tiger Woods’ ex-wife, I was unable to hit my target.

It was now Door 2, Todd 0.

I knew I would then have to move in for some hand-to-hand combat using the Ginsu knife. I lunged at the door like a wolverine on PCP, wildly hacking and cutting until I had removed the entire area around the knob, leaving grapefruit-sized hole, a broken Ginsu and blood all over my knuckles.

Although I was proud of my conquest, I realized that not everyone in the home might be so comfortable with the new ventilation shaft I had added to the bathroom door.

However, I was quick to point out that it would have some benefits — like they could now pass me a magazine or socks right through the new hole, or even in a pinch, a burrito (which would eliminate the entire middle man in the event that started this process).

Heck, its not like a bath towel shoved into the hole doesn’t serves the same purpose as a knob — and it allows you to dry your hands and open the door at the same time. I’m surprised I didn’t get an extra Father’s Day gift for that bit of ingenuity alone.

If one were to fast forward a few weeks, one would have also got to watch me announced to my wife that it might be the right time for me to purchase a wildly-expensive Gibson Les Paul electric guitar. Surprisingly, she thought that would be okay, especially since there were several other home repair projects to do and all involved might be better off if I just sat in the basement and work on my guitar skills — after all, it would end up much cheaper than the family therapy, because my children who now have “privacy issues.”

Although Todd is not currently a rock star or friends with Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney or any member of Led Zeppelin, he willing to trash hotel rooms, date supermodels and swill Jack Daniels as long as he is able to be in bed by 9 p.m.