Ode to a Padlock

19 May 2009

About four weeks ago, I lost a key ring. Those who know me, know that I possess way more keys than anyone has a right to, really. I’ve always been that way—ever since I was a just a kid. Our house had three different keys. And, of course, I had a diary key! Then, in high school, I was entrusted with keys to the theatre, the prop room and the costume room. And, a year or so later, I was actually given a key to the exterior door of the school –the one that opened into the theatre lobby. And, then there was the job at the dance studio that required keys to those doors. So, at age seventeen, by the time I was driving, I had a ring of twelve or thirteen keys, when most kids I knew carried two or three.

I think just about every job I’ve ever had required me to carry keys.  Showroom keys, retail store keys . . . and now, fast forward to my current lifestyle where I have a collection of keys needed for each of three different renfaire shoppes, in addition to house, car, truck and trailer.  I don’t carry them all at once, but I suppose it was only a matter of time before something got lost.

And, actually—I don’t think they’re lost.  They’re misplaced.  Somewhere in this crowded little house we call a home, I think.  I mean the trailer is locked, and I had to have the keys to do that.  And with the trailer unhitched and sitting in the driveway during faire, I never take the keys anywhere with me.  So, it stands to reason that the missing keyring is somewhere here at home.  But, I’ve looked everywhere I can possibly imagine to look . . . twice and thrice, even.  They are just not find-able, at least not right now.  And after a few weeks of not being able to get in . . . I can put it off no longer.  I have to be able to tow the trailer to faire next week and load out.  Oh, did I mention that it’s not just one trailer key? It’s the whole shebang!  The padlock.  The side door.  The tongue lock.  The ball hitch lock.  And, the receiver hitch lock.  Yep.  All of ’em, logically kept together . . . gone.

I stopped at the locksmith shop today on my way to the post office.  I’ve visited locksmiths before, and I was prepared for a dark, dirty little shop with a little old man in it.  I wasn’t looking forward to this visit.  I’ve been putting it off for weeks.  But, what I got right here at our new local locksmith, was instead, a lovely showroom decorated in shades of grey and silver, and beautiful slate tile.  Attractive displays of keys and locks and key-related accesssories were well-stocked.  And, a woman, and two friendly, young men greeted me when I walked in.  I breathed my first sigh of relief.

I told them I needed a housecall (the trailer can’t be hitched up without these keys!) and I proceeded to show them the photos I’d snapped of the locks in need of keys. They were impressed that I’d thought to do that, which made me feel very good.  With the photos, they were able to quote me exact prices and plan on exactly what equipment to bring with them.  They gave me a bit of a deal because I live so close to their shop, and the owner (one of these young men!) will be out in the morning to take care of everything for under $150!  There’s only one lock that can’t be re-keyed . . . the one in my photo.  I find it somehow sad, that a perfectly good lock must be sacrificed.  Tomorrow, the locksmith will arrive, re-key the others, and drill or cut this sturdy lock off of my trailer.  He will replace it with a brand new, even more secure version of the same sort of lock.

So, “silly” got ahold of me, and I wrote this:  

Ode to a Padlock—

For the want of a key —

For the need of entry —

For the need of security —

A harsh end for one whose service has been so valiant.