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I am a second generation locksmith. It is a point of pride with me. But, while I’ve been a professional success, my romantic life leaves much to be desired. In fact, it’s reached a point where I’m concerned that being a locksmith is actively repellent to potential partners. Is it the job’s odd hours? Class prejudice? Fear on the part of attachment-phobic women that I might have the keys to their heart? (I couldn’t resist a classic locksmith joke.)

At my wits’ end, I present for your consideration a summary of a recent first date. For reasons that will become abundantly clear as you read the article (and that were obviously completely beyond my control), there will be no second date. So, we can treat this as a romantic postmortem, with you in the role of coroner. Somewhere, I hope your keen eyes are able to spot an indicator of what about locksmithing repulsed this woman, because it is certainly escaping me. Onward!

Things started well enough. I had taken my date to see Battle of the Sexes, a film starring Steve Carell and Emma Stone (who doesn’t love those two?) set in 1973. The movie was fantastically engrossing…that is, until it violently sucked me out of the reality it had built by showing Steve Carell locking his door with a Kwikset Longitude lever. A lock style not patented until 1994! And it had Smartkey technology, no less! I know, right?!

“This is bullshit!” I screamed at the screen. “I didn’t come here to have anachronisms violently ejaculated in my face! Will these guys play tennis against Abraham Lincoln riding a triceratops in Act Three?”

The rest of the theater shushed me. But I thought my date was simpatico because, after that, she slumped in her chair and kept asking to go home. That gesture spoke volumes. Clearly she, too, was disgusted by the lack of even basic lock knowledge on display by the film’s continuity department! Can you say “soulmate”?

Taking the hint that she wanted to go home – no doubt in order to escalate things physically with a man who so deeply shared her twin passions of locks and temporal accuracy in film – I obliged. As soon as we pulled up to her house, however, my date wordlessly sprinted from my car and slammed her front door, without so much as a goodbye. I was puzzled by this because, again, I assumed she was on my side regarding the time-traveling lock debacle. And her silent stewing in my car was assumed to be anger directed at directors Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton for their inability to not royally shit the continuity bed.

I walked to her door and knocked, thinking only to calm my date down from her ledge and explain that, from here on out, we would only watch films set in modern times, lest the appearance of an errant LCN 1461 door closer or Medeco biaxial mortise cylinder ruin the film for both of us.

Then I saw…it. “Securing” her door…was a Gatehouse knob.

My first instinct was to simultaneously scream and vomit, but I suppressed both urges. I had been gravely mistaken. This woman was no fan of the lock, not if she used a Gatehouse; a piece of garbage I wouldn’t throw on a doll’s residence. While I wanted to simply walk away, I realized I was doing no favors to a fellow human being if I did that without showing her how vulnerable her flimsy lock left her. So, even though I knew things weren’t to be romantically, I knelt down, pulled out my pick set, and opened her door.

This was to be the second time in the evening that expectation didn’t jibe with reality. Instead of being hailed for taking the time to show her how easily her locks could be breached, my date began screaming hysterically and throwing heavy items at me while frantically typing upon her iPhone (almost assuredly not to browse, am I right?).

Seeing my intent had been lost, I calmly explained, “I’m not here to rape you! I simply wanted to make it abundantly clear that, given the intent, you easily could be raped!”. But my words must have been received as a mixed message, because she screamed even more loudly while sprinting to the kitchen to retrieve a knife.

Dejected that a woman whose lock knowledge had, not 30 minutes ago, seemed so assured, only to have been led on yet again, I let myself out. As I drove off into the night, the sound of sirens behind me served as a comfort; a metaphor that I had dodged a potential danger in the form of the affections of a lock ignoramus. But the question remained: Why was my career, my passion, so disgusting to her?

Help me, people, because I just can’t see it.

John Papageorgiou

John hosts a long running comedy radio show titled Papa's Basement. He also performs standup and improv and drummed once for a Unitarian church.

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