The year was 2009 and I had moved to the States, settling down in Renton, Washington. My Dutch friends, Henk and Maria, came for a visit and of course I wanted to share with them the hidden treasure I had discovered in Tacoma. We had a list of places to go, but finally we were able to make it down to Tacoma on a Monday.
Unfortunately, when we walked up to the door of Sanford and Son, it looked dark inside.
"Oh no, don't tell me they are closed!" I grasped the handle of the door just to be sure and lo and behold it opened. "Oh, it is open after all" I motioned to my husband and Henk and Maria to join me. I couldn't stop talking about how wonderful the treasure was...but I didn't want to tell them what it was..."You'll see, it is a surprise!"
"It seems rather dark in here." Maria noted.
"hmm...yes a bit dark...but come on down, you'll be amazed by what is in the basement." I was busy forging ahead down into the soul of the building.
"Is it always this quiet?" Henk asked. "No one seems to be around." My husband concurred and they spoke of leaving, but I quickly urged them to continue following me down to the basement. How excited I was for them to see the treasure hidden below.
It did seem strange that there was no one around and the place appeared darker than I remembered....but I brushed those thoughts aside. Henk and Maria were impressed with the find downstairs. However, the dead silence of the building could not be denied any longer and Henk and Maria said, "I think we need to leave."
Up through the corridors of the building we scurried. I reached the door we had entered. I grabbed the handle, only to discover we were locked in. Oh yes, you read that correctly, we were locked in. We ran around to windows and doors, but unfortunately we were most definitely locked in and the locks were such that we had no way of getting out without a key!
"Hello!!!!!! Is anyone else in here??"
Silence greeted us.
We found a card with the owner's number on it and used our cell phone to call him.
"Rrrrrriiiinnngggg" oh great- the sound was coming from a telephone in the shop itself.
All three of my companions looked at me like they wanted to kill me. I could do nothing but laugh....I do that when I'm nervous...there I was standing in a glassed in foyer, watching people walking by and there was no way to get out. So I began to yell through the door, "Help! We are locked in"
A homeless man stopped and tried the handle, it wouldn't budge. He said, "Just turn the handle on the inside."
"We tried, it won't open."
He laughed and turned away shaking his head. A man working on the street came by, and we yelled for help. He tried as he might to figure out how to get us out, but unfortunately there was no hope for escape. All this while, Henk was trying every door in the building. He found a door which appeared to be unlocked and he attempted to open it, but there was someone on the other side and she screamed, "GET OUT! How did you get in here!!"
We all ran towards the door trying to open it. "We are trapped in here- can you help us get out??"
By this time, we had called 911 to tell them of our predicament. I won't even begin to tell you about the muffled laughs we heard on the line as they were trying to get their heads around our situation.
The woman in the room yells, "I will call 911"
"I've already done that." I responded, "We aren't here to hurt you, we really want to get out!"
"I'm calling the owner." She yells.
I couldn't help the laughter that kept erupting inside of me with each new encounter. My companions were not amused by my giggles. Just about then we heard the door unlock and the lady, visibly shaken, crept out. "Okay, the owner told me where he has hidden an extra key..." She moved quickly and retrieved the key and let us out the door into the sunshine.
Just as we emerged, the police car pulled up. I quickly assured them we were fine now and thanked them for their response. They shook their heads and said, "Well, please try to stay out of locked buildings in the future." I distinctly heard laughter as they drove away.
My husband said, "Only you, Connie!! Only you could have gotten us into this mess." Yes, this is true...I have a knack for getting myself into interesting situations....but they prove to be comical memories, which I fish out from time to time so I can have a good laugh.