2 Dudes on 1 Balcony With No Clue

Okay. I’m feeling surly today, which means this post may have a bit of profanity, so don’t say I didn’t warn you fuckers.

Why so surly, you might ask? Well, for starters, it’s only my second day back from the longest family vacation I’ve ever taken (10 days), so I’m totally behind and still a bit tired to boot. Plus, I’m about to relay an embarrassing story that happened on said vacation which will reveal me to be the incompetent fool that I really am. And this has me most upset.

Still, let’s get started, shall we?

Caroline, the kids and I were enjoying a wonderful day at our friends’ beach house, another Knoxville family that was also vacationing on Hilton Head Island. It was one of those out-of-nowhere days where everything was going our way and much spontaneity ensued. There may have even been a blender involved. Hard to say.

Regardless, the kids were all having a blast and it was slipping on toward evening when Caroline decided that she wanted to extend our visit. This meant she didn’t want to ride the bikes we’d ridden over back to our place, but instead wanted to drive home later. And this meant that I had to either (a) ride a bike back by myself to retrieve her car or (b) have my buddy drive me to our place in his car.

I chose (b).

Once at the condo, my friend and I went upstairs to retrieve Caroline’s keys which is precisely when the prospect of relaxing atop the balcony overlooking the beach proved too much to pass up. So there we sat, basking in the vibe of a lazy afternoon,  just industrious enough, however, to shoot the shit about any number of things, including the 110-pound man walking a big-ass poodle with a poofy haircut.

The poodle. Pretty sure the man was bald, but whatever.

We both agreed (despite the fact neither of us is partial to poodles) that the dog was “pretty.” I then made an obscure Opie Taylor reference, as it was once believed that the dog actually belonged to Ron Howard, but I don’t think anyone believes that anymore. I mean, I know I don’t since I saw the aforementioned skinny bald guy walking it several times during the week. But who knows? Maybe that’s Ron Howard’s personal dog walker. It really doesn’t matter because once you start debating whether or not a slight man walking an enormous poodle is actually a celebrity dog-whisperer, the conversation’s pretty much run its course, don’t you think?

I do.

So we got up to abandon our perch which is when I saw this:

Not the smudges on the door. The fact that it’s closed.

This is the part of the story where I tell you that NOTHING delighted the triplets on this past vacation as much as fucking with the lock on the sliding glass door.

Wait. Surely not, right?

Wrong. My friend and I were locked out.

But that’s why cell phones were invented, right? To give a coupla dipshits the ability to call their wives and meekly announce that they’d been unable to complete the simple task of retrieving a car and had instead managed to lock themselves out on a third-story balcony shortly after admiring a dog that may or may not belong to Ron Howard, right?

Only neither of us had our cells phones on us.

Oddly, this exact scenario had come up the night before when Caroline and I were discussing this hysterical door-locking business in general and what we’d do if we were ever to fall prey to the triplets’ hilarity in specific. Caroline concluded that we’d simply sleep out there and wait for the kids to wake up so they could let us back in.

Anyway, my friend and I didn’t have that option, because, you know, my kids weren’t inside sleeping. Nor were they even inside for that matter, so there was that. After fully embracing the situation for what it was, and after, you know, uttering the word fuck a coupla dozen times, my friend and I did the only thing we could possibly do. Appeal to a stranger for help.

“You did what?” the man in his 40s asked from the boardwalk below.

“Locked ourselves out. Would you mind coming in and unlocking us?”

“But I’m not staying there, so I don’t have a key. Isn’t it a secured entrance?”

“Well, yes, but maybe you could just buzz any and every unit till someone lets you in. Then just zip up to our unit, come inside, and let us back in. Boom. Done.”

He didn’t like it, but he decided to help anyway. Fifteen minutes later he was once again standing beneath us on the boardwalk.

“Sorry, but your front door was locked.”

Of course it was.

“Do you have a cell phone on you?”

Clearly put off, the man said he didn’t, but that he could retrieve his, though only after he got his family situated (where he needed to situate them, I’m uncertain), so it’d be a “while.” I’m pretty sure this was a soft no, but I was in a hard spot, so, naturally, I said:

“Great! We’ll be right here,” as if taking my candy ass anywhere else were actually an option. Just as the man left, I realized that a cell phone wouldn’t do us any good. Because I had locked the keys inside. I mean, even once we contacted Caroline, it wasn’t as if she’d be able to let us in. She’d be in the same boat, too — locked out — only with more mobility. And a shittier view.

Which meant, we had no choice, y’all. To gain access, we had to break the window above the kitchen sink, then crawl in. So we surveyed the blunt options at our disposal, wondering which would be the best for breaking a window.

Option one: a stone bunny rabbit.

And honestly, it wasn’t a bad option. The only problem was that it wasn’t very large. And I was worried about slicing my hands. So we looked for something larger and considered the legs of this table:

But throwing a table through a window seemed a little…Charlie Sheen-y for our tastes, so we kept looking. Which is when we found the perfect weapon of, um, glass destruction. (Oh my.)

The pelican. I held it by its base with my right hand and grabbed its back with my left as I pointed its head toward the window and before you could say this is a really, really bad idea I’d shattered the window into a million tiny pieces.

It was just after that our annoyed friend showed up shouting from below that he had his phone.

“It’s cool, we don’t need your help anymore,” I said matter of factly. “We went ahead and busted the window.”

After we cleaned the mess, I called my wife to tell her what had happened. Her two word assessment of my story?

“You’re lying.”

“I wish I were, honey. Want me to text pictures as proof?”

“I really have to hang up right now.” Which she did. Immediately.

We discussed the matter later that evening, and Caroline admitted that she didn’t have any way to get in either, though she did say that she wouldn’t have broken the window. That she would have waited for the (annoyed yet) benevolent stranger and his phone so that he could have called her.

“What would you have done?” I said. “You just admitted you didn’t have a way to get me back in.”

“I would have called J. She’s got a key.”

J is the woman who cleans the place after each trip, and she does, indeed, have a key. And I must confess — J never crossed my mind, but even if she had, no telling how long it would have taken for her to drop everything and get over there. It could have been hours. And sometimes, my friends, you just gotta bust out a window and get the fuck on with it.

We took care of the window the very next morning as evidenced by the photo below. A guy came over and boarded it up till the replacement pane came in.

And, yeah, it looks bad. And it might have been kinda drastic, but I stand by our decision. It had to be done. No regrets.

Well, until I told my mother-in-law (who owns the condo with another couple) what had happened.

She wasn’t mad at all. In fact, she was glad I didn’t cut myself during the whole debacle. But she did have one simple question for me:

“Why didn’t you just use the hide-a-key? It’s hanging from a hook on the underside of that shelf beneath the window.”

Simple: because I’m a dipshit.

Oh shut up. Caroline didn’t know about the key, either. And seriously, like you wouldn’t have busted out the window with the pelican.


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About john cave osborne

John Cave Osborne is a writer whose work has appeared on such sites as DisneyBaby, Babble, YahooShine, TLC and the Huffington Post. He was also referenced by Jezebel one time, but he’s pretty sure they were making fun of him. He and his wife, Caroline, live with their five children and spastic dog in Knoxville, TN. Nothing annoys him more than joke-heavy bios written in the third person, with the possible exception of Corey Feldman.

  • Roo Ciambriello

    If you both stripped yourselves of your clothes and tied those clothes end to end, would it have made a long enough rope to shimmy your way down?

    I’m pretty sure that’s what MacGyver would have done.

    RIP Pelican.

    • http://johncaveosborne.com John Cave Osborne

      solid take. no question. sadly, we were both clad in only bathing suits. not another stitch on there. (would macGyver have gone commando to get it done?) also, the pelican is alive and well, my friend. alive and well, indeed. thanks for stopping by…

  • http://raisedbymydaughter.blogspot.com/ neal call

    Epic. No story should be told that does not include breaking into your own home.

    • http://johncaveosborne.com John Cave Osborne

      or decorative penguins that double as battering rams.

  • Miss A

    Ha ha haha haha!!! Thank you for my first laugh in four days! I needed it! Loved the entire story. Please get it published. It’s gold!

    • http://johncaveosborne.com John Cave Osborne

      i’m proud to give you your first laugh in 4 days, my lovely friend. thanks for the note. glad this tickled your funny bone.

  • http://anonymiserability.wordpress.com/ Jenn

    You just made my day seem a whole lot better all of a sudden. So, thanks for that. :)
    Sorry you’re feeling surly, though!

    • http://johncaveosborne.com John Cave Osborne

      Jenn — happy to help! and don’t worry, i’m not feeling surly anymore. thanks for stopping by.

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  • Kristin

    Awesome post, JCO. Love it! And I totally would have busted out the window too. Of course there’s a long history of sanctioned window-busting in my family – like the time my parents had garage door openers installed and when I arrived at the house with my family and my parents were gone overnight, I called my father and he said, “You know there’s a key in the gara…oh shit.” Because you can’t open the garage doors without the openers, which were in the cars, one of which was in the garage, the other of which was in another state. My mother told me to break the window in the side door of the garage so I could get the key, still hidden in the same place it was when I was a kid.

    I now have a key to their house on my key ring at all times…even though they live in Connecticut and I live in Kansas.

    • http://johncaveosborne.com John Cave Osborne

      i gotta tell you — that comment just totally made my day. “sanctioned window-busting” is the best phrase i have ever, ever heard.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tommyriles Tommy Riles

    That’s hilarious. What a strange situation that will probably never happen again. BTW..that’s fantastic that you got to take a 10 DAY VACATION!

    • http://johncaveosborne.com John Cave Osborne

      i hear you. if it makes you feel any better, a good portion was spend working. and, yes, i’m hoping that situation never happens again! (i just got the bill)

  • Joel Brens

    This falls under the category of “So rediculous it has to be true” Whata great story JCO!