The Locked Door Mystery Comes to AskMe October 7, 2009 2:22 PM   Subscribe


I'm also stuck, in an airport, watching my flight get more and more delayed and this has been a welcome diversion. I'm so happy she is free!
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:24 PM on October 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


jessamyn, try jiggling in front of the airline counter and see if it helps.
posted by qvantamon at 2:32 PM on October 7, 2009 [83 favorites]


Jessamyn: maybe this time the credit card might work better...
posted by alona at 2:34 PM on October 7, 2009 [4 favorites]


She didn't have to search a dozen other rooms to assemble several puzzles to open the window and get out that way?

Lamest. Puzzle. Ever.
posted by GuyZero at 2:36 PM on October 7, 2009 [8 favorites]


I'm also stuck, in an airport, watching my flight get more and more delayed and this has been a welcome diversion.

Mention my name and things will move right along for you.
posted by gman at 2:37 PM on October 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Whatever you do to get out of an airport, jessamyn, never, never pick up a stapler.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 2:39 PM on October 7, 2009 [4 favorites]


That was pretty cool, I've been watching this and am glad birdlady got out. It was a nice community moment. I'm sure if you were near a concentration of mefites there would have been a bunch of us over there with ladders, tools, etc. and trying to shove pancakes under the door to feed you.

Hmm. "a concentration of mefites." What is the proper collective for a group of mefites? Gaggle of mefites? "I was trapped in my bedroom and a whole snark of mefites came over and rescued me!"
posted by marxchivist at 2:39 PM on October 7, 2009 [4 favorites]


Seeing as we're The Meef now, shouldn't the collective be a miffle?
posted by nebulawindphone at 2:44 PM on October 7, 2009 [3 favorites]


Thanks all, and thanks for the concern, suggestions and offers of help. Mefites are the best.

GuyZero, I would have traded Crimson Room-type puzzles for this any day!

Jessamyn, hope you're freed from the airport soon!
posted by birdlady at 2:52 PM on October 7, 2009


It's tater. A tater of MeFites.
posted by Liver at 2:57 PM on October 7, 2009 [12 favorites]


Help, I'm stuck in a cubicle every day from 9-6.
posted by desjardins at 2:58 PM on October 7, 2009 [25 favorites]


Related.
posted by haltingproblemsolved at 3:00 PM on October 7, 2009


A schmoop of mefites, maybe?

Oh duh! A meetup!
posted by Pronoiac at 3:01 PM on October 7, 2009


All that and no call for Freebird(lady)?
posted by gingerbeer at 3:02 PM on October 7, 2009 [3 favorites]


Heh. Glad you got out. I'm so cynical I thought it was a hoax at first!
posted by Burhanistan at 3:03 PM on October 7, 2009


things shmegegge hates about locks

-they get stuck

things shmegegge loves about locks

-sometimes, "just jiggle it" is honestly the best way to fix it.
posted by shmegegge at 3:05 PM on October 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


Definitely "a snark of mefites."
posted by CunningLinguist at 3:06 PM on October 7, 2009 [5 favorites]


That was fun. Well, more for me than for birdlady.
posted by craven_morhead at 3:13 PM on October 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


I need help. It is pitch black. I am likely to be eaten by a grue.
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:14 PM on October 7, 2009 [13 favorites]


I was about this close to finding out where birdlady was and calling Mr. F's dad, who's a locksmith in South Florida, to bust her out. Glad it wasn't needed!
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 3:17 PM on October 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Astro Zombie: "I need help. It is pitch black. I am likely to be eaten by a grue."

> LIGHT LANTERN_
posted by boo_radley at 3:25 PM on October 7, 2009 [4 favorites]


"A beanplate of MeFites"?
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:27 PM on October 7, 2009


What lantern?
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:33 PM on October 7, 2009 [6 favorites]


> LIGHT BRASS LANTERN _
posted by boo_radley at 3:34 PM on October 7, 2009 [9 favorites]


AskMe is awesome at helping people get out of and into things. You guys found my keys and helped me open a bottle of Vodka once.
posted by iamkimiam at 3:36 PM on October 7, 2009


All right, I have the brass lantern lit. Now what?
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:37 PM on October 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


> open sack
> get lunch from sack
> eat lunch
posted by demiurge at 3:37 PM on October 7, 2009


I ate the lunch, but I'm still stuck in this room with a lit brass lantern.

That is NOT a best answer.
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:39 PM on October 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


If she'd decided to ask three days ago why her cat only purrs when her cheating boyfriend leaves zucchini on the kitchen counter for a week, birdlady would still be locked in her room.
posted by longsleeves at 3:41 PM on October 7, 2009 [8 favorites]


Help! I STILL don't know what a tater is!

this will not stand
posted by CunningLinguist at 3:43 PM on October 7, 2009


> GO EAST, THEN GO UP THE LADDER
> PUT DIAMOND AND TORCH IN BASKET
> ADMIRE COLLECTED WORKS OF DAVID MAMET_

posted by boo_radley at 3:44 PM on October 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


All right, I have the brass lantern lit. Now what?

> DRINK BRASS MONKEY_
> ROCK WELL_
> ENTER CASTLE IN BROOKLN_
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:45 PM on October 7, 2009 [11 favorites]


I got stuck on Oleanna.
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:46 PM on October 7, 2009


That was a funky monkey.
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:46 PM on October 7, 2009


> USE HAMMER ON BALLS_
posted by boo_radley at 3:55 PM on October 7, 2009 [3 favorites]


Ouch.
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:57 PM on October 7, 2009


She's out? Hooray!

That seriously makes me feel a little bit better about a really crappy day.
posted by JoanArkham at 4:30 PM on October 7, 2009


> CLICK FAVORITE BUTTON_
posted by dersins at 4:32 PM on October 7, 2009 [3 favorites]


> USE HAMMER ON BALLS_
posted by flabdablet at 4:39 PM on October 7, 2009


> USE HAMMER ON BALLS_
posted by flabdablet at 4:41 PM on October 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


> USE HAMMER ON BALLS_
posted by flabdablet at 4:41 PM on October 7, 2009


> USE HAMMER ON BALLS_
posted by flabdablet at 4:41 PM on October 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


> USE HAMMER ON BALLS_
posted by flabdablet at 4:41 PM on October 7, 2009


> _
posted by MysteriousMan at 4:44 PM on October 7, 2009


>PLEASE HAMMER DON'T HURT 'EM_
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:48 PM on October 7, 2009 [12 favorites]


It is dark gray. You are likely to be eaten by a flameout.

> wait
Time passes.

It is light gray. You are likely to be eaten by a flameout.

The text becomes more difficult to see.

> wait
Time passes.

It is pale pink. You are likely to be eaten by a flameout.

Your head begins to hurt.

> make it stop

It is dark gray. You are likely to be eaten by a flameout.

> _

posted by haltingproblemsolved at 5:04 PM on October 7, 2009 [16 favorites]


Oh yeah, I also think that AskMe should be side-barred.
posted by Liver at 5:23 PM on October 7, 2009


Do you think it is ok to eat the tuna sandwich that was left on the kitchen counter the whole time?
posted by R. Mutt at 5:29 PM on October 7, 2009


Hey, while you're all here, I'm stuck in the bathroom without any TP! Any suggestions?
posted by not_on_display at 5:35 PM on October 7, 2009


Jiggle it.
posted by dersins at 5:36 PM on October 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


... just a little bit.
posted by Pronoiac at 5:41 PM on October 7, 2009


Get jiggy with it? Is that the moral?
posted by JanetLand at 5:42 PM on October 7, 2009


Hey, while you're all here, I'm stuck in the bathroom without any TP! Any suggestions?

You can try to slide a credit card through the crack, and... well, you see where this is going.
posted by qvantamon at 5:47 PM on October 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


To prove you're a man, you must wipe wit yo hand. Then everyone will know that you've been stranded...stranded on the toilet bowl. What do you do when you're stranded? No paper on the roll?
posted by ColdChef at 5:56 PM on October 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


OMG I loved this.
posted by The Whelk at 5:58 PM on October 7, 2009


A jiggle of mefites?
posted by rtha at 5:59 PM on October 7, 2009


Also, jessamyn, if the airport is sfo, you know we will come get you so you don't have to spend the night there. Yorvit misses you!
posted by rtha at 6:01 PM on October 7, 2009


"I'm sure if you were near a concentration of mefites there would have been a bunch of us over there with ladders, tools, etc. and trying to shove pancakes under the door to feed you."

We'd all be on her front lawn arguing about which end of the ladder goes up.
posted by klangklangston at 6:02 PM on October 7, 2009 [3 favorites]


"> LIGHT BRASS LANTERN _"

This is why we have blink things.
posted by klangklangston at 6:03 PM on October 7, 2009


The middle. It's way more stable than either of those ends.
posted by nebulawindphone at 6:04 PM on October 7, 2009


"You don't have to put either end up! That's a false dichotomy!"
posted by klangklangston at 6:18 PM on October 7, 2009 [5 favorites]


ladybird johnson
posted by grobstein at 6:26 PM on October 7, 2009


AskMe is the most shenanigan susceptible environment I have encountered since HardForums circa 2000.
posted by fire&wings at 6:43 PM on October 7, 2009


Wow. I've actually had that happen to me. I wound up calling the fire department, and the volunteer who showed up happened to be a locksmith for his day job and got me out. I then had to buy a new knob fixture. I was really freaked out.
posted by Karmakaze at 6:54 PM on October 7, 2009


We'd all be on her front lawn arguing about which end of the ladder goes up.

... while others scream at the neighbour's Halloween scarecrow until they're blue in the face.
posted by CKmtl at 6:57 PM on October 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


The moral of the story is that you should never be without internet access.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:00 PM on October 7, 2009 [10 favorites]


We'd all be on her front lawn arguing about which end of the ladder goes up.

Nah. How do we even know she's even really there? And how do we know she's not there for a reason? Do we really want to let her out?

There's a lot of questioning the premises that has to go on before we start discussing solutions.
posted by qvantamon at 7:08 PM on October 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


I can't believe there are still people that do not have a good sharp axe in their bedroom.
WAKE UP PEOPLE!!
posted by Iron Rat at 7:21 PM on October 7, 2009


There, that's better.
posted by potch at 7:23 PM on October 7, 2009


I was going to suggest that she use her 9mm that she has next to the bed for safety and to scare away the freaky noises, but alas, not everyone has one of those. If you have one and decide to use it, look out for the ricochet.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 7:29 PM on October 7, 2009


Wow, the power of the internet…to tell you to jiggle a stuck door lock.

Next week on AskMe: the toilet bowl that won't quit making that running water noise! What do I do! Help me Obi-wan Kenobi, you're my only hope!
posted by paisley henosis at 8:06 PM on October 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Once again, a clear and specific question posted to AskMe elicits 100+ answers, and a a self-congratulatory Metatalk thread, none of which is particularly useful in solving the original problem, in the end. Moral of the story: Random jiggling is a better course of action than asking random Internet strangers for better ideas.
posted by paulsc at 8:11 PM on October 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Hey, you go jiggle it then, buddy.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:17 PM on October 7, 2009


Once again, a clear and specific question posted to AskMe elicits 100+ answers, and a a self-congratulatory Metatalk thread, none of which is particularly useful in solving the original problem, in the end. Moral of the story: Random jiggling is a better course of action than asking random Internet strangers for better ideas.

Says the guy with 3000+ AskMe answers...
posted by runningwithscissors at 8:21 PM on October 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


I am prepared to lobby strongly in favour of "a snark of mefites".

Say it out loud. It works.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:26 PM on October 7, 2009


Moral of the story: Random jiggling is a better course of action than asking random Internet strangers for better ideas.

Whatever, dude. You're just pissed because the plane took off.
posted by dersins at 8:56 PM on October 7, 2009 [6 favorites]


Q: Help! I'm stuck in my bedroom. The knob won't turn much either way and won't come unlatched...Anyone have any advice to help me get out of my room?

A: Read this instructive how-to guide. It will teach you all you need to know about coping with Involuntary Room Entrapment Syndrome. And don't feel embarrassed; doctors estimate that one person in four will suffer from IRES at some point in their life.
posted by dgaicun at 9:06 PM on October 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


The moral of the story is that you should never be without internet access

No. The moral of the story is that you should sleep, as I do, with a sawn-off 12 bore loaded with #4 shot under your pillow. Jiggle a credit card, nail polish on the hinge bolts—I mean really.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 9:10 PM on October 7, 2009


Will the collective noun for MeFi users make it into the next edition of Exaltation of Larks? And if so, what will it be? Tune in next week on Inside the Actor's Studio to find out.
posted by zachlipton at 10:14 PM on October 7, 2009


She held up well. I would be getting very twitchy if I was locked in my bedroom for an hour with the stomach flu having no idea when I would get out.
posted by whoaali at 10:18 PM on October 7, 2009


Jiggle it.
posted by dersins at 5:36 PM on October 7 [1 favorite +] [!]


... just a little bit.
posted by Pronoiac at 5:41 PM on October 7 [+] [!]


Yo, who Young Leek be?
posted by drjimmy11 at 10:32 PM on October 7, 2009


AZ et al, that brass lantern bit had me crying with laughter.
posted by mwhybark at 10:48 PM on October 7, 2009


FIX ME
posted by granted at 11:21 PM on October 7, 2009 [4 favorites]


I locked myself in my car once.

"What? How?" you ask. Well, let me tell you...

It was an old '64 1/2 Mustang – a beautiful disaster, and money pit. I was in High School and my dad and I took on this project of re-upholstering the whole interior with this kit I saved up for and bought through a re-manufactured parts catalog. After a blister-inducing weekend of hammering at seatbacks and whatnot, we got the car back in a driveable state, with one beautifully upholstered pony interior driver's seat.

The next day, Monday, I drove to school, as usual. I found a parking spot, gathered my things and proceeded to exit the vehicle...until I found myself staring at a round ratcheted knob. Several of these knobs in fact. In our haste to get the car ready, we neglected to attach any door panels or fancy add-ons, like, oh, cranks and levers.

You know that phrase about how when you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail? This was kind of like the opposite of that. I looked around and all I saw were door knobs and window knobs and radio knobs and not a crank to turn them with. So I sat and kind of laughed at my predicament.

And, after a moment, I put down my things, put on my seatbelt and drove around the parking lot until I spotted somebody I knew. I drove right up to them, laid on the deafening horn, then hollered and waved frantically to come over and assist. Screaming through the small front vent window, I asked them if they would kindly meet me at a parking spot, and then open my door for me and let me out.

Later, I called my dad and asked him to bring me a door crank. I had left the door unlocked, spending the rest of the afternoon daydreaming that this would be the lucky day that somebody would try to steal the car. Or even better, sneak in to hotbox it during break. I didn't catch any vandals that day, but it was pretty funny nonetheless.
posted by iamkimiam at 12:29 AM on October 8, 2009 [3 favorites]


I'm just panicky because I happen to be home from work today because I am sick. The stomach flu sort of sick, if you know what I mean.

I was waiting (OK, I admit it, I was hoping) for a "How can I get shit stains out of..." follow-up question.
posted by pracowity at 2:35 AM on October 8, 2009


The moral of the story is that you should sleep, as I do, with a sawn-off 12 bore loaded with #4 shot under your pillow.

Sure, as long as it has blue tooth and wifi and allows tethering.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:39 AM on October 8, 2009


I was waiting (OK, I admit it, I was hoping) for a "How can I get shit stains out of..." follow-up question.
This time next week ...
posted by dg at 5:12 AM on October 8, 2009


What is the proper collective for a group of mefites?

A devotion of mefites.
posted by mikepop at 5:22 AM on October 8, 2009


Once again, a clear and specific question posted to AskMe elicits 100+ answers, and a a self-congratulatory Metatalk thread, none of which is particularly useful in solving the original problem, in the end. Moral of the story: Random jiggling is a better course of action than asking random Internet strangers for better ideas.

Okay. I'll bite.

Regardless of whether all or none of the ideas were useful, I for one am glad to be part of a community that has shown repeatedly to take someone's welfare and wellbeing into great consideration and are willing to offer anything to help keep that welfare and wellbeing, well, well.

If nothing else, I daresay the distraction of her AskMe post helped Ms. LB keep her cool and assisted in keeping her panic levels down enough that she was able to, despite feeling wretched, maintain enough patience and enough of a level head to, in the end, come to her own rescue.

I imagine that the MeFi community would be (and already has been) gracious enough to offer such assistance and support to just about anyone, and even to those who would consider the caring of 35+ MeFites to have been a waste of time.
posted by zizzle at 6:21 AM on October 8, 2009 [3 favorites]


What is the proper collective for a group of mefites?

A Divine Wind of mefites.
posted by mightshould at 6:55 AM on October 8, 2009


I'm gonna start a thread and enlist the community's help in getting out of my head.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 7:04 AM on October 8, 2009


I'm gonna start a thread and enlist the community's help in getting out of my head.

All it takes is a credit card and some jiggling.
posted by The Whelk at 7:07 AM on October 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


What is the proper collective for a group of mefites?

A plate.

Speaking of stuck doors; yesterday I had some contractors out installing a skylight in my living room and they managed to get their keys stuck in their truck when needing to run to the hardware store for some part.

At first I grabbed my lockpicks and then thought "No, this isn't a skill set I want random people to know about", so I opened the door with a bit of bent wire instead.

And yes, to me it's preferable that people know I can break into their car like a common criminal rather than that I can also do it like an more uncommon one.
posted by quin at 8:05 AM on October 8, 2009


I'm gonna start a thread and enlist the community's help in getting out of my head.

Have you seen Pi?
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:22 AM on October 8, 2009


I dunno... I think I preferred the Fark thread about the guys balls getting stuck in the chair.
posted by Grither at 9:29 AM on October 8, 2009


I too am not a black woman.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:58 AM on October 8, 2009


Once again, a clear and specific question posted to AskMe elicits 100+ answers, and a a self-congratulatory Metatalk thread, none of which is particularly useful in solving the original problem, in the end. Moral of the story: Random jiggling is a better course of action than asking random Internet strangers for better ideas.

Aw, come on. That's not fair. It's easy to be snarky and cynical based on the outcome, but seriously...

I jiggled and jiggled and went to AskMe after having no success. If it wasn't for the tales of MeFites, and the suggestions, I would have assumed that my time jiggling pre-question was as far as I was going to get with that tactic. The suggestions were immensely helpful. I did not anticipate that standing there, turning the knob back and forth, in and out, etc., etc., for 20 minutes was going to get my any closer to free than the first 5 minutes did. I also did not know I could call a locksmith from an interior bedroom and have him/her open my front door without any confirmation of identity beforehand, and then unlock my bedroom door. I would have called the non-emergency fire department line (and then felt stupid and guilty for wasting their time on a non-fire situation) before considering a locksmith. Common sense, maybe. To me in the moment, not really.

The advice I was given was helpful. Though some of it did not fit my situation, it might be helpful for someone else in this situation, browsing ask metafilter in the future. For instance, I did not know about door pins, or removing door pins, or anything of the sort. I'm a renter, always have been. Not a DIY sort at all. Had mine not been painted over, or if I had some helpful objects and nail polish remover in my bedroom to remove the paint and pry open, that would have been a pretty darn handy solution. Of course I will now keep a hammer on the top shelf of my closet just in case, but hopefully this will never happen again.

Thanks again to everyone who helped! Sorry (well, not really) I didn't have the follow-up stain removal question. Thankfully I got out in soon enough. I did text a friend who had little in the way of useful advice, other than to ask if I had any empty water bottles or cups in my room, in case it came to that. Luckily it did not, as that would not have been one of my finer moments. Might have made a funny story after the fact... or maybe it would have been TMI. I'll never know, now.
posted by birdlady at 8:42 PM on October 8, 2009


This may be my favorite AskMe comment, ever. :D
posted by zarq at 9:43 PM on October 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


I liked your AskMe thread, birdlady. It had just the right amount of suspense (although the stomach flu aspect made me quite stressed for you), and then, ta-da! Freedom! Yay.

Now that you are safely out, I can post this link to the episode of This American Life where the cop locks himself in his own police car. I like to think of this story when things are going a bit sideways and comfort myself that at least I am not that guy.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 11:38 AM on October 9, 2009 [2 favorites]


Jiggle it.
posted by dersins at 5:36 PM on October 7 [1 favorite +] [!]

... just a little bit.
posted by Pronoiac at 5:41 PM on October 7 [+] [!]

Yo, who Young Leek be?
posted by drjimmy11
I was actually thinking 2 in a Room.

posted by Pronoiac at 10:28 PM on October 11, 2009


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