Sunday, January 6, 2013


Frank was tired and wanted to go home. After this one last call, his rounds would be over.             Being a locksmith may not have been glorious work, but it was something he was definitely proud of.
            Today, however, had been going especially long. Accidentally dropping and breaking his glasses after lunch wasn’t helping it go much faster.
            He checked the work order again. 
            “Here it is,” he said to himself as he parked the van, “681 Butler Street.”
            Frank turned off the van, grabbed his tools, and headed for the front door.
            A woman wearing a long coat was standing in front, holding a bag of groceries in one hand. In her other hand was a cell phone into which she was talking hostilely to the person on the other end.
            Or so Frank assumed. She was speaking in Spanish, or possibly Portuguese or Italian. All three were languages he couldn’t speak. Being a poker fan, he decided to play the odds.
            “Me abray porta,” Frank said in his best possible Spanish.
            The woman froze and stared at him. At a lanky six-foot-six, Frank was used to this sort of reaction.
            He tried repeating himself to no avail. Giving up, he pulled out his tools and started working on the door.
            As soon as he started she resumed her conversation. A moment later she hung up, then started yelling even more hysterically into the phone.
            Frank just rolled his eyes and continued on his work.
            Just as he was working on the last tumbler, he heard sirens off in the distance. It didn’t surprise him in this part of town. As he finally got the lock to pop, he heard the noises coming very close.
            He was reaching down to open the door when the police car screeched to a halt out front. Instantly, the officers were out of the car, weapons drawn.
            “Police!” one of the officers shouted. “Drop your tools! Put your hands—Frank?” the officer who was shouting suddenly asked. Both officers lowered their weapons.
            “Joey?” Frank asked. “That you?”
            “Yeah,” the officer started. “We got a call about a break-in. And here we find you.”
            “Me?” Frank said in astonishment. “But I’m on a call here. Look, let me show you the work order.”
            Slowly, he reached into his pocket, and handed the officer his work order.
            Joey looked it over, then started laughing. He showed it to the other officer, who in turn started chuckling.
            “Where you supposed to be at again?” Joey asked. “And don’t you wear glasses?”
            “681 Butler Street,” Frank said. “And I broke my glasses this afternoon. Now what’s going on.”
            Joey just shook his head. Meanwhile, his partner started speaking to the woman in Spanish, who looked at Frank, then started laughing as well.
            “Ya know, Frank,” began Joey, “It’s a good thing we know you. And maybe you should carry a back up pair of specs.”
            “What are you talking about?” Frank said.
            “This order is for 537 Butler street,” said Joey.

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