Thursday, October 3, 2019

A Key Takeaway

This gnarly yellow safety cabinet is not much to look at, I realize. But y’all, BLOOD AND THUNDER IS COURSING THROUGH MY VEINS.

The cabinet belongs to the jewelry and small metals division at the Dallas Makerspace (where I office most days of the week) and they needed a key made for it. Your favorite red-hatted junior locksmith took up the challenge, but I quickly realized that I was out of my depth (didn’t have the right key blank, didn’t want to order a box of 50), and dutifully took the lever handle over to the local locksmith’s shop, where they promised me they could make a new key within the next day or so.

Which became a week.

Which became a real imposition.

Which became me going over there to hear how the lock must have a broken wafer, cuz they’d ruined five keys and still couldn’t do it.

So I said, “all right, I’ll take just the blanks then.” (Which apparently were free, because I ceased to exist for the employees as soon as said blanks were on the counter.)

And I worked at it for an hour this afternoon – blackening the key blade, grinding it back and forth in the lock, looking under the pocket-microscope for tiny telltale wafer-notches, filing those down, blackening again, grinding again, microscoping again, wash rinse repeat, telling myself all the while that there was NO way this was going to work, because the actual real pro guys had tried and couldn’t do it.

I was so het up I forgot to take a picture of the actual key impressioning process. But here's the gear from the forensic locksmithing class I ran last night, so this post will still look all technical and impressive.
And it didn’t work, all right… until about the 400th blister-inducing attempt, when suddenly it did.

The key turned. The lever turned. This nasty old rusty cabinet, which probably dates from the Watergate break-in, does NOT now need 60 days and $60 for a manufacturer replacement, because my happy ass just rectified that shit with a divinely ignorant fierceness.

And yes, I’m bragging online, because that’s what we do. But I am also here to tell you, just in case you needed to hear it, that it is the easiest thing in the entire world to talk yourself out of trying something.

But what would happen if you did?

What would you feel like if you actually popped the hood, cracked the cover, picked up a pencil, asked somebody out, applied for an unbelievably fabulous new gig… and it WORKED?

Current research indicates that it feels like power-washing a slaughterhouse while screaming F-14s seed-bomb the rainforests back to life and the Statue of Liberty lap-dances on the Lincoln Memorial, but more data is needed. So try a brazen and outrageous thing today and see what ‘unlocks’ for you!