For your entertainment: laugh along with me

What, you ask, is that photo you see to the right? It’s a picture of the door knob that just got replaced at my house and the key I broke off in that lock at approximately 4:15 a.m. on January 4, 2012. 

I arrived home at the early hour on Wednesday morning after wrapping up Radio Iowa’s coverage of the 2012 Iowa Caucuses, held on Tuesday, January 3, 2012.  I drove in my garage, took the keys out of the ignition and made my way to the door that leads from my garage into the house.  As you can tell from the photo, I snapped the key off in the lock.  By 4:19 a.m. I had engaged the services of a locksmith.

Luckily, after I got back in the car and turned the engine on to stay warm, it occured to me to raise the garage door and back out to wait for said locksmith in the driveway, thereby avoiding any stories about the reporter who committed suicide the morning after the Caucuses.

I must have fallen asleep (I know, hard to imagine). The poor locksmith who apparently had tried to delicately tap on the window of my car had to knock rather loudly to wake me at 4:45.  His analysis of the situation was such that the half of the key you don’t see above — the half that’s embedded inside the door knob still — could not be removed. 

At this point, you’re probably asking yourself: “Why didn’t Kay use the spare key and go in through the front door?”  Well, that spare key was tucked away in the Master Lock by the front door to allow contractors who’ve been working on my bathroom since December 13 to come and go during the day. The combination of that Master Lock is a secret to me. I have spare keys in the key jars of neighbors, too, but who wants to get a knock on the door at 4:16 a.m.?  Who would answer the door at that hour?

My locksmith was able to gain entry to my house by completely dismantling the doorknob, but he had no replacement knobs in his kit.  I was able to sleep for approximately 25 minutes, then, before my first “hit” of the morning on a Radio Iowa station.  Then it was on to Michele Bachmann’s announcement, where a reporter colleague, upon hearing my key tale and getting the in-person look at the half-key that was still attached to my key ring, quipped: “Wow, you must have had a little bit too much caffeine last night.”

Just moments ago on this Thursday afternoon, then, my trusty locksmith has returned to Casa Henderson and installed the new doorknob he bought for me.  The doorknob is a gift from him to me and there was no charge for the return trip, so if you ever need the services of a locksmith in Des Moines, Iowa, you are to call 24 HR LOCKOUTS at 515.282.3699.

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.


  1. Nancy Heather Brown says

    This is such a good metaphor for the caucus and the nation…
    The Republican caucus win was split 50-50, and so was your key.
    Who will unlock the hearts and minds of the voters?
    This nation is split between Rep and Dem.
    Neither half of the key will open the door.
    Was the lock ‘half full’ or ‘half empty’? Doesn’t matter because it was disfunctional.

    Anyway, hope you can rest easy now.