Monday, October 19, 2015

An Alarming Price

Back in the ’70’s, when I was a kid, burglar alarms were not that sophisticated. They were quite easily defeated—although, I would know nothing about that, of course! At least nothing I’ll admit! But burglar alarms back then had another flaw and that was, they went off without much of a reason. This I did seem to learn about.

We lived a block away from a locksmith store and as you can expect, the owner of the business had an alarm. One day, quite by accident, I discovered that bumping into the picture window would set off the alarm. I wasn’t sure though, if it was the noise or the vibration that had set it off. Obviously, I was nowhere to be seen when the cops showed up and after checking things out once the owner had arrived, they all went on their way.

The next day, I decided to see just what had triggered the alarm, the noise, or the vibration. It took only a few minutes to learn it was the vibration from the partially loose, and rattling glass. I should have known this, I guess, since car horns or sirens had never set it off but hey, I was a kid! Anyway, I found that if I tossed small branches at the window, the alarm would sound. Yay!

Being a kid, a troublesome and mischievous kid, I made it a point to set off the alarm once or twice a week—just because. It must have driven the storeowner a little nuts to have to continually respond to these false alarms. I’m sure the police weren’t too happy either. Thankfully, I never got caught. Not sure what would have happened, after all, I hadn’t broken in or anything but they might have had some sort of punishment for being a nuisance—like tell my dad or something!

We moved from that house a few months later so my prank had to come to an end. And although the locksmith hadn’t known who to blame, the sudden halt to the problem coinciding with me being gone most likely wasn’t too hard to put together. I imagine he was probably happy to see me go, as were the police. Which was good, happy people tend to forget things!

I hadn’t thought much about it myself until a few years ago when I was in need of a key. This was an old key that couldn’t be copied due to its deteriorated and twisted condition—and the serial number was missing. Every place I visited in town told me the same thing; the only one around who could help me was the guy at the store I used to live by. People tell me I haven’t changed that much, but I wasn’t too worried about returning, this was thirty years later, after all. He couldn’t possibly know me all these years later, could he? So, I paid him a visit.

When I walked in, the guy didn’t appear to recognize me and I didn’t offer to remind him; just handed him the key and told him what I needed. He didn’t talk much as he went to work and whatever small worries of him suddenly remembering who I was dissipated. In a few short minutes, I had my key. We tried it and it worked.

Then, it came time to pay. And by pay, I mean PAY. A lot. I know the guy did what no other locksmith would even try but at nearly $40.00 for a single key, with no chip or anything, the cost was bordering on the edge of insane. I did paid him, since I already had the key but I left wondering if the guy’s prices were actually that outrageous or if he had recognized me after all and I was paying for something more than a key! ~

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook and paperback on iTunes, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords.  Amazon Profile - Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.


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