This story is part of the One Thousand and One Nights of Stupidity Series, a series of stories that insult people’s intelligence. Visit this link for the premise of the story and other installments.
King Shagua loved Jane’s stories, so he wanted to hear another one.
“Here, your majesty, is a story about a man with way too many locks…” said Jane.
He turned the key in the lock and opened the door. To his horror, he saw… yet another lock.
“Another lock? What was I thinking?” He grumbled and continued to look for the key on his hula hoop. Yes, Hula hoop. Normal people used a small key chain, but he had so many keys that a Hula hoop was the only option.
Meet Gary Morrison. He was once a successful banker, with a beautiful house, a beautiful wife, two beautiful children and a beautiful dog. He was earning big and living large. All these changed after that one morning that he left the door open during breakfast. Normally that wasn’t a big deal, but his dog happened to be particularly stupid. The dog wandered off and could not find his way back.
The family was devastated. They sent out a big search team because rich people could afford that, but they couldn’t find the dog. Some people claimed that the dog stepped into a balloon and flied off, but that was never confirmed. They even checked all the boxes in the attic but did not find anything. He blamed himself. He kept on asking himself what he could’ve done.
One day, he was complaining to his friend Tommy Jefferson, another successful businessman.
“You know, I never knew that losing something can hurt so much,” said Gary with a sigh.
“Yeah, I am sorry, man,” said Tommy, “You’ve got to carefully guard what you own.”
“Is that what you’ve been doing?” asked Gary.
“Oh, of course,” said Tommy, “You’ve got to have more locks in your life.”
“Locks?” asked Gary.
“I’m a great believer in lock, and I find the harder I work, the more lock I have.” Tommy said.
“You mean, I should lock up everything I have, so I never lose them?”
“You got the idea, man,” said Tommy, “My friend Lawrence King once told me ‘Those who have succeeded at anything and don’t mention lock are kidding themselves.’ Couldn’t have said it better myself!”
“You know what? I will do that!” said Gary, “Do you know any good locksmith?”
“Yeah, just a second.” Tommy dug through his wallet and handed Gary a business card. “This is my locksmith. Call her up!”
Gary took the business card and made an appointment with the locksmith, Sheryl Temple Black. She came the next day and installed a giant lock on the door.
“But how do I know it’s a good lock?” asked the somewhat skeptical Gary.
“Oh honey,” answered the cheerful locksmith, “Good lock needs no explanation, okay?”
“I’ll give you a refund if it doesn’t work out, okay? Here’s your bill, have a nice day!”
She got in her truck and drove off before he could utter a word, but the lock did work well. It had been two weeks and no dog of his has ever wandered off again!
Of course, part of that was because he did not have a dog anymore, but it was good lock nevertheless. He started to get obsessed with locks. He would put several new ones on a door every month. And finally, when banks started going bankrupt (because of the financial crisis and because you can’t spell “bankrupt” without “bank”), he bought the building from one of the failed banks. This became his dream home.
In his mind, the bank vault was his perfect habitat. It had several locks on each door. You had to open multiple doors before you could really get inside. Each door was bullet proof and could lock out everything, even moisture. It was perfect!
But apparently his family didn’t think so. They could not stand the locks anymore. One day they all went to work and school and never came back. Some said they flied off in a balloon, but it was never confirmed. This got him mighty depressed.
Why did he still fail to keep what he loved, when he had so many locks in place? What was going on? He consistently asked himself the question. Meanwhile, he installed more locks, because he simply could not lose any more things.
Enough flashback. Let’s look at Gary now. Still opening locks? Apparently he had so many locks to open that he still wasn’t done going through all the locks while we’ve already told a good chunk of his life story. He was actually getting annoyed and frustrated himself with the locks.
Suddenly he heard a voice behind him. “Good morning, chief.”
He turned around. It was a burly man with a huge grin.
“Raul Waldo Emerson, chief,” He reached his hand out for a handshake to a confused Gary. “I am the handyman you called in to fix your drain?”
“Oh,” replied Gary, “You’ll have to wait. Door’s not open yet.”
“What’s with all the locks, chief?” asked Raul.
“Well, the locks are here to make my life better.”
“But I can see they are making your life miserable.”
“You sir, are a shallow man,” said Raul.
“Excuse me?” Gary was a little offended.
“Shallow men believe in lock. Strong men believe in cause and effect.” said Raul. “Come on, I can make your life better.”
Gary looked at the man in front of him. Yeah, this man was happy, unlike himself. Maybe he was onto something.
“So, what should I do now?” asked Gary.
“See, you got locks, chief,” said Raul, “Sure you locked some things in, but look at all that you’ve locked out! You’ve got to tear the locks down!”
“How do I do that?” asked Gary.
“Remember I said strong men believe in cause and effect? Well, you be strong now.”
Raul pulled out a sledgehammer. “Look, this is the cause.”
Raul lifted up the sledgehammer and went straight at the lock. A few blows later, he managed to smash the lock.
“That’s the effect, chief.” Raul wiped off the sweat on his forehead. “Now you try.”
Gary picked up the sledgehammer and went for the next lock. He was hesitant at first, but he started having more and more fun.
“Oh my god! I am loving this!” Gary kept going and going. He felt as if the locks on his mind had been smashed away because it was simply easier to use whatever he was already doing as the metaphor instead of thinking of another one. When he finally smashed the last lock. He had a silly grin on his face.
“Wow!” Gary cried out.
“Much better, chief?” asked Raul, with a grin.
“Hell yea! Whole lot better! I can never thank you enough!”
Gary turned and gave Raul a big hug. Raul was amused.
“Now I just got to find my wife and kids back,” said Gary, “That might be difficult though.”
“Oh, that’s easy. I already sent out my friend, who is a police officer, to look for them.”
They turned around and the family were there.
“Go to them now and talk things over with a sledgehammer,” Raul said.
“Wow, it was so easy to end the story when you have a cop out,” said King Shagua.
“Yep, exactly,” said Jane.
“I have a question,” Violet raised her hand, “Why is the family talking things over with a sledgehammer at the end? Are they tearing down their metaphorical boundaries with it?”
“Oh, no, that’s a different kind of sledgehammer. You know, Vodka, lime juice, and Sunny Delight.” Jane said.
“I do like Sunny Delight!” said Violet.
“Oh yes, sledgehammer,” said Jane, “There’s something in it for everyone.”
This story is inspired by the writing prompts on the Writing Forward blog. The blogger receives no compensation for mentioning Sunny Delight in case FCC is wondering. You may contribute random story ideas or quotes in the comments section and they just might end up in the next story.