Wednesday, April 28, 2010

All locked up:

I’m terribly sorry. This blog entry is going to get complicated.

I have been using a four-digit lock in the mens’ locker room at the fitness center. Many guys don’t bother to lock their lockers at all. I think that goes beyond trusting, and well into crazy. I want peace of mind while swimming and showering, and an unlocked locker won’t do that for me. Besides, a gang of thieves has been robbing lockers in NYC. If they come out to the burbs, my home town has to be a good target for them. I even keep my glasses locked up. Usually.

Recently I tried a simple key-lock instead of my four-digit lock, and I decided to stick with the key. The trouble with the digital lock is that when I lock it, I have to take a few seconds to randomize the digits. I may need to do that four times a visit, and one can get anxious over a good job of randomizing. The key is simpler and faster to use. As long as you have a safe place for the key.

I tied the key to my swim trunks with a secure knot. So when I come back from swimming, I’m sure to have the key. I open my locker, stash the bathing suit, take out the other key (isn’t this great? My $2.98 lock came with two keys), drape its cord around my neck, and I’m off to the steam room.

Now I have to explain what I do about lockers. The locker room has a scattering of full-height lockers, and nearly two hundred half-height lockers. The half-heights are stacked in pairs, and two of them have the same capacity as a full-height locker. When I first came to the fitness center, I would check every full-height locker to try to find an unused one. This took time, because – remember? People use lockers without locking them. I would walk to each full-height, full of hope, open it and go on to the next one.

Eventually, a clever fellow suggested that I take two half-heights when no full-height locker is free. It’s a great idea, since most of the half lockers are usually empty. I soon found I preferred this, and I always take a pair of half-height lockers. I lock the lower one, and I use the upper one for stuff that nobody would ever steal.

Now let’s get back to what happened today when I went off to the steam room, with key #2 draped around my neck. I breathed a little steam and realized that I had stashed my bathing suit in the upper, unlocked locker. That meant a thief who opened that locker and took a close look at my bathing suit (most unlikely) would find the key to the lower locker. But would this potential thief know what to do with the key? (He doesn’t read my blog, right?) Why should he assume it would fit a different locker’s lock? This thought calmed me enough to enjoy my steam bath, but I soon hurried back and locked my bathing suit in the lower locker.

Now I don’t want to put my bathing suit in the lower locker. My pants have to be there, and the bathing suit will make them wet. But I had another brainstorm, and I think I’m all set for my next visit. I will take two half-lockers that are not near each other. After I swim, I’ll put my suit in the unlocked locker. The potential thief will never be able to match the bathing suit key to my actual lock. (Since he doesn’t read my blog.)
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