New: Puzzle Hunts are Everywhere, but not in my apartment

Another thrilling tale of behind-the-scenes Game Control action from yesterday's YABA 2005 game...

Registration was done. Teams had their first batch of clues and were spread out on a lawn, solving like mad. But Game Control's work was not done. We had to set up the clue hub with the second batch of clues. I.e., we had to get me and a big box of clues over to a cafe. Also, we had to pick up food for the after party. I.e., we needed some people to scramble through CostCo, picking up food.

And thus I was soon hopping out of a van double-parked in front of my apartment building. Inside the van: Alexandra Dixon the hunt organizer plus Curtis and Dee Ann of Team Snout. I hear tell that Dee Ann has the logistical skills to make a tablefull of food appear under any circumstances. Nor storm nor sleet nor 24-hour games could prevent her from moving men and materiel into place to set up a great game after-party. The only thing slowing this crew down: they were waiting for me to retrieve a backpack from my apartment.

So I jogged upstairs, unlocked my door, turned the knob, stepped forward--and bumped into my door. When I turned the knob--it hadn't engaged with any locking mechanism. It was spun freely. Thinking back a few seconds--when I'd turned my key, I hadn't heard the deadbolt disengage. Uh-oh. I don't know if you've been trained as an engineer, so you might not understand the terms used to describe the techniques I brought to bear against my door knob: rattling, hitting, jiggling, jerking, cussing, cussing louder. Finally, I thought to try my key again, pushing against the door at the same time. The door opened.

I stepped in, wondering what was wrong with my lock--and noticed that some things in my apartment had been moved. Had someone broken into my apartment? Was some burglar in my apartment right now? At this point I simultaneously attempted to look behind my doork, look behind myself, look all around, jump forward, jump backward, and spin around. This maneuver convinced me that there was no burglar in my apartment. Not that I'd succeeded in looking around--but any burglar would have burst out laughing my spastic flailing of limbs.

So I looked around. What was going on here? I listened. It was quiet. Too quiet. No, really, it was too quiet. Why didn't I hear my kitchen sink faucet dripping?

Oh, a plumber must have come in to fix my faucet. I guess he hadn't bothered to obey that law about giving 24 hours notice before entering someone's apartment. But at least I wasn't about to get hit on the head by a burglar.

Suddenly, I needed to use the restroom. You've probably heard that people have this reaction when they listen to a dripping faucet; apparently they also have this reaction when listening to the lack of a dripping faucet. A skeptic might guess that this was just a post-stress reaction thingy. Whatever.

There were still folks waiting for me in the van--folks on a mission. I needed to act swiftly. I stepped into my dark bathroom, dropped trou, turned, sat--sat in the toilet bowl. That plumber had broken into my apartment, used my toilet, and left the seat up.

So it was a little while longer before I eventually made my way back downstairs with my backpack.

Labels: ,

Posted 2005-10-16