Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Much Ado About Nothing Act 4, Scene 1 by William Shakespeare

Much Ado About Nothing Act 4, Scene 1

CLAUDIO: O Hero, what a Hero hadst thou been,
If half thy outward graces had been placed
About thy thoughts and counsels of thy heart!
But fare thee well, most foul, most fair! farewell,
Thou pure impiety and impious purity!
For thee I'll lock up all the gates of love,
And on my eyelids shall conjecture hang,
To turn all beauty into thoughts of harm,
And never shall it more be gracious.
--William Shakespeare

You'd think there would be all kinds of famous poems that used locks and keys as a metaphor about love, but for the life of me I couldn't find them today. Oh well. This bit from Much Ado is pretty poetic, and it does use the word lock...

I went to the ward beach group with Elizabeth on Monday. We had a good time. I brought a bunch of kites, and all the kids had fun flying them (only two flew away, and we retrieved one of those). Elizabeth crawled in the sand, played with shovel and bucket (though just holding, chewing and whacking them -- not digging), and enjoyed the surf with Mama. After pushing all our stuff back up the gigantic hill in the stroller, loaded everything into the trunk and went to unlock the Driver's side door and noticed that the end of my key was missing! Evidently, I had broken it off in the trunk lock without noticing.

I had a spare key with me (actually I had two: one in my purse, and one on the car -- I don't like being locked out and stranded), so I used that to get home, and did other things until Elizabeth went down for her afternoon nap. I called Daddy (what else does a girl do when she has car problems) and he suggested either using a coat hanger to jimmy the mechanism, or get into the trunk through the back seat and pull the emergency release handle. I picked the second option because I had no idea where the handle was, and knew I'd get frustrated fishing around with a coat hanger.

I began by yanking on various parts of the seat cushion, and found that the bottom part folded up and forward, exposing three bolts that held the back part on. My little Ikea monkey wrench wasn't strong enough to loosen the bolts, but luckily, Daddy had bought some socket wrenches with a ratcheting handle and left them in my tool bin the last time he was here. I got these out, found the right one, got the ratchet clicking in the right direction, and pulled the bolts off. Peter arrived home about this time, and helped me wiggle the seat back off of the three hooks that held the top part of it on.

Then there was still some corrugated plastic dividing the seat from the trunk, but we made short work of the pins holding that together, and we were into the trunk. Peter was a big help at this point, wrestling all the beach gear and stroller out of the trunk (it would have to happen on a day when the trunk was full, huh?), and I crawled in and pulled the handle (which was situated in a way that would have made it impossible to pull with a hanger -- even if I had known where to look).

With the trunk open, it was easy to find the lock cylinder, and disconnect it from the pole that transmits the movement to to latch. It was not so easy to remove the U shaped piece of metal that held it tight to the trunk. I pulled and wiggled it. Peter pulled and wiggled it. We tried to wedge a screwdriver in to get it off -- but nothing worked. I called a locksmith to see what they would charge to fix the lock (since I was sure they could get the piece off) and they said it would START at $185, and go up from there! I wasn't willing to pay that, so I went to the auto parts store to see if they had a special tool to get it off (Daddy says it's always cheaper to buy the right tool), but the guy there said I should just take a vice grip and maybe bang it loose with a hammer. Daddy had also left vice grips in my tool bin, so I went home and used them to yank it off.

With the cylinder out of the car, I came inside to see if I could get the piece of key out. There were several challenges. First, a couple of the spring loaded tumblers wouldn't stay in the open position to let the key through, so I had to wedge something into the recessed area where they were to keep them pushed in. I used a paperclip, and a wooden tool for shaping clay from my craft box.

Next, the key itself needed some urging to move downwards. There was a hole on the front of the lock near the top where I could see the tip of the key, and push it down with a paperclip, but the hole was so small that I couldn't get a good angle with the paperclip to push it all the way out. I managed to bend the paperclip into a gentle curve that would let me get in through the hole without running into the side or top.

Finally, there was the door at the bottom. This is the spring loaded door that keeps water out of the lock so it doesn't ice up in winter. It's easy enough to open with something like my Safety Pin of Usefulness (tm), but then the safety pin is in the way, and the key can't get out. So I had to push it open, then wedge another paperclip in from the side of the lock to hold the door open.

None of the steps I've described above is particularly difficult, but doing them all at once, when several of them are spring loaded, and you need to keep your paperclips at just the right angle, and maneuver things in a tiny space, is not so easy. I had just called Peter to come give me an extra pair of hands when I managed to shake the key loose and get it out the door!

After gloating a bit, I took it outside and reassembled everything (no mean feat in itself it remember where all those screws and bits go). Boy, when I put the lock back in the trunk, and turned the key in it, and it opened up, I was SOOOOO proud of myself! I made Peter come out and admire it for a while before I put the seat cushion back on.

So that's the story of how I saved us a couple of hundred bucks yesterday. I owe a lot of it to Daddy who supplied the tools and advice. He also taught me how to use them when I was little, and even more important, taught me that I could probably figure out how to take something apart, find the broken bit, and put it back together again. That confidence is something I hope to be able to pass on to Elizabeth as she grows up.


  1. Nice job, Karen! When I visited my friends in Palo Alto in 2006, one of them was borrowing a friend's car, and about half the key broke off in the driver's side door. They'd all tried to get it out without any luck, but using some very thin tweezers, a screwdriver, and several prayers, I finally managed to get the key bit out. I'm so glad it didn't involve disassembling the door and removing the whole locking mechanism!

  2. I have a big safety pin of usefulness too by the way.

  3. Wow, what an ordeal. I'm glad you were able to get it out.

    I once got a penny stuck in the tape player of my car (I have no idea how), and I think we used a piece of gum on a pencil to remove it. It wasn't nearly as difficult though.

  4. WOW! Well done. I loved your Safety Pin of Usefulness.

    Love, Kathey

  5. I immediately thought of the Rape of the Lock which I had to read and did not understand a word of it in 9th or 10th grade.

    Here are two significant verses of the hundred or so that make up the poem.
    This Nymph, to the Destruction of Mankind,
    Nourish'd two Locks which graceful hung behind
    In equal Curls, and well conspir'd to deck
    With shining Ringlets the smooth Iv'ry Neck.
    Love in these Labyrinths his Slaves detains,
    And mighty Hearts are held in slender Chains.
    With hairy sprindges we the Birds betray,
    Slight lines of Hair surprise the Finny Prey,
    Fair Tresses Man's Imperial Race insnare,
    And Beauty draws us with a single Hair.

    Th' Advent'rous Baron the bright Locks admir'd,
    He saw, he wish'd, and to the Prize aspir'd:
    Resolv'd to win, he meditates the way,
    By Force to ravish, or by Fraud betray;
    For when Success a Lover's Toil attends,
    Few ask, if Fraud or Force attain'd his Ends


  6. These Stay men are such a poetic lot,
    Part of their multitudinous attractions.

    Did I happen to mention how well Steve played the part of Claudio and spoke the lines you quoted in the BYU production of "Much Ado" which we are STILL WAITING for the DVD of.
    It's probably lying somewhere with that BETA version of MaryBeth's narrator in "Joseph". . . . .

  7. So I Googled POEM LOCK KEY CAR TALK thinking I would get some poem from the Car Talk site about a car lock or key or something.

    I got Karen's Blog Post which started this whole thing.

    Way to go, girl. Now you just need to WRITE a poem about it. . . .

  8. I just inquired about it last week, actually. Nobody else from the cast has received their copy either. So we'll see if it ever turns up, and if it does, you'll be the first to know.

  9. You know, I did do my homework before posting this. I googled all the combinations of "car" "key" "lock" and "poem."

    I saw the Rape of the Lock, but it's about a lock of hair, and not a lock and key. Besides which, it's purposely written as Bad Poetry, and has the whole rape thing in the title. Three strikes, you're out.

    Car talk has a few poems, though none about keys or locks.

    There are one or two modern type poems about locking the keys in the car -- though the ones I found had swearing and other bothersome stuff in them.

    There are one or two poems about love as a lock and the right person has the key, but they were either really cheesy or had very heavy sexual overtones.

    So yeah, it doesn't surprise me that my post came up at the top of the Google results. There's just not really anything else out there.


  10. I hope it was clear that I knew YOU didn't have the DVD yet, that the hold up is with the director/producer/ editor. Still, it would be nice for everyone else to see how really great you were in the play.

  11. You are so right about 'cheesy' on the lock and key love poem search. It amazes me that so many people don't seem to recognize really BAD poetry.
    Even on one Hasidic Jewish email list I'm on: the women's website has terrible poetry.