The Housemate locked himself out of his bedroom tonight (we each have individual keys to our bedrooms in our house). This was actually quite a dire situation. He had not an hour earlier bought a brand new surfboard (so far he has been using a couple used boards that aren't so good for him), and he had grand plans to head out early tomorrow morning with a couple friends for a Saturday surf trip. The surfboard (his new baby!) was locked in his room. This was not just a matter of sleeping on the couch, it was a matter of ruining his perfect plan to ride his new board tomorrow (First flight seals the bond! You cannot wait!)--ruining his weekend! Our landlady, of course, has an extra key, but she lives across town, and it was fairly late. We tried calling her but got only her mailbox. It looked like we would have to find some other way into the room.
What were our options? We live on the second floor, so the window wouldn't be easy, especially since it's inconvenient to break glass (and replace it later). Breaking down the door would have been easier, but it would have a similar destruction element, having to replace the lock/door/door frame. The landlady would not be pleased. I had a fake credit card on hand (one of those sent in junk mail with "Your name here" printed along the bottom), but his door was so tight that we couldn't slip it in anywhere. That left one option: we were going to have to pick the lock.
We did not know how to pick locks. At all. I had never had cause to pick a lock before. I had heard people refer to "five pin locks", but I mean, I always thought this meant it required five pins to pick it (how do you even handle five pins?!). Sure, I've picked tons of locks in computer games before--rogues are awesome--but it's not like you ever need to understand the mechanics of lock-picking to do so. You just point and click or, at best, play a little mini game to crack it. The Housemate and I both had a sense that paper clips or hairpins would be useful for the task, but other than that we were clueless. Luckily, there's the internet. A little searching led me to this site. After skimming sections 2-4, I felt like I'd give it a try. Armed with a Swiss Army knife screwdriver and a large safety pin, I attacked the lock.
I fiddled with the pin for a while, and I changed which Swiss Army knife tool I was using twice, trying to get a better grip. Before too long, I felt the cylinder slipping, then turning some more, and then--it turned all the way! In excited disbelief, I reached for the doorknob, turned it, and FTW! The door swung open!
As the Housemate, standing by me, exclaimed "No!" in astonishment, I put my arms up in victory. What was the first thing out of my mouth? "Level 2 Rogue!" The surf trip is saved. And you know what that means for me? A whole day to myself to play Dragon Age.