how to throw a killer picnic

I am not quite sure why, but not only has the path to homeownership been rocky, but the first couple weeks have been no cake walk either.

Enter last Tuesday. I was gearing up for a late-summer picnic. My picnic date continued to  try and get me to hurry up to make the most out of the upcoming picnic. Well, I hurried up alright. And I forgot my keys on the kitchen counter.

Now, it's always important to have a backup key for your apartment, especially when nobody else has a key to your apartment. Fortunately, I had a backup key made just a couple of days ago. Unfortunately, that key was also in my apartment.

Since I now was also locked out of my office, I was depending on my cell phone to find a qualified locksmith to let me back in. A few 1-800 numbers and the threat of various $50 connection/call fees later, a locksmith was on his way. Or so I thought.

About an hour after expected, a long-haired Persian dude drove up in his sports car. At first I thought that there's no way that this guy could be a locksmith. Then I saw that the t-shirt he was putting on in the car had some sort of locksmith lingo written upon it. Note to self, be wary when the locksmith assigned to your case is carrying all his tools in his jeans' pockets. After asking him if he needed any other tools, he reluctantly grabbed a tool box out his trunk. I felt relieved. Somewhat.

Once upstairs, the Persian locksmith spent about an hour trying to pick my lock. He didn't succeed. Now I apparently had two choices.
1. Drill out the lock and put in a new one. Since he didn't have any of those locks with him, he was going to have to come back later to install it. Apparently, his buddy had one at home. Total cost = $250. l; his job and then have him try to pick my lock. In retrospect, his friend might havebeen a real locksmith.  Total Cost = $150.

I chose option #2, and Mr. Persian locksmith dissapeared to go on another job. Him and his buddy were coming back in an hour to finish the job. Me, I was going to now picnic in front of the apartment. Lovely.

90 minutes later, after having met all my neightbors,  I still hadn't heard from the locksmith. He went off on another job, thinking that I was going to wait around for him. No way. I hate being screwed over.

With a six-pack of beer, cheese and baguette and a brand new toothbrush; the picnic continued at the El Cabana motel on Portland's east side. Who says that you can't get a $39 hotel room in Portland? Granted, it took a little while for the lady at the reception to run her propietary background check to make sure that I hadn't priorely been involved in the drug or prostitution business in any of her properties.

Seriously, that might have been the sketchiest hotel room I've ever seen and definitely stayed in. The next day,  a real locksmith opened my door for $60. Factoring in my hotel room, I had just saved 33% on locksmith services. What's not to like about that?