My Monday Morning MacGyver

This summer, I'm really busy at my day job. Which means I can't take a real vacation and go to the beach, which I have been dying to do for years.You may recall I am terrified of water (sharks) and that wanting to go to the beach, or even the pool, may seem like an odd option for me. I felt like stretching my legs and working on being a grownup who is not afraid of all water bigger than a puddle. Since I had gotten the odd chance to take two days off (in a row!), I went for it. After figuring out my best pool-crashing options, I made my plans for my first day off. I had a pesky dentist appointment (just a small filling) and then I was off to meet a friend at her pool. In between the two, if I had time, I might opt to work in a mani/pedi. It's not the beach, but it's not bad.

So on Monday morning, I got up earlier than normal to make it downtown to my quick dental appointment. I had originally scheduled this so I could go before work, but getting an early start to my day isn't so bad, right? I roll into the dentist office, secure in the knowledge that this would be over quickly and I would be on my way before it started to get really, really disgusting outside. You should know that while I've never had a bad dental experience (in fact, my dentist in high school was a swell guy, even offering me his Porsche for prom), I don't like going. I really hate the drill. I think in a past life I was killed underwater, but only before living my own version of Marathon Man. It's really the only explanation that makes any sense, right?

I sat down in the chair and made chitchat with the dental hygienist chick. They are always so nice. They aren't scary at all. She gave me the numbing cream and my own spit sucker doohickey. They know I'm squeamish and always try to take good care of me. After I was topically nice and numb, the super sweet dentist came in and gave me a shot of Novocaine. I hate that needle. All of the cheek pulling and pinching - yuck. Then I waited the prerequisite 10 minutes.  My dentist came back and said, "Do you feel the tinglies?" "Not much. A little near my ear, but my mouth is normal," I replied.

In went another needle and another ten minutes passed. When she came back this time and asked about the tinglies, I said, " My mouth is fine, but my eye is feeling really weird." She told me to make sure to manually close my eye to prevent it from drying out. Then another cheek pinch and needle, and I waited some more. Now the inside of my nose was numb, the top of my throat, inner ear, eye, cheek and tongue were really numb. As the dentist started drilling, my calves started to sweat, a sure sign of stress. Less than two minutes into the drilling, I yelled out in pain, as if she had hit a nerve. Apologies all around and another needle for me.

By now, I am trying really hard not to freak out. My eye is really uncomfortable and I'm not able to control the lid or the focus at all. I can swallow, but only with the back of my throat. The top of my mouth and throat will not cooperate. The inside of my nose seems to be missing, as is my right ear. After postponing her next client, my ever patient dentist starts in again. Another two minutes in and I scream in pain. This time, I can't help but to start crying. My dentist wraps it up and tells me she isn't sure what is going on, but she can't continue. She fills in the dent she made in my tooth and gives me a hug, promising not to bill insurance for this debacle. I shuffle out to my car, where I am thankful I haven't gotten a parking ticket, as my meter ran out forty-five minutes ago.

When I get to my car, I realize my inner head is numb and that my eye won't shut. Instead of being smart and going to my office right down the street to hide until this inner-head-numbness wears off, I opt to go home and go back to bed. I discover the only way I can drive my stick shift car is to literally hold my right eye shut while driving. Who needs peripheral vision? Thank gods the interstate and tunnel were empty. Thirty minutes later, when I get home, I am so stressed/uncomfortable/mouth-hurty/full-bladdered/head numb I almost cry at the sight of my own house. I stumble out of my car to the welcome sound of my dogs barking at the window, no doubt saying, "We'll cheer you up. We love you, Mom!".

I go to the door, almost tripping up the stairs as I dig in my purse for the keys. How far into my purse could they have gotten in the short walk from my car to my house?

I finally find them and unlock the screen door. I stick the key into the bottom lock and it turns with no problem. I push the key into the dead bolt cylinder and it's like I am pushing into a cement wall. Frack me. The key won't go in, which instantly makes me remember how miserable I feel and how full-bladdered I am. I take a deep breath and push the key into the lock. Success! The key sinks in.

But it won't turn. I can't get it out, either. Not knowing what to do (and not sure if there are any good places on the outside of my fenced yard to go "make", I decide to go back to my car and call the locksmith, who is right around the corner.

I turn on the car, lowering Howard Stern (whose voice is comforting) and blasting the AC. I dial the number for the locksmith.

"Good morning! Parkville Locksmith! How can we help you?"

"Hi. Mi frunt dooh lick wunt opeh n Mm lohhd ot. K oommonn hep mi, plas?"

"I'm so sorry, hon, what? I can't understand you."

"Sore. Mm lohhd ot. I jus ha a ahh oh enta rok. I ne el."

"Oh hon, I can't understand you. Did you just come from the dentist or something? Are you locked out?"


"I can have someone there before end of day. Will that help?"

"Bu Mm lohhd ot ow. Mm n loz a ain. Cah ahnyon hep?"

"Hon, we don't have someone right now. Try putting some light silicone spray in the lock and see if it will turn. I bet that will free up the lock."

(This is what you need. Should this happen to you.)

"Bu Mm lohhd ot. I doon hav nny."

I then start to cry. I can't help it. The need to pee, lay down and stop holding my eye closed is making me consider breaking my giant front window to get in. I can't stop crying.

"I know honey. I'll rearrange the schedule and get someone there as soon as I can. Isn't there another door you can use?"

"Nah. Okeh. Fank Yu."

My sobbing is out of control and I hang up.

After a few minutes, I do what any self-respecting grown woman does. I call my Mom.

"Aii Mom" I say through mega tears.

"Are you at home? Are you ok? What's wrong? What do you need? I'll be right there."

"Mm lohhd out. I nee U D forhee. I caan see."

"You need WD-40? Are you locked out? Why can't you see? Let me change my pants and I'll be right there."

"Fanks, Muh."

Now I begin to wait. By the time my Mom changes her pants and drives down to my house, I'm looking at an hour.

I can't just sit here and listen to The Losers on Magic Johnson again, so I start to try to regain control of the situation.

Breaking a window is a stupid idea. But if I can scale the fence and get into the back yard, I could get in. So I walk towards the back gate to see if I could scale it. When I get there, I realize that it is an even more stupid idea than breaking a window. I can't scale a six foot fence. It's not that tall, but I'm not that athletic. I can't find anything to stand on in the scary in-law apartment under our house that would give me a boost, so I try to unlock the gate from the outside.

To unlock the gate, I need to somehow reach approximately one foot over the gate and three feet down to the lock, pull the lever to the right, release the lock and bingo, bango, I could be in.

As if it could ever be that easy.

I get a stick to try to beat the lock sideways, freeing the mechanism that is holding it closed, while holding my eye shut with my right hand. That lock is sticking also and I'm going to need a bigger stick. I pick a better stick that looks ripe for lock bashing and have at it.

(My stick.)

That doesn't work at all.

(Under my house. Yuck.)

Defeated, I contemplate relieving my bladder in the crawl space under my house, but I can't figure how I could do that, hold my eye closed and not get spiders in me. I go back to the car.

Feeling inspired by Dee Wallace Stone in Cujo, I need to keep trying. Thinking back to what the nice locksmith lady said, I decided to look in my purse for something I could use as an oil to lube the lock bits. Finally!  I find a tube of Fekkai Glossing Cream.

I put some on the key and head to the lock.

Because I'm delirious from holding an eye shut, not feeling the inside of my head and having to pee, I realize I put the Fekkai on the car key. I smoosh it off and shove it in the lock with the delicate nature of the Dothraki.

To my surprise, the key sinks in. With a little pressure, the key turns to the left. Sadly, this is only sinking the lock deeper into the locked position. The key won't turn back. With one hand holding my eye shut, I manage to get my house key off of my key fob single-handedly.  I trudge back to the car, defeated again.

As I try to pass some time and avoid thinking about how embarrassed I am going to be when I take my car to the Auto Spa to have tinkle cleaned out of it, I start chatting with people on twitter.


I'm also really thirsty and it's starting to get really, really hot outside. Suddenly, little nails tap, tap, tap on the glass and I look up, with my one good eye. My Mom is here!!!

"Ma! Mm sa hape ta sa u!! I puh Fre Fkk on da ka n it kinna wen n."

"What? You put what on the key? Where is the key? I brought the WD-40."

Together we go up to the porch and examine the key, which is still stuck in the lock. We try pushing in on the cylinder and pulling out on the key. No luck. The key won't budge. The phone rings. It's the Locksmith Lady.

"Hai! Mm stul lohhd ot. I ga som Dublu d forhee."

With that, my Mom sprayed the lock, with the key still jammed inside.

"No hon, not WD-40. That will make it worse. You need a light silicone spray. Don't use WD-40."

"Uh oh."

"Hon, we're real tied up. We'll get there by 4. I'll call you back if we can be there sooner. Maybe you have a friend that can come and get you?"

"Ok. Fanks."

As I hung up the phone, the key came out of the lock. My Mom and I stared at it with glee, as if we had just won a prize. She squirted more WD-40 into the cylinder and with her fingers crossed, I inserted the key into the lock. It turned! I was in!

I called Locksmith Lady and let her know we were in. She told me how to clean the lock (light silicone spray, again) and told me my lock was fine. My Mom and I decided to set out in search of an eye patch, so I could regain the use of one arm, and some light silicone spray, so this whole rigmarole could be avoided down the road.

We went to Rite Aid where, it turns out, they don't sell eye patches. They do sell first aid tape, cotton rounds and lubricating tear solution. We got back to the car and we began to fashion an eye patch. I didn't want the tape to pull out my brows or beloved longer lashes, so I searched for something in my purse to protect them from the sticky medical tape.

Smith & Vandiver Smoothing Moisture All-Over Balm to the rescue! This stuff is amazing and good for everything, from cuticles, to lips to elbows and frizzies. Everyone needs this balm, which has even more uses than I originally imagined. I gently press some across my brows and to the ends of my lashes.

We then realize it's going to take a lot of tape to create the pressure needed to hold my eye in place. Not that it is in danger of falling out. But it won't stay closed. This is the end result of my patching:

"Errgh, Mahee! Mm a pira!"
I got this. No one will notice.

Unlocked and patched up, my Mom spies Good Stuff Cheap, a store she and my father used to like to visit. Seeing that she would really like to go in, I suggest we shop. Why not? I don't have to drive, I've made, I have two arms again. We decide to investigate Good Stuff Cheap.

If you aren't familiar with the store, they don't really sell a lot of Good Stuff. It is Cheap, but the quality is debatable. I suppose just calling it "Cheap Stuff", while honest, doesn't have the same appeal.  My Mom needed a birthday-themed gift bag (check!) and I, well I could need anything. That's the beauty of Good Stuff Cheap. You won't know you need it until you see it.

Here is a look at some of the best stuff they had for sale:

This is a Wobbler Monkey. That's all I know about this.


Glasses for my Mom. I bet she's really glad I took this picture.

This is a mirrored pelican. Maybe it would be nice next to a candle or something with fiber optic lights?

With maybe something like this? No, not the Westies lamp. That would would look stupid next to the pelican. I'm referring to the clown lamps.

This is a "Peckered Out! SPLATS!". It attaches to a tree to look like it splatted into, well, a tree.

These shot glasses seem wrong in this country.

This is a gift bag for the party of Dina and Lindy B. Apparently someone made so many that they are now selling them for 79 cents at Good Stuff Cheap. There is only one left, so I'm assuming they were popular.

The pièce de résistance?


So we checked out, including my awesome new shark-on-a-stick welcome sign. And at the end of the morning I realize the lesson that should be learned from my day.

I'm not meant to swim. Or take vacation days.

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  1. OMG! I'm so sorry this happened to you but I had to laugh at the predicament. At least you have a sens of humor and your mom was there to save the day.

  2. Poor baby!  Leave it to you to get a great story out of a bad situation though... :-)

  3. No matter what happens today, it'll be better than your day yesterday. Oh my gosh! But you show such ingenuity with beauty products!!!!! I'm going to have to carry have my arsenal with me for just in case uses.

    I hope today goes better and that tooth gets fixed! Have you had novacaine before? Or was this the first time to find out your mouth is immune to it?

  4. It's definitely not the first time. According to my mom, this had happened
    to my dad on a few occasions.

  5. Oh honey, that's so horrible and...funny! Next time go to a dentist that will put you under!

  6. What a day!!! Oh well, it made for a great post and funny story (I know it wasn't funny for you....wait a few years and then look back on might seem funny, sort of, then!). :-)

  7. That is a crazy day.. wow.

    I say next time you skip the dentist and just go to the pool. ;]

  8. MarciaF (Beauty Info Zone)October 3, 2012 at 4:51 PM

    I'm so sorry for you but this is the funniest post I've ever read on a beauty blog. And you even got in a beauty review on the balm! Good luck with the eye, the key, and your shark. I'm betting we'll meet up with the shark again one day.

  9. This post is amazing!  I really enjoyed reading it, but sorry it happened to you.  You poor thing--but this is very well-written and engaging.  Love the photos (especially the wobble monkey).

  10. Poor thing! Hope it's all a distant memory today...

  11. I haven't been reading your blog long and I can't even recall how I found it, but I have to tell you today I have never laughed so hard and out loud at a blog post.  I'm sorry it happened but you shared it in such a great and humorous way that you have turned my incredibly crappy day into a laugh-fest, even if just for a few short minutes, and though I'm laughing at your pain, I salute you and thank you from the bottom of my heart. 

    Also, I have to go back to the dentist for part two of a root canal.  I'll be thinking of you ;)

  12. Why thank you!!! That is so nice of you to say!! As someone who is no
    stranger to a root canal, the second part is easy!! Good luck!!

  13. OMG Kelly, I hate that this happened to you, but you know my sick sense of humor.  That is such a great story!  Better than when you car was set on fire. 

  14. So true, Jess. It was much better than the time drug dealers set my car on
    fire for mistaking it for someone else. That truly was not good. To anyone
    reading the comments, the above statement is 100% true.

  15. Thank you!! I still love my dentist. She actually called me the next day to
    chat about an upcoming appointment and to make sure I was alright. She's
    still my favorite dentist!

  16. Oh my! Even under all your mental and physical distress you managed to #1> take pictures and #2> still review beauty products? Completely amazing! And, I work at a dentist office (front desk ONLY, thank you) and I have such empathy for your Novocaine debacle. Also, I thought my dentist was unique to the cheek pulling-squeezing technique during the shot procedure so there you go. Learned something else today besides what to use on flyaway hair and jammed locks. You are my hero! :)

  17. I'm so sorry the whole dentist/door lock thing happened.  How awful!  Hope your eye/face are feeling better.

  18. Just found your husband came in to ask what I was laughing about!  What a terrible day, thank goodness for Mom : )

  19. Kelly, you are too much. I adore you and this post gave me a much needed smile. You are a beauty ninja xo

  20. this is my first time here, your funny!!!! have  you ever read janet evanovich books about stephanie plum , well u remind me off her. oh thats a compliment by the way. im a beauty product junkie myself and look forward to reading more


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