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Sunday, Feb. 24, 2002
I can't believe it. I promised a follow up story way back in this entry and I've yet to do it.

I know I make too much of the silliness that permeates my typical workday. But hold on, we're going for another one.

Corporate partner Stu has always had a reputation as a Door Man. Not the sort dressed in Beefeater red and on the look out for limousines, either. He just knows doors very well, can hang 'em with the best and delve into a 126-piece hardware assembly with aplomb. Doors seem to fall under a peculiar spell when touched by this ancient hand.

We were approaching a building a couple of years ago, an early morning job which neither of us were particularly thrilled about taking on. One of those situations where there would be more time setting up and preparing tools than actually doing any work. I seem to recall that it involved moving a significantly ornate piece of woodwork from one location to the next.

We pulled up to the front door of this four story office building which had two sets of automatic sliding doors with a vestibule between them, a common enough entry-way for a Class A office building, or a Wal-Mart for that matter. The sort of doors which have a motion detector to trigger their opening. Problem was, no one had arrived to unlock the doors yet.

Locked doors and no one to open them makes for an unhappy Outfoxed.

I suppose I stamped around for a while, cursing the janitor and the owner and whoever else had summoned us out of warm beds to stand waiting outside of a building to perform a job that we didn't want to do in the first place. I probably jumped up and down in front of the motion camera in hopes that increasingly acrobatic (if slightly uncoordinated) flagellations would cause it to magically trip and slide the glass doors open. Almost undoubtedly I shrieked at Stu about irresponsible people who would waste our time in such a way.

Stu studied the whole scene with nary a word. He seemed intensely interested in the whole motion camera setup. There were, of course, cameras for both sides of each pair of sliding doors. Coming and going as it were.

I could almost see the light come on over his head.

He stooped and plucked from the grass an irrigation flag, a foot long piece of wire with a little plastic flag attached. He rolled the flag tightly around the wire. He gently pushed the wire, flag and all, through the crack between the two doors, letting the flag unfurl when it reached the inside, holding onto the last few inches of wire left outside the doors.

And began to wave his flag furiously.

Naturally enough, the inside motion detector picked up the flag movement and the doors parted immediately. Fell right open. Sort of like what my jaw did.

We were nearly finished with the job about two hours later. The owner showed up and expressed extreme curiosity about how we had managed to get into the building. Did we have a key? Had someone let us in? How had we penetrated his supposedly secure edifice?

Now you know we didn't let on. It just wouldn't be sporting.

But I did add a little something onto his bill. For the inconvenience. If not the entertainment value. Which is what we cherish the most.

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