Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Ever try to kick a door open?

I did, once. What brought this to mind was an episode of Mythbusters where they built a doorway and worked at breaking it in. So now, the story...

One summer when I was visiting my grandparents I decided to give it a try. They lived in a very small town in southeast OK, and when visiting I could spend a lot of time hunting and fishing, and when not doing that running around in the woods near their house with a BB gun. There was an old house near theirs, all the window glass & frames gone but the doors still there. So one day, while I was setting up targets in the rooms and practicing popping up and shooting through the windows, I decided this would be a fine thing to do: lock the door closed and, pistol in hand, make what I would later learn is called a 'dynamic entry' and shoot the can taking the part of barricaded Bad Guy. So I set up a target, and since I had no key for the lock, I found a piece of, as I recall, pine 1x2" to wedge under the doorknob. Even after all the years the door was still solid, and the roof had protected the inside pretty well so the 1x2 was strong. I note, this was not a 'white wood' piece like you generally buy nowadays, this looked like yellow pine, hard and strong.

So I wedged it under the knob and went out a window. On the front porch I cocked the pistol, placing a lethal Daisy BB in the barrel, and readied myself. I'd been told that if you kick a door, hit it right next to the knob or lock. So I stood back to the wall next to the door, took a breath, stepped out to face the door, cocked my leg and slammed my foot into the door right next to the knob.

And it bounced my skinny ass clear off the porch.

By the time I stopped moving and absorbed what had happened, my first thought was, well, he knows I'm coming now! So I walked back up to the porch, got set solidly, and kicked the door again.

I didn't bounce quite as far, but the door didn't move at all. So I climbed in the window and examined the board, and it showed no stress at all(neither did the door). Yes, by this time it was sinking in that this wasn't quite as easy as it looked on tv.

I finally had to cut halfway through the 1x2 before I could kick the door open. No, I didn't try hitting it with my shoulder; I'd been advised by someone who'd done it for real that that was a good way to hurt your shoulder, so I didn't try that. Probably a good thing, as the door would probably have sent me to a doctor.

Now, had it been the door lock only, I'm pretty sure it would have broken the jamb and opened, but with just that 1x2 bracing it I couldn't do it. I learned something about securing things from that, happily without getting bounced off a tree. I also found out that busting through a door and finding and hitting a target ain't as easy as they make it look, either.

So if I hadn't thought it before, I really started thinking about how full of crap movies and tv were after that.

1 comment:

Mr. Completely said...

What a great story! Some kid once said that they preferred radio over TV because the pictures were better, and this illustrates that concept! You write great pictures......