Daily Prompt: Brainwave (The Daily Post)

When I was eight or nine years old, my family and I lived in a townhouse neighborhood complex, where lots of elderly people resided, and I was only one of eleven kids here. We had an elderly widowed neighbor who lived two doors away. She gave my brother and me cards, presents, etc. around the holidays, and she always had a wreath that was in accordance with the seasons on her door. 

One day, I was up in my bedroom solving logic puzzles and reading a little book of logic problems when our neighbor came in. “I’ve locked myself out of my house, and the keys are in there.” All the townhouses had patios, and doors to the patios, so she could have gone through there but that was locked too. Knocking the door down was only a scenario seen in cartoons. My mom had tried prying the door open with some thick card stock greeting cards. The neighbor had to call a service that provided keys to unlocking doors.

But from my nine year old perspective, calling a service that provided keys to unlocking doors wasn’t very convenient; too much of a hassle. Luckily, my brain was in logical mode from solving logic puzzles and our neighbor’s hands were big but slender. In the meantime, our neighbor had to run an errand, so that gave me plenty of time to work this out. Every townhouse in our neighborhood had a golden mail slot on the door like this: 

This was near the door knobs, so our neighbor could simply stick her hand through the mail slot and unlock the door knobs from inside. Just as I worked this out and tried this out with my mom’s and my own hands, our neighbor returned. (In the dialogue that follows, let’s refer to our neighbor as Ethel and my mom as Georgiana.)

Mom: Ethel! You don’t have to call the service! We’ve found out a way!

Luna: You could stick your hand inside the mail slot and unlock the door knobs. (Luna demonstrates, but her hands aren’t big enough so she can’t unlock the door knob.)

Ethel: Okay, let’s try this. (Ethel sticks a bony freckled hand inside the mail slot and, after a couple of tries to get the hand entirely inside, unlocks the door knobs.) 

Luna, Mom, and Ethel: YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!

Ethel: Wow! Thank you so much. I really don’t know what we would do without you, Georgiana. Thank you so, so much!

Mom: No, not me. It’s–

Luna: It’s I who thought of this. I’ve been reading and reading up on logic riddles.

I know, that was too credit-hungry of me, but the younger you are, the more you strive for the spotlight. 



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