Security Theater


Today, with almost no training, I successfully picked open a lock.

I inherited a cool, old midcentury desk from my grandparents. It has two sliding doors with a push button cylinder lock. I am not sure anyone ever had a key for it, but if they did, the key is long lost.

A little over three years ago, my son accidentally pushed the button, locking the desk. A locksmith wanted a minimum of $80 to come out and open the lock. We called every furniture lock specialist west of the Mississippi but could not find a replacement key.

For Christmas, I received a lockpick set. It is a simple thing from Amazon, just two tension rods and a dozen different picks. I read one website, stuck the tension rod into the lower half of the lock, grabbed a pick, raked the top of the lock…and it popped right open.

It is fun to open anything that has been locked for over three years. Thankfully we did not find any unpaid bills or unfiled tax returns, but we did find a number of surprises including an art project from when our son was in preschool.

I am now convinced that locks are basically useless. It would be easier (and presumably lower risk) to pick the lock on a house rather than busting a window or a door!