Click to use the Talking Dictionary 43. Jimmy Fixes His Door

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Jimmy lives on the second floor of a six-unit apartment building. His front door has two locks -- a security deadbolt, and a regular door handle lock. The front door also has a peephole -- a tiny piece of glass through which Jimmy can look out his door at about eye-level to "preview" who is knocking on his door or ringing his doorbell.

The peephole is a security device, but Jimmy never uses it. When someone knocks, he just opens the door. First of all, he lives in a safe neighborhood, so security is not really a problem. Second, people rarely knock on Jimmy's door, so he is always eager to greet a visitor.

Before you can knock on the front door, you have to push the button on the black screen door to open the screen door. The screen door has an inside lock on it, but the lock has not worked since the screen door was installed more than two years ago. This has bothered Jimmy from day one. Today, Jimmy finally decided to do something about the lock on the screen door. It was a nice, warm sunny day. Jimmy was in his shorts -- no flip-flops, no shirt.

The lock was part of the screen door pushbutton handle. The outside and inside handles were held together with just two screws. Jimmy got a flathead screwdriver and loosened both screws. He kept adjusting the screws, and pushing on the outside button. Eventually he adjusted the screws enough to where the lever stayed in the locked position when he pushed on the outside button. Finally, he had made the right adjustment.

But now he needed to put a spacer on the inside handle to maintain that adjustment. He found a piece of plastic that was just the right thickness. He inserted the plastic between the handle and the doorframe itself, and then he tightened the two screws. Bingo! It worked perfectly. He could push on the outside button with all his might, and the lever would remain locked. Jimmy grinned. The screen door finally worked properly!

Jimmy had fixed a two-year-old problem in less than an hour. He was ecstatic. He returned the screwdriver to the toolbox, thinking "I'm a genius."


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