I got the call on Saturday night at 23.39. It was kd. “Can you come over to my house, please? You need to kick in the door. We’re locked inside the building and my key won’t work.”
I realise this raises questions of fire safety, amongst other things, but this is pretty standard in Prague. kd’s house has a main door onto the street and then another entrance that leads into the house itself. You always need a key to get in, and if the door has been locked, then you need a key to get out as well. kd and the others were locked inside the house because the lock was somehow broken and kd’s key wouldn’t turn. I was in our local pub one block away when I got the call.
“Should I pop home and get my keys?” (I have kd’s spares.)
“No, I don’t think so. The lock is fucked. Just come over quickly and kick the door in.”
I am not sure if they had tried themselves to kick the door open, but that kind of thing is apparently much harder if you are going against the door’s natural direction of movement.
I got to the outside door and found it was locked. I rang kd. “The bottom left window pane is broken. Reach your hand in and you should be able to turn the handle – unless someone has locked that door.” No one had locked the door and I let myself in.
And there they were – 4 people imprisoned in a corridor behind a solidly locked door. Which conveniently had a window so that we could see each other.
“Kick it in! Kick it in!” they yelled. Rather excited at the prospect of freedom. And perhaps even more excited at the prospect of violence.
I’ve watched Bruce Lee. DD once made me study the cave scene in Enter the Dragon. I put my weight onto my right foot and carefully folded my left leg in close to my body. I leaned my body to the right and sharply lashed my leg out to the left into the door. The door shook, but nothing more. The prisoners’ faces dropped.
“That’s all right,” I said, “I’m just getting a feel for it.”
On my next go, Big Sky tried to help the door follow through from the kick, but that didn’t work at all. I confidently told them it would be better if they all stood back.
The door moved substantially more on kick number 3 and I could feel that it was almost there. Just one more kick…
I focused. I envisaged Bruce Lee. I brought my leg in towards my body and felt the energy in it coiled and ready to spring. With a quick and powerful thrust my leg smashed into the door. There was a splintering of wood and a crash of metal and the door slammed open. I’d done it, I had freed my friends.
And we went to find C who was waiting back at the pub.