I really did not set out deliberately to wheedle a buff young hunk into the recesses of the women’s locker room. It was just that neither Barb nor I quite had the moxie to work the bolt cutter. Some man designed this thing, whose handles are ridged and finned such that however you grip or lever it, some eminence is crushing flesh against bone while you try to get the case-hardened blades to cut through the hasp of the lock that you brainlessly latched with all your keys, including the one to the padlock, inside the locker.
Barb has carpal tunnel (I know; I work on her) and wasn’t even going to try. The last thing I need is a bone bruise on my hand. After I got the blades to bite into the metal, but not more, she went and got Kev.
Every gym has a bolt cutter. One of the first things I was shown in my first gym job was a much nicer model with a ratchet engagement that was to be used if we found signs of repeat offenders leaving all their gear permanently locked up 24/7, hogging locker space as if they were still in school gym with an assigned niche. You close up for the night, you observe the same lock that was on the same locker last night and the night before, you get the tool and you snap through the hasp and leave a note that the gear can be picked up at the desk. So I knew what to do as soon as I realized where my keys were.
Kev, about 22 with obscenely clear skin and a Ken Doll physiognomy, strode back after we reassured him there were no other women around showering or anything and took a fly at it. I have to say it was nice to hear him grunt and get nowhere for a couple of passes. I felt less worried that I was losing my edge.
“Let’s both put our backs into it,” I suggest and grabbed the handles in parallel with him.
The metal slowly gave and finally snapped. It was like cutting through a fairly stale slab of Gjetost. (You don’t know from Gjetost? It’s a boiled caramelized goat cheese devoid of moisture. For my sins, I once worked in a cheese shop. It took one clerk on each handle of a two-handled cheese knife to penetrate a slab of the stuff. Now I want some. Damn.)
“Well, now you know you have a good lock,” said Kev as we high-fived.
Thirty years in iron gyms and I pick now to pull this stunt. Still, it makes a girl feel badassed for the rest of the day.