Feb 3, 2011

On Opening Doors

They say that when a door closes, a window opens. But sometimes when a door closes, you want to open it up again. And sometimes you’re in the dark. And for this reason some people carry little flashlights on their key chains, while other people just fumble around in the dark for a few silent moments of their lives. I am in this second group of people because I don’t want any more stuff on my key chain weighing me down. But I also don’t like fumbling around in the dark. I mean, what if I died while I was doing this? What kind of life is that? “Man dies while trying to open door in the dark.” Miserable, that’s what kind of life it is. This has got to stop. Now.

I know what my house key feels like, so finding the right key isn’t a problem for me. My problem is that I can find my key and the door handle alright, but putting the key into the keyhole in the dark is a bit of a challenge. It’s maybe a 2-3 second challenge, but it’s a challenge nonetheless and who needs more challenges in their life? Not me. In the light of day, I have examined my door keyhole and concluded that the reason that it’s hard for the key to find the keyhole in the dark is that the area around the keyhole is more or less flat. This means that your key has to be directly in front of the keyhole in order to go in. In the dark, this is difficult. It’s like being blindfolded and trying to hit a piñata the size of a keyhole with a bat the size of a key. Good luck. If you look really closely at the area around the keyhole, you can see that it is not entirely flat—there is a very small cone-shaped indentation that helps guide the very tip of the key into the keyhole. This helps a little. A little. But I want to be helped a lot. Strangers help a little. Friends help a lot. Door keyholes are user-strange not user-friendly.

Compare the size of the concave area around a door keyhole with the size of the concave area around a car ignition keyhole:

Have you ever noticed that you’ve never had much trouble putting a car key into the ignition in the dark? You probably don’t even look at the car ignition keyhole because you don’t need to. That’s because car ignition keyholes give the user much more room for error. Instead of a 1/4-inch diameter concave indentation, you get a 1/2-inch diameter concave indentation as your target. Why isn’t opening a door in the dark as easy as starting a car in the dark? We should make door keyholes like car ignition keyholes.

They should make the concave area on doors this big:

Or, if they wanted to be super user-friendly, they could make the concave area this big:

Then when a door closes, we could open it back up again. The window of opportunity that we should be climbing through is at the front door.

Knock, knock.