European Death Trap

Take a look at this picture of my front door and see if you notice anything odd about it:

That’s right, there’s no doorknob – on either side! I’m not sure if this is standard, but I’ve seen it on way too many doors for it to be a one-off. Karen and Connor said they also experienced the no-knob wonder on many doors during their European travels this summer.

Adrian doesn’t really understand my confusion and annoyance at this. Nevermind that it’s annoying because you have to contort your hand in a funky manner to get a grip of it if it’s a heavy door like the door to our building. A lot of doors will have a full handle, but it’s still very awkward and the dynamics of the pushing eventually causes the handles to be pulled out of the doors as we experienced in our last house.

Here is the best part of many English and probably European houses: Even if you are part of the elite and you have a doorknob, if someone locks it from the outside and for whatever reason you don’t have your key (say, your sister took it), you are trapped inside and your only way out is to jump out the second-floor window. Or hope someone comes home before you need to leave and also that there is no fire during that time.

Now, I’m not saying Americans are better than Brits in general, but in this instance I’d say yes, we are. It’s not like they haven’t heard of the doorknob, no, they are very much aware of it. Whereas we relegate all of their TV and movies to one channel, BBC America, their culture is permeated with American crap – TV, movies, products, sayings, etc. They’ve seen the doorknob.

If you still aren’t convinced that the doorknob is an essential utility for daily convenience and safety, then consider the fact that you are also missing out on an essential joke.

“Man, he’s/she’s been around … like a doorknob.”



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6 responses to “European Death Trap

  1. Adrian

    I’m not having this. Your main argument is that you could get locked inside a house inadvertently. This is possible if you have the low intelligence of let’s say the Average US citizen*, but most intelligent people (aka Brits) don’t let this happen. In fact, in all 26 years of my life I’ve only ever heard of one person being locked inside a house and that was an American in America.

    Which brings me onto my second point that it is also entirely possible for American doors to become locked so that someone inside the building cannot get out. This I believe renders your argument void and so therefore I trust I will hear no more of it on this blog, or indeed in normal life.

    Good day.

    *Please note: I do not think that Americans are stupid, its simply that I must start insulting them indiscriminately once anything negative is said about England.

    • HA!!! It doesn’t mean anyone is stupid and there is no point of it!! I had a scare because I let Karen borrow my keys, and normally you lock the door when you go to work. If you had locked it that morning, I would have been locked inside the place.
      Also, I’ve never lived in a place where you could get locked in because our deadbolts still have a knob you can turn from the inside. These don’t have one – you have to have a key to lock and unlock from the inside as well as the outside.
      There is no real point to not having a knob so why even risk someone getting locked in? It makes no sense.
      Besides all this, it’s highly uncomfortable and it causes my small hand pain.
      You are just mad because England lost to USA in the World Cup. I would say you’ll get over it, but we’ll likely beat you in the next one as well.

  2. The lack of doorknobs merely underlines the rich historical background of most European countries. Why, if your daughter were seduced by the local butcher, would you not wish to keep her pregnancy locked away from public view?

    OR: where the buggery do you find that many doors without knobs? I’ve seen, like, 1 in 9 years.

    OR 2: Maybe they took them all away since ‘knob’ became synonymous with ‘penis’.

  3. I live in England as well and this is the case in nearly every British home I have been in! Many of my friends and family get stuck inside and cant get out without cursing at the door for a few minutes or apologizing repeatedly and trying everything they can and making silly excuses and then throwing up their hands and asking how to get out. It’s just so entertaining sometimes : ) Or they go into the bathroom and fumble along the walls for the lightswitch….haha! It’s always a pull string and some people think its a spider! 🙂

  4. Pingback: I want to blame the British, but it could be karma. | lemony snippet

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