A few months ago our friend's apartment burned down. He wasn't home and everyone else in the building got out alive, but he lost most of his belongings. Shortly thereafter, Paul insisted we buy a fire-proof safe to store our most important papers. Even though it was a boring thing to spend money on, I agreed with his rational and we purchased one and dutifully loaded it with our passports, birth certificates, tax returns, and adoption papers. Obviously, we should have a safety deposit box as well, but this seemed like a good solution for the items that we needed to be able to access at any time.
Last night we needed to look at some of that paperwork so we trotted into the office, turned the key on the safe and....nothing happened. Even though Paul had practiced opening it with the key ahead of time, it wouldn't work anymore. We couldn't help but laugh as we realized that our most important documents were sealed tight and unavailable. I was sure we were going to have to lug the entire heavy contraption to a locksmith, but Paul, ever the Boyscout, set about tinkering with some screwdrivers, hammers, and other blunt instruments and soon enough our treasures had been released.