The thermometer outside read -1.6 degrees Fahrenheit.
I donned my balaclava, pulled over my hood, zipped up my winter barn jacket and… *pop*.
The zipper broke. No problem, I thought, I’ll take care of that when I’m done with the chickens. I slipped on my mittens and headed outside into the bitter cold.
When I arrived back at the house, I pulled off my gear and I placed my fingers on the head of the broken zipper and pushed down. Nothing. I felt around the zipper head with my fingers, not finding any fabric caught I thought, well… does the zipper move up?
I pulled and it easily glided up a few teeth. I pushed down and… nothing. Oh dear…
You know that feeling you get when you’ve gotten yourself into a situation to where there doesn’t appear to be an easy solution? Where your brain starts to get panicky and think things like…
I thought that perhaps I could pull the jacket over my head. Yes! Over my head, that’s what I’ll do! I held one cuff as I maneuvered my arm out and repeated on the other side. I grabbed the hem and pulled up, leaned forward at the waist and…. just stayed in that position for a moment as I felt the zipper head dig into my upper lip just a little bit, caught on my nose and said, “Ow”.
I said, to Shiloh who was laying on the floor nearby, looking at me with her sweet face cocked to one side, “this isn’t good. I may have to cut myself out of it.”
The jacket-come-cowl hung about my neck like a boa constrictor and I once more took the pliers in hand and grasped the zipper head and tugged. Nothing. I flipped the zipper over, inspecting for caught fabric and again, it was clear. You’d think that at this point I would have decided against pulling the zipper up again, but you’d be wrong. I delicately pushed the zipper upwards and with two clicks of movement I stopped, my hands in “jazz hands” position and my eyes wide like I just happened upon some sort of explosive device. Shit.
I applied the pliers once more, tugging for all I was worth as the panic and frustration started to creep in once more. There was nothing. Somehow, my brain decided that a different mirror would make all the difference and I changed rooms, trying at the zipper once more to no avail. I had to step away from the problem. Which is difficult to do when it’s wrapped around your neck, but I went and poured myself another mug of coffee and sat at the computer. You know what will make this better, I thought, laughter.
So, I type up a little ditty in Facebook, on Twitter, in instant messages. I took a photo of myself in my predicament – because “pics or it didn’t happen”. I emailed that off to Mr. Muse who called and LAUGHED, repeatedly. Then he suggested taking a needlenose pliers and breaking the zipper head. I informed him that I didn’t particularly care for the idea of stabbing myself in the jugular with the needlenose as the zipperhead was right in that general vicinity Then he suggested that I just wear the jacket all day until he got home to get me out of it because he’d hate to see me ruin a perfectly good jacket by cutting myself out of it. I whined. I didn’t work out yet. I didn’t want to wait. I would probably attempt to pull the damn jacket over my head once again despite the pain – because it was temporary – and I wanted the jacket OFF. Mr. Muse laughed again, told me I could work out once he got home and got me out of it, but you know… whatever I wanted to do was okay with him (not really – he still didn’t want me cutting the jacket off).
DazyLady - she laughed. Jeff - he laughed, and then said he wouldn’t have thought I’d go out like David Carradine, mistaken for some strange case of auto-erotic asphyxiation gone awry. Thanks, Jeff. He also said, “Pics or it didn’t happen”. So I sent him the photo… and he laughed harder. Others commented that it was funny.
It’s only funny when it’s not happening to you.
Okay… it was pretty funny.
So I drank my coffee and let the panic and frustration fade with the salve of laughter applied. I decided to channel Harry Houdini and grabbed a pliers in each hand and headed to the bathroom. I grabbed the top of the zipper and held on as I tugged downward with all my might, the pliers slipping and making me punch myself in the chin. I tried again. And again. And then there was a pop of a few teeth. HA HA! I tugged more, and within a minute another few teeth popped. Third time was the charm and I tipped forward and pulled the jacket, the nylon causing static and so with each grasp of the jacket I got a handful of hair, too. My grunts of effort accompanied by “OW!” as I pulled hair and jacket repeatedly, inching the jacket over my face.
Shiloh stared at me with her rheumy eyes from the bathroom door, head cocked, and with my release I shouted a hearty, “HUZZAH!” That was quickly followed by an “ouch” and rubbing my face where the inside of the zipper head had dug in, but I was free. I also looked like I was holding onto a Tesla plasma ball…which made me laugh.
So what did I learn? That the zipper manufacturers placed a levering “lock” in the head of the zipper to prevent it from slipping downwards, and that the zipper pull released the lock. Those sneaky zipper-manufacturing bastards…
Yeah, I can’t make this stuff up.Photos Courtesy of: Yours Truly https://wiki.brown.edu/confluence/display/physlecdemo/5B10.10+Hair+on+End