Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Mystery of the Missing Lock

I am attempting to solve a mystery, with few clues to to go by. Let me set the scene of the crime: Tuesday night at the Mall 205 24-Hour Fitness, from 6:30-9:30pm. I arrived at the gym to play basketball, since my regular Tuesday night game was cancelled. Midge was having a group of her girlfriends over to make Christmas wreaths, so I kind of needed to get out of the house. Anyway...

I get to the gym and put my jacket, hat, and gym bag in a locker inside the men's locker room. Inside my gym bag: wallet, keys, cell phone. My lock doesn't use numbers; it is a word lock, with a secret password. It's easier to remember than a random number. With these kind of locks, you must have the password in place in order to close it up, so you must be very conscientious about lining the letters up in order to lock it. I say this because I am quite confident I correctly sealed the locker. I then went to the basketball court for the next three hours, attempting to keep up with the teenagers.

When I returned to the locker room, I started to have a mini-freakout, because my lock was gone. I frantically opened the locker, only to discover all of my belongings exactly where I placed them (or at least they seemed to be). There was no sign of my lock whatsoever. I sorted through my wallet to make sure all of my credit cards were in place, and they were. Next, I went to the front desk and explained what happened. I don't know if they exactly believed me, although they were polite. No one had turned in a lock, either.

Now I need to figure out what happened. How was my lock removed from the locker? Did someone watch me set the code? Does someone have a secret method of opening locks? Did I make a mistake and leave it unlocked? Why didn't they take my stuff? There was cash and credit cards in my wallet, and they could have stolen my phone, or even my car. I wish that there was security camera footage of the locker room, and that I had access to it.

I give this whole experience one big question mark.


Stanley said...

What's more chickenshit then fucking with another man's lock? You just don't do it. I wish I'd have caught him doing'd have been worth him doing it just so I could have caught him doing it...

CrispFlows said...

Word locks have a much less security than most locks. Here's the things that makes it flawed:

1) Most people tend to use one full complete word to make the combination, thus limiting the dictionary to 5 letter words (If it is the lock shown).

2) Most people don't usually remember weird words like vrows or biane, thus it would be logical that the word to be legible to be the password. (I do concede mnemonics could work well.)

3) With such a limited pool of possible words, it is possible to figure out the combination within the 20 minute period, accounting for 1 word for every 5 seconds, 240 possible words.

Here's the list of possible words:

If It was up to me, I would possibly print out the words, highlight the most sensible ones and then try each one, 20 minutes a day. Within a week, 1680 words would have been tried and the eventual actual word would then be discovered.

It's a flawed lock.