When we first received the call that morning I wasn’t too intrigued. When you work as a locksmith for a long time you get used to hear about finds of old safes, in need of a professional assistance to open it up and find out what’s inside. In our Kendall Locksmiths office we’ve seen a lot of these, and I assumed I will find inside what I normally see in these old safes: long forgotten papers, once important but now worthless, sometimes an item with sentimental value to the owner, and only rarely (but it does happen!) something of a real financial value, a forgotten jewel, a stack of cash that grandpa locked in and the grandchildren are more than happy to find 30 years later.
So I didn’t think this time would be any different. The couple who called our Locksmith Kendall office that morning told a familiar tale: they have recently bought a house in Kendall, Florida. The house had been empty for years and in a serious need of refurbishing. As part of the works their contractor removed the carpet at the house – and was surprised to find a safe underneath.
Now, I should point out that the couple who bought the house was super psyched about this. Since the safe had been completely covered by the carpet, meaning truly hidden, they were convinced something really big was waiting inside, big enough for somebody to go through the effort of hiding it so well. I guess we all had this dream of finding a treasure, and they thought theirs was coming true.
So I sat down to work and started unlocking the safe. This was an old mechanism, which was clearly not touched for at least 20 years. However, I’ve been working at Kendall Locksmiths for many years, so it wasn’t such a big challenge to open it. When I opened the door, we all stared inside, wondering what we will find.
Now, before I continue any further and tell you what I actually found there, I should point out a fact known to any American: Florida was built on water. In other words, the land we walk on is soaked. Dig in a few feet in your garden and there’s a chance you’ll find moist earth.
So just imagine a safe, down in the cellar, hidden deep in the ground for many many years.
When I opened the door of that safe, the first thing that hit us was the stench. A real moldy, wet kind of smell. This didn’t mean good news, but the curious couple insisted on finding what’s inside. Whatever it was, it was wet. Real wet. The safe was half full with dirty stinky water. I realized that nothing valuable will come out of these water, but the couple started fishing things out of the murky water. They found some unidentified pieces of unclear material. This could have been old papers, or even old money bills, but now it was junk. In fact, a dangerous junk, as who knows what kind of fungus was in this moldy water. I advised the couple to stop touching the water, wash their hands with a disinfecting soap, and have their contractor get rid of the safe in a safe way. They were disappointed but promised to do so.
As for myself, I went back to our Locksmiths Kendall office, and washed my hands again and again. And still, every time I smelled my hands that day it smelled like mold. So I’d like to finish my story with a professional tip from us locksmiths here in Kendall Florida: people often hide safes in the ground, but if you live in Florida, please remember the water. In some places, hiding a safe in the ground will end up with a lot of wetness and no treasure…