September 19 2011

The Flawed Logic of the Fake Lock Idea

So I go to the gym now and then because I want to prevent my bald head from having fat face– and I bring a gym bag of stuff and a combination lock.

I’m a huge fan of my particular combination lock because it doesn’t work at all as a lock. It’s broken. It shuts. And looks locked. But it doesn’t lock. It just sort of sticks up in there and clicks– and for me that’s perfect.

There’s alot of reasons I like having a fake lock. Here’s a list:

1. It’s easier. Just walk up to the lock and pull it down. It’s open. No fussing with numbers and spinnings.

2. I don’t have to remember a combination. Even when I had a lock that worked I always felt like I was on the verge of totally forgetting the combination. Like at any moment it could rain on my brain and blur out the numbers written in magic marker. Or they’d get jumbled. This removes all fears of forgetting (and consequential fears about something actually being actually wrong with my memory).

3. It looks just like a locked lock. I would assume any respectable locker thief would go around with clippers looking to clip locks. My lock would fare just as well as a working lock if someone was planning to clip it. I mean… how else does someone break into a locker? Crack the lock like a safe? Like Pink Panther style with a stethoscope?

4. It looks cool when other people are around. Like when some gym guy is busy on his frustrated fourth spin trying to get his lock to open– I can just stroll up and undo mine with no problem. Not even a spin. I feel a little like I’m the Fonz of locks or whatever.

5. The only threat is some sneaky thief going from locker to locker pulling on all the locks til he finds one that opens. I tend to think thieves don’t work that way. And even if they did… I mean what are the chances that they’d be that particular thief on there that particular day. And pull my particular lock? Pretty astronomical– and a risk I’m willing to take in exchange for the convenience.

So it dawned on me the other day that there could be a whole market for people like me who would love a fake lock! Sure, you can’t exactly go to Master lock to pitch this idea because it’d probably be bad for their business– but what if there was some cheap chinese knockoff that looked just like Master combination lock? (called Muster lock or something) And just have them all close and not lock. What about that product?

Maybe there’d be an untapped market of lazy idiots like myself who freeball their wallet, keys and phone just because their dumb brain can’t handle three numbers and/or they’re astoundingly lazy (even at the gym)? Maybe this is THE big idea?

Then I realized it was a totally dopey idea. Not only because I think I might be the rare person who would appreciate and actually buy a lock that totally doesn’t work — but if the idea ever caught on… there’d be a locker room filled with locks that don’t work! And that would defeat the purpose! It can’t get big. Because then that rare thief who pulls on all the locks would have a friggin field day.

Oh well. Back to the drawing boards like Simon who does dwrawings…

ok bye!



Angry Man says:

Get a keyed lock. Safety pin the key to your shorts.

Anonymous says:

Screw that– I LIKE the fake lock idea! I want one! That is my type of lazy device!

Eddie says:

That’s 2 cleevr by half and 2×2 clever 4 me. Thanks!

Bob in Peru says:

Buy a lock that works. It’s not worth losing your wallet, cards, and identity. Write the combination on the inside of your shoes or sweatbands. You’ll be anxiety free when you’re workin’ out….except for worrying about your blood pressure, cholesterol, joint pain, and how much your gym membership costs. I exercise by being a pall bearer for my friends who exercise.

oddtodd7 says:

Get a patent on your fake lock idea!

Sassy Starshine

Anonymous says:

Scratch the combo into the back of the lock with a pin, real small-like, so you can barely see it. Then if your brain farts, you can always flip it over and read the numbers.

tainted says:

i agree with the keyed lock idea. no combo to remember.

however regarding the super lazy, you could have a lock where all it takes is a little tiny button on the back or hidden like behind the “combo dial” to open it. that way if you were to pull on it, it wouldnt open. a thief would never think to look for some secret button.

either that, or, another cool product would just be like the same old mechanism that locks, but instead of a combo, it would just consist of a small rectangular box with a pad on it and it could read your fingerprint. sorta like those tiny fingerprint readers you can get for your computer, but with a lock at the top! and no worries about battery power either because you can put a tiny solar panel on it that would charge it all day since it barely uses any power!

tainted says:

oh, also, you are assuming the “thief” is some random guy off the street, but i think its actually more likely that somebody at the gym who sees you just pull your lock every time would swipe your stuff. if i were you, if someone was around, i would at least just do a couple fake spins to act like there was a combo.

Anonymous says:

Next time I go to the gym and see your lock I’m going to pull it open and steal your lock

Honney says:

Love this website always

Mr Bill says:

You should pretend to spin the combo a couple times so it looks like you are unlocking a normal lock.

Oh, and just wait for the day when your lock decides it wants to work again…. and you don’t know the combo. Revenge!

the REAL weeze says:


Jayslickbalt says:

Just lay a used condom on top of your stuff…..done and done

Anonymous says:

Who uses condoms?

tainted says:

i wonder if putting up an “out of order – do not use” sign on the locker with no lock at all would be effective. would someone even bother to look inside? i doubt it.

bob says:

Anybody else have occasional recurring dreams that you’re back in high school and can’t remember your locker combination, and then also can’t get to the office to get the combination before you’ll be late to class. I usually never get my locker open or to class before I awake up! 😉

jiggy says:

We use a non-working lock on one of the gates at work. Best lock ever!

ziota says:

I have a lock just like this! I used it for about 3 months until I remembered to buy a new one 🙂

earp says:

Whatever you do, don’t tell anyone about it becau– oh..

So yeah, good luck with the lock that noone knows doesn’t actually work thing; I mean, what could go wrong?

Simon says:

Well you know my name is Simon, and the things I draw come true..

Anonymous says:

Simon, draw a picture of you throwing your computer into the ocean and never returning to this site.

skine says:

Reminds me of high school.

All of the lockers had built-in combination locks, and we would get a new combination every year.

There was a trick though, that after closing the locker, if you turned the lock CCW about four ticks, then it would open. If the lock was turned at all though, it would reset to needing the combo.

From about seventh grade on, I didn’t memorize any of my combos. Since I was a band geek, I kept a copy of the combo in my band folder, but that only just in case.

Kyle from Ohio says:

Todd, been reading your site for 9 years, but I never comment. Look, Masterlock invented a lock that opens like some smart phones you see around. It looks like a regular lock but it only opens if you move the knobby part in a certain combo. So if you’re lazy, just make your combo “up, down, left, right” or “down, down, up” or something.

John says:

I’m gonna sneak in a fix your lock while you are working out! Boom! John Madden

WTF?!?!?!? says:

Usually what I do is use one of the lockers closest to the bathroom stalls. Then I take a HUGE dump in one of the stalls and don’t flush. The odor saturates the locker room pretty quickly and nobody, and I mean nobody, is hanging around checking out locks on lockers. It always goes the same way. They open the door and enter like normal. One step in they drop to on a knee, spin around, and crawl out coughing and eyes teared up. Once they recover and their vision comes back, they hold their breath and make a mad dash in to retrieve their belongings. They save their car keys and wallet and burn the rest.

This only works if the bathroom and locker room are adjoined. Otherwise you’ll have to take the dump in one of the lockers.

fireandsolace says:


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