I May Have a Knack, Or Maybe It's Just That Easy

My new hobby is picking locks. "Why pick locks?," you may ask. Well, firstly, because Everest is way over there, and I'm not especially athletic. Secondly, it's because I like physical puzzles.

I particularly enjoy Rubik's cubes and wire disentanglement puzzles. Lock picking is kind of like a disentanglement puzzle played blindfolded. Obviously you can look at the lock itself, but it's impossible to see what's going on inside to assess what needs to be done to open the thing. Of course, I learned the gist of picking by practicing on a clear acrylic lock designed for educational purposes.

Today I decided it was time to have a try on the real thing, so I bought a couple of $8 Master padlocks. I recommend you spend considerably more on a padlock if you need to protect something of any value. Even that may not help. I am a total novice—today being my very first day learning to pick actual real locks designed not to be picked—and even I can open these inexpensive locks in about 3 to 10 seconds using pretty much any pick that came in my beginners' lock pick kit. This is no exaggeration. It's almost as if I'm using a key.