Door Fun

We happened to stay in a house in Eugene, OR that was quite, quite new. I would say it was built within the last three years or so. The first picture is of its front door.

Can you see the hilarity of this? It’s a new door, deliberately made to look old. Admire the careful and few dings in the smoothly plastic surface, all of them the same length and angle, so that the viewer need have no doubt that this is a nice new door, not really damaged. An especially silly item is the iudas, the portal that is barred by those iron bars. Here’s a view of that portal from the inside.

This is not only risible, it’s rather dangerous. The judas is a working portal. Yes, you can open it and view whoever’s outside. But those bars — they easily allow your hand to pass through. The judas is held closed only by a flimsy latch. Break open the judas with a judicious blow — a piece of two-by four would make a nice battering ram — and you can put your hand through and unlock the door from the inside. Pretend to be a 14th century door if it amuses you. But OMG, let’s not obviate the entire purposes of a front door.

Just to cleanse the palate, here is a genuine old door. This is a portal on a 17th or 18th century cottage in France, but I’d say the door itself is only a hundred years old or so. The portal is rendered useable only by that red support, to the left edge of the picture, otherwise the entire door frame would fall apart. Peeling paint reveals genuine wood underneath. I took the photo because of the cat hole, drilled by the owner so that the family feline could slip in and out. But you can bet that, grope as you will, you won’t be able to reach the latch of this door by sticking your arm through the cat door.



About Brenda Clough

Brenda W. Clough spent much of her childhood overseas, courtesy of the U.S. government. Her first fantasy novel, The Crystal Crown, was published by DAW in 1984. She has also written The Dragon of Mishbil (1985), The Realm Beneath (1986), and The Name of the Sun (1988). Her children’s novel, An Impossumble Summer (1992), is set in her own house in Virginia, where she lives in a cottage at the edge of a forest. Her novel How Like a God, available from BVC, was published by Tor Books in 1997, and a sequel, Doors of Death and Life, was published in May 2000. Her latest novels from Book View Cafe include Revise the World (2009) and Speak to Our Desires. Her novel A Most Dangerous Woman is being serialized by Serial Box. Her novel The River Twice is newly available from BVC.


Door Fun — 3 Comments

  1. We had a door like that in our Seattle house. Yes, you could reach in and unlock the door. But at least ours was solid teak.