Geoff Manaugh opens his story about spending six months following round a professional safecracker with an image that might have been hand-crafted to get my attention:
The house was gone, consumed by the November 2018 Woolsey Fire that left swaths of Los Angeles covered in ash and reduced whole neighborhoods to charcoaled ruins. Amidst the tangle of blackened debris that was once a house in the suburbs northwest of Los Angeles, only one identifiable feature stood intact. It was a high-security jewel safe, its metal case discolored by the recent flames, looming in the wreckage like the monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey.1
No mysterious alien structures show up in Manaugh’s story, but it’s interesting just how much demand there apparently is for a legal safecracker. Me, I’ve never owned a safe in my life and don’t have anything I’d want to keep in one if I did have access to one.2
- In the wake of my seeing Kubrick’s masterpiece when I was young – I didn’t see in on release, what with my only being 5 years old at the time, but I did see it in the cinema just a few years later during a 1970s re-release – that experience warped me to the point where to this day I’m totally a sucker for monolith imagery.
- I did use a safe in a hotel room once, but that was more because the hotel insisted that any valuables (which in this case amounted more to confidential work-related documentation than stuff with any particular face value in cash terms) be stored in your room safe because they couldn’t otherwise be responsible for the safety of my property while I was staying in their room. Nowadays that sort of documentation is sitting on our server or, at worst, is on my laptop’s hard disk, locked up behind BitLocker. So as long as I can trust a combination of Microsoft’s competence to write software and my determination not to reveal my BitLocker PIN even under torture then I’ll be fine. What could possibly go wrong with that plan?