An Inside Job

Lockdowns, as pandemic-stricken cities across the world in recent times know all too well, are few people’s idea of a good time.

Equally, lock-ins have got to be up there on the universal ‘least enjoyable experiences’ list.

That’s ‘lock-insas in the sealed-bank-vault-possibly-die-from-suffocation meaning of the word.

Yet these people have lived to tell the tale.

Here are their stories…

On the afternoon of August 26, 1947, Bruce Heydon and Andrew Thompson, employees of the Repatriation Department located in Perry House in Brisbane’s CBD, had been placing records in the strongroom when the door accidentally closed behind them.

Unfortunately there was only one key, and that sole key was in the possesion of the trapped men.

The fire brigade, police and ambulance were summoned to the scene to effect the rescue. It was decided to use a oxyacetylene torch to cut a hole through the door so the key could be passed through to the rescuers.

As a precaution the building’s sprinkler system was first turned off to avoid damage to the building and its records.

“Through the first small hole, he said he could see the Town Hall clock, and when the torch finally cut a hole large enough to allow the key to be passed out, the two trapped men chorused ‘You Beaut’“, reported the local newspaper, The Courier Mail, at the time. The men’s ordeal lasted an hour and a half.

The experience of trapped bank clerk Charles Di Giacomo in Peterson, New Jersey, Us. on March 8th, 1923 was far more traumatic.

Just prior to closing time, Di Giacomo had been filing documents in the strongroom when his colleague jokingly called out to him to hurry up or “I’ll lock you in”.

As a prank the colleague pretended to close the vault door, only for it to actually close and automatically lock. The airtight strongroom was set on a time lock and would not reopen until the next morning. The pressure was on to rescue Di Giacomo before he suffocated due to lack of oxygen.

Teams of rescuers labored for five hours, attempting to drill their way in through the roof. When they finally broke through, Di Giacomo was found unconscious. He later recovered in hospital.

A time-honored tv trope is having two or more characters locked in a bank vault (or walk-in freezer, meat locker or some other small, contained space) where they’re subjected to extreme cold, lack of oxygen, or both. Death is usually imminent. The characters talk a lot, often coming to a greater understanding of each other. Rescue comes in the nick of time.

HAPPY DAYS did it in a 1977 episode when Richie and the gang get locked in the hardware store’s basement vault. GILLIGAN’S ISLAND had the castaways trapped in a cave. LOST AND SPACE saw bitter enemies Don and Dr Smith briefly entombed together in a final season episode featuring an underground cavern.

For true creativity in the ‘bank vault genre’ however, one need not look any further than the one-of-a-kind 2017 movie THE VAULT.

Starring Clint Eastwood‘s daughter Francesca (most recently seen in the M. Night Shyamalan supernatural beach movie OLD), THE VAULT is a horror movie but not as you know it; a bank robbery flick but unlike any that have come before it.

Two sisters plan a bank heist with OCEAN’S ELEVEN detail. Things turn sinister when they reach the basement vault, however, only to encounter truly evil supernatural forces.

For proof Mel Brooks has done it all in the world of entertainment, one need look no further than his membership of the rarer-than-rare, known-by-its-letters club EGOT. Translated, that means Brooks has been awarded an EMMY (Television) – a GRAMMY (Music) – an OSCAR (Film) and a TONY (Theatre). Now, at the age of 95 comes his long awaited autobiography.

Reading not your thang? Bit late now, you say. Oh well. Eavesdroppers can listen in HERE

5 thoughts on “An Inside Job

  1. So interesting, I would be terrified and chlostophobic that’s for sure. Brings a new meaning to equipment such as jaws of life. Could you imagine being trapped with someone you didn’t even like?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ll admit I may have been ‘trapped’ on the odd occasion, in various situations in my past, with folk I might have ungenerously regarded at the time as nothing more than mere stones in my shoe… but never in a bank vault. Talk about ‘sealing your fate’!

    Like

  3. 1. Worst grandmother ever. I would not speak to her, if she was my mother, for a year after that incident.
    2. Worst coworker ever. Hope he got fired. Moron.
    3. I’m putting Mel on my wish list and will snatch it up when it’s on sale.
    4. The Lucy clip was classic, with Mr. Mooney pulling the letter out of his pocket and talking excitedly about how he’d mailed it and then…. “OH, NO!” lol

    Did you hear about Being the Ricardos, a new movie about Lucy and Desi? We were watching something about it and how Desi always supported Lucy 110%. When she became pregnant, the network was going to CANCEL THE SHOW. Because why? Oh, my God, because people would see Lucy was pregnant and they’d REALIZE that she and Desi had HAD SEX. OH MY GOD. Can’t have that! Especially between married people!

    But no, he fought for the show to go on and to incorporate the pregnancy, as we all know, and it worked out fine and nobody in the audience (as far as I know) had a brain aneurysm or developed epilepsy from watching it! And guess what. During this period of new “openness” the two twin beds that had previously always been separated by a night table were PUSHED TOGETHER now. Take THAT, repressed and emotionally stunted Puritanical society!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. For the benefit of anyone else reading Stacey’s comment, this is the Nicole Kidman starring movie she is referring to –

    I’ve only read two reviews of the movie so far. One awarded it two stars and the other three stars..

    https://www.theguardian.com/film/2021/dec/07/being-the-ricardos-review-nicole-kidman-makes-light-comedy-look-like-hard-work-in-lucille-ball-biopic

    https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/being-the-ricardos-movie-review-2021

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Well, as much as I love Javier, he’s no cutie-patootie like Desi was. He’s too tall and imposing, I think, for the movie. 2 and 3 out of 5 stars, I’m guessing? Hmm. Doesn’t sound very good………

    Liked by 1 person

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