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  #1  
Old 08-18-2013, 07:36 PM
Broomstick Broomstick is offline
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Explain: This Door Ain't Never Been Locked, Swear It Never Will

I overheard this phrase in a country and western tune on the car radio today:

"That door ain't never been locked, and I swear it never will"

I found myself greatly puzzled by this. The tone of the lyrics clearly intended that never locking one's door was supposed to be a good thing. Maybe I'm just to citified, but that seems foolish to me. I mean, sure, the Bad Guys are totally responsible for entering where they don't belong but really, bragging you never lock your door, like this is something to be proud of? WTF?

Can someone explain this mindset to me?
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  #2  
Old 08-18-2013, 07:48 PM
Manda JO Manda JO is online now
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It suggests that you live in a community that is small and close knit enough that personal crime is virtually unheard of, and that you take pride in that fact: you see your own communities collective ability to avoid the temptation to steal as an indicator of your own personal morality.
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  #3  
Old 08-18-2013, 07:50 PM
Collaborator Collaborator is offline
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Throwback to the good 'ol days in 'Merica when you could leave your doors unlocked and not have to worry about the filth of society letting itself in. Years of listening to the media have convinced people that someone is going to break in any moment, you can't let your kids play outside or they'll get abducted, etc.

That said, locking your doors is a false sense of security in so many ways. Kicking a door open? Extremely easy. Bumping the lock? Also easy. Going in through a window? Yep, pretty easy. There's really nothing stopping someone determined to get into your house short of fortifying it with bars, steel doors, etc. Of course, if someone broke in here, it'd be the last thing they ever did, but I think quite a lot of people think 911 is some sort of magical shield that will stop a robber in their tracks.
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Old 08-18-2013, 08:00 PM
Manda JO Manda JO is online now
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Originally Posted by Collaborator View Post
Throwback to the good 'ol days in 'Merica when you could leave your doors unlocked and not have to worry about the filth of society letting itself in. Years of listening to the media have convinced people that someone is going to break in any moment, you can't let your kids play outside or they'll get abducted, etc.

That said, locking your doors is a false sense of security in so many ways. Kicking a door open? Extremely easy. Bumping the lock? Also easy. Going in through a window? Yep, pretty easy. There's really nothing stopping someone determined to get into your house short of fortifying it with bars, steel doors, etc. Of course, if someone broke in here, it'd be the last thing they ever did, but I think quite a lot of people think 911 is some sort of magical shield that will stop a robber in their tracks.
There's something to be said for stopping the bored kids who aren't determined to get in, but are trying handles, or the junkie who is looking for the easiest possible score.

I mean, not everyone who breaks into houses is an ax murderer coming for you in particular.
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Old 08-18-2013, 08:09 PM
njtt njtt is online now
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I think it is part of the myth of "small town" America, where, back in the good old days before all those city folk and liberals and foreigners ruined everything, everybody in town knew everyone else, there was no crime (beyond the town drunk), and everybody was welcome in everybody else’s home. Locking your door would be both unnecessary and inhospitable.

As a British person, newly arrived in America, in a smallish town (but a university town no less) in California, people warned me not to go out of my apartment without locking the front door (with the implication that this necessity was a fairly recent, sad, modern development). I was quite taken aback. I grew up in a pretty middle-class, law abiding area in Britain, but I would never have dreamed of going out without locking my front door, and I have some doubt as to whether Americans of earlier generations really ever did so either. They like to believe they did, though.
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  #6  
Old 08-18-2013, 08:16 PM
Macca26 Macca26 is offline
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I can attest that my parents here in the usa did not lock their doors unless they were leaving via car (so they don't lock on neighborly visits). They didn't even lock their car doors or put the windows up unless they expected rain.

One day, a drugged up girl from the townhouses down the street decided to come into our yard, slice a few things up, pull out a ton of flowers, and steal some tools. We simply walked by the houses until we found the one covered in discarded uprooted flowers and called the police, who had to break in because she had passed out upstairs.

After that, my parents locked the car doors.
They still don't lock the house door unless they're leaving entirely. They have a 6 acre yard so it's entirely possible to be outside and have someone walk in without anyone knowing.
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  #7  
Old 08-18-2013, 08:19 PM
Folacin Folacin is online now
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Originally Posted by njtt View Post
I have some doubt as to whether Americans of earlier generations really ever did so either. They like to believe they did, though.
We didn't even have a key to our front door - we were going on a two week vacation, and the folks thought that locking the door would be a good idea, until they realized that they really couldn't. 1960's, small town MN. The door had a bolt, but it was one of the old 'skeleton' key ones, and we didn't have a key to it.

My dad would get pissed at us kids when we'd take the keys out of the car ignition - he just assumed he could get in the car and go. Same town, but that was in the 1970's.

Mom is still in that house. There is a dead bolt on the front door now, and she was looking it for a while, but I think she's back to not bothering.

Last edited by Folacin; 08-18-2013 at 08:20 PM..
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  #8  
Old 08-18-2013, 08:49 PM
Silophant Silophant is offline
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I grew up in small town MN, and my parents still don't lock their doors, unless they're going to leave the house for more than a couple of days. Since a spate of teenagers going through cars a couple years ago, though, they do lock the car that sits outside. Not the ones in the (unlocked) garage, though.
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  #9  
Old 08-18-2013, 09:32 PM
TheMightyAtlas TheMightyAtlas is offline
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Suburb of Boston. At least one door, and usually several, are always unlocked.
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  #10  
Old 08-18-2013, 09:44 PM
SeaDragonTattoo SeaDragonTattoo is online now
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Metaphorical door? Establishment that's open 24/7/365?

My back door tends to go unlocked, I keep it open a lot for the airflow with the screen door and often forget to lock it when I shut it. The ground floor is gated, though, so unless another resident is breaking in, it's even less likely a crackhead is going to traipse up to the fourth floor. At least that's what I tell myself whenever I realize I left the door open again.
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  #11  
Old 08-18-2013, 09:50 PM
nearwildheaven nearwildheaven is offline
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I've always heard that Denny's Restaurants do not have locks on their doors, because the restaurant never closes and they are therefore not necessary.
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  #12  
Old 08-18-2013, 10:02 PM
rhubarbarin rhubarbarin is offline
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I spent the mid-90s as a kid in a small midwestern college town (15,000 people during the school year), no one locked their doors and cars including my transplanted parents, and there was almost no crime. If there is low crime, it's not a big deal. It's at least a fairly recent reality for quite a few people.

Lately I've been living in busy parts of the 5th and 3rd largest cities in America. I don't leave my door or bike unlocked ever, that would be stupid.

The song sounds like some idiot logic, though. Times change and neighborhoods and towns go bad.
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  #13  
Old 08-18-2013, 10:06 PM
Martian Bigfoot Martian Bigfoot is online now
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Originally Posted by Collaborator View Post
That said, locking your doors is a false sense of security in so many ways. Kicking a door open? Extremely easy. Bumping the lock? Also easy. Going in through a window? Yep, pretty easy. There's really nothing stopping someone determined to get into your house short of fortifying it with bars, steel doors, etc. Of course, if someone broke in here, it'd be the last thing they ever did, but I think quite a lot of people think 911 is some sort of magical shield that will stop a robber in their tracks.
I don't lock my door to protect my belongings. I lock my door so that my insurance company won't start bitching when my stuff gets stolen.
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  #14  
Old 08-18-2013, 10:17 PM
hajario hajario is offline
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I live in a moderately nice neighborhood in Santa Barbara. I do lock my doors but I really don't have to do so. I bought my house twenty years ago and I haven't heard of a break in the immediate area.

Even if they did break in, I don't have much to take. I don't have any jewelry or anything. The most valuable thing in the house is my 55" flat screen and I can't see someone carrying that out of the house and into a vehicle. My old lap top isn't worth much. It would be a total waste of their time.
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  #15  
Old 08-18-2013, 10:18 PM
Leaper Leaper is offline
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Originally Posted by nearwildheaven View Post
I've always heard that Denny's Restaurants do not have locks on their doors, because the restaurant never closes and they are therefore not necessary.
But 7-11's do, because what if they need to evacuate the area for some weather emergency or something? Surely the Dennys would have locks for the same reason?
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  #16  
Old 08-18-2013, 11:49 PM
GusNSpot GusNSpot is offline
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Locks are to keep honest people honest.

The easier & faster the transportation in & out can be done, the more stranger danger there will be.

The more easily strangers are noted & let know they are noted = less danger.

Large or packs of large dogs.

Or most people knowing me. The local punks tell the traveling punks to stay away from this place. It ain't healthy.

Bawahahaha
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  #17  
Old 08-19-2013, 12:13 AM
Senegoid Senegoid is offline
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I grew up in the San Fernando Valley in the 1950's-1960's. Somebody will argue about whether I should have put those apostrophes there. But we didn't keep our door locked during the day. We locked it at night, or when we were away.

Fast forward to 2000 through 2003. The old hood has changed. These days, you wouldn't want to be outdoors at night there. But I lived here in those years. I never locked my door, day or night or even when I was at work. I only locked it when I went away for several days at a time. And I didn't lock my car door there either (although I locked it when I was at work or elsewhere).
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  #18  
Old 08-19-2013, 01:11 AM
Magiver Magiver is offline
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Originally Posted by Broomstick View Post
I overheard this phrase in a country and western tune on the car radio today:

"That door ain't never been locked, and I swear it never will"

I found myself greatly puzzled by this. The tone of the lyrics clearly intended that never locking one's door was supposed to be a good thing. Maybe I'm just to citified, but that seems foolish to me. I mean, sure, the Bad Guys are totally responsible for entering where they don't belong but really, bragging you never lock your door, like this is something to be proud of? WTF?

Can someone explain this mindset to me?
When I was a kid we knew everybody on our block. Nobody had more than one car (if any) so basically you would know if a strange car was there or if a stranger was walking about. People sat out on their porch in the evening so it was really one big surveillance system. During the day women stayed home and took care of the kids so at any given time there were multiple people watching over things.

I walked or rode my bike to kindergarten and back and as I remember it the bike rack was usually full. None of them were locked up nor did we lock our bikes going to the store.

So yes, I suppose that was a good thing. YMMV
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  #19  
Old 08-19-2013, 02:01 AM
panache45 panache45 is offline
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If I were a song writer, I'd use that phrase to mean the door to my heart. What was the rest of the song about?
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  #20  
Old 08-19-2013, 02:03 AM
Broomstick Broomstick is offline
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About how great things were in the old days and how today everything has gone to shit.
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  #21  
Old 08-19-2013, 02:22 AM
Girl Hermit Girl Hermit is offline
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We left town for the day just this week, gone for 8+ hours, and it never occurred to me to lock the doors. I don't have a key for the back door and have just one for the front (that does get used if we're going away for more than a few nights). I don't lock up before bed, which some overnight visitors seem uncomfortable with (and if it bothers them I will lock the doors). I don't lock my car. When my husband takes the car to work, he often leaves the keys on the floor in case I feel like walking down to use it for anything.

I have, however, lived in larger areas that I wouldn't dream of leaving the house/car unlocked. I have also thought about, in passing and as mentioned by Martian Bigfoot, what would happen if someone did waltz in and walk off with our stuff in regards to what the insurance company might say. I may live to regret the choice I suppose if anything happens.
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  #22  
Old 08-19-2013, 05:13 AM
JBDivmstr JBDivmstr is offline
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Originally Posted by njtt View Post
I think it is part of the myth of "small town" America, where, back in the good old days before all those city folk and liberals and foreigners ruined everything, everybody in town knew everyone else, there was no crime (beyond the town drunk), and everybody was welcome in everybody else’s home. Locking your door would be both unnecessary and inhospitable.

As a British person, newly arrived in America, in a smallish town (but a university town no less) in California, people warned me not to go out of my apartment without locking the front door (with the implication that this necessity was a fairly recent, sad, modern development). I was quite taken aback. I grew up in a pretty middle-class, law abiding area in Britain, but I would never have dreamed of going out without locking my front door, and I have some doubt as to whether Americans of earlier generations really ever did so either. They like to believe they did, though.
(bolding mine)

Basically, this. Of course, it has a lot to do with where you're talking about. In larger towns and cities, people have probably always locked their doors.
In a lot of small towns, and particularly in the suburbs and beyond, it was (and probably still is, to some extent) the norm, to never, or seldom, lock ones doors.

I have relatives that live in 'the country' (it's 15 miles to the closest town, and a 1/4 mile to the nearest neighbor, and the neighbor is another relative) and they didn't start locking their doors until just a few years back. And that's only when they leave the house for more than a couple of hours. If they're at home or just up the road at the neighbors, the doors are unlocked. They still leave their car keys on the floorboard, night and day. Try doing that in any big city, or even mid-sized town, these days.
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  #23  
Old 08-19-2013, 05:26 AM
clairobscur clairobscur is offline
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Originally Posted by njtt View Post
I have some doubt as to whether Americans of earlier generations really ever did so either. They like to believe they did, though.
I don't know about Americans, but I've been raised during the 70s in a French village where it was the case. Many people, as far as I can tell, indeed didn't lock their doors, at least during the day. My grandmother locked the door at night. I don't know if other people did the same since obviously I didn't visit/interact with them at night. The crime rate was zero. I don't remember any instance of burglary in the area (not just the village) during my childhood.

It's not the case anymore. Though quite rare by city standard, burglaries do happen (in fact isolated houses are specifically targeted) and people lock their doors. The population has become more mobile, residents and criminals alike. When I was a kid, almost everybody had lived there his whole life and apart from some relatives of the locals during summer, there was essentially no visitors. Any "outsider" would have stuck out like a sore thumb.

So, I've no trouble believing it could have been and could still be the case in rural America.
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  #24  
Old 08-19-2013, 05:48 AM
clairobscur clairobscur is offline
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Forgot to add, in response to the OP : of course it's a good thing not to have to lock one's door. It's not about bad guys being responsible or not for their actions, but about the lack of bad guys (at least the sort of bad guys who would steal your stuff). It's telling that you didn't get it immediately, in fact.

That said, rural life had many drawbacks, and having to lock your door might be well worth not having to deal with them, IMO.

Last edited by clairobscur; 08-19-2013 at 05:51 AM..
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  #25  
Old 08-19-2013, 07:06 AM
Broomstick Broomstick is offline
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It's telling that you didn't get it immediately, in fact.
Well, living my life in St. Louis, Detroit, Chicago, and Gary, IN just might have something to do with my lack of "getting it". It's a pretty foreign concept to a city dweller.

I suppose it does make some sense if you're living way out in the middle of nowhere with the neighbors miles away, but I also don't get people who come into where I live and brag about not locking their doors - it might be safe where you live, but here it would be foolish at best. I was once teased when I did go out to the boonies about locking my car, but I pointed out to the guy that given where I live as opposed to where I visit it wasn't a habit I could afford to break.

That, and when I went to visit the in-laws in rural Tennessee we had to lock our cars because otherwise a certain number of them would have riffled through our stuff and/or taken it. They also had a bad habit of borrowing peoples' cars without asking permission. So, in that case, being out in the country you still couldn't leave your stuff unguarded even if they didn't lock their doors.
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  #26  
Old 08-19-2013, 08:12 AM
Peremensoe Peremensoe is offline
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I would never have dreamed of going out without locking my front door, and I have some doubt as to whether Americans of earlier generations really ever did so either. They like to believe they did, though.
Lose your doubt.

Not just "earlier generations," either. I know plenty of houses that are only ever locked when the family is away traveling. Some people leave their car keys in the ignition, too.
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Old 08-19-2013, 08:20 AM
Bricker Bricker is online now
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Originally Posted by Manda JO View Post
There's something to be said for stopping the bored kids who aren't determined to get in, but are trying handles, or the junkie who is looking for the easiest possible score.

I mean, not everyone who breaks into houses is an ax murderer coming for you in particular.
Bingo. It's like the old joke punchline: "I don't have to outrun the bear; I only have to outrun you." Putting a Club on your car's steering wheel won't stop the gang of international car thieves; it will stop the slim-jim wielding booster.
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  #28  
Old 08-19-2013, 08:36 AM
AncientHumanoid AncientHumanoid is offline
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Lose your doubt.

Not just "earlier generations," either. I know plenty of houses that are only ever locked when the family is away traveling. Some people leave their car keys in the ignition, too.
My boss in the early 80s. I had to go get something for him at his house. He told me to go in thru the unlocked garage door. Houston, affluent suburb.

Some older friends of my parents did the same thing. Front door locked, side or back unlocked.

I lived in a nearby apartment, wouldn't dream of even sitting in my own place watching TV without the door locked. Always locked car and apt.

I figured that the older gen's unlocked ways were a holdover from their earlier, "simpler" days.
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  #29  
Old 08-19-2013, 08:36 AM
Foxy40 Foxy40 is offline
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Growing up in the 70s, early 80s the door was never locked. Good thing because I think my parents lost the key the day they moved in. Although my father was a police officer and that was well known in the community so maybe other people locked their doors in the neighborhood.

Now I only lock my door when no one is home and at night.
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  #30  
Old 08-19-2013, 08:51 AM
Macca26 Macca26 is offline
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I felt weird about locking my indoor apartment door with both the lock and a deadbolt whenever I came in, even though I now live in the city - there was an outside house door with a lock, after all. The house door was set so that you could not keep it from locking. My parents were visiting and would give me funny looks about locking my apartment door even during the day, because there were only three apartments in the place and my parents didn't lock their door at home. Who exactly did I think would try and get in?

Of course, it was THAT night at 4 am some high and/or drunk guy uses a porch chair to beat the downstairs house door in and then comes up to our apartment door trying to kick it down.

I didn't feel quite so weird locking both inside locks after that.
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  #31  
Old 08-19-2013, 08:58 AM
RTFirefly RTFirefly is online now
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I grew up in the VA suburbs of DC in the 1960s, and we always locked the doors to our house when we were away. We never locked our car doors when the cars were in the driveway, though.

That's pretty much how I do things now, only I'm in a MD exurb of DC.
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  #32  
Old 08-19-2013, 08:59 AM
Kiyoshi Kiyoshi is offline
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When my parents got married (1984), the neighbours were shocked to find that the front door was locked. The neighbours wanted to introduce themselves, and were used to walking into each other's homes uninvited.

Nowadays, I couldn't imagine leaving my door unlocked, even when I'm at home. It just seems terribly dangerous. Then again, most of us now don't even know our neighbours' names. The two things are probably connected.
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  #33  
Old 08-19-2013, 09:49 AM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is online now
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If I were a song writer, I'd use that phrase to mean the door to my heart. What was the rest of the song about?
I agree. It's highly unlikely the phrase was meant literally. It could be the door to my heart, or just the door is open for an ex-lover to return to you.

Even those who long for the days when you could leave your door unlocked would never express it in that way.

I also find it astonishing that it took 19 posts for anyone to raise the possibility it wasn't literal.
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Old 08-19-2013, 10:09 AM
StusBlues StusBlues is offline
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I also find it astonishing that it took 19 posts for anyone to raise the possibility it wasn't literal.
My first impression was that it meant a bedroom door, actually - something along the lines of "no fight between us will be allowed to escalate to the point that one of us locks the other out."

Anyway, I grew up in a Nebraska town of about 600 people on a good day. We never locked our doors. I wasn't even sure how, or where the key was. We did lock it up the summer before we sold it, but by then I was off to college.
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Old 08-19-2013, 10:09 AM
GreasyJack GreasyJack is online now
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I agree. It's highly unlikely the phrase was meant literally. It could be the door to my heart, or just the door is open for an ex-lover to return to you.

Even those who long for the days when you could leave your door unlocked would never express it in that way.

I also find it astonishing that it took 19 posts for anyone to raise the possibility it wasn't literal.
Do you listen to much FM radio country these days? It's big on gushing idolization of rural America and light on subtle metaphors. Googling the lyric, it is in fact from a "small towns are great" song and so I'm almost certain it is literal.
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Old 08-19-2013, 10:15 AM
want2befree want2befree is offline
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If I were a song writer, I'd use that phrase to mean the door to my heart. What was the rest of the song about?
That's what I was thinking. Or even more literally, if they were keeping the door to their heart open for their lover, they would keep the door to their house open for them as well.
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  #37  
Old 08-19-2013, 10:20 AM
Labrador Deceiver Labrador Deceiver is online now
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For those wondering, the song is "Where I Come From" by Montgomery Gentry. The line is clearly not a metaphor.
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  #38  
Old 08-19-2013, 10:32 AM
Broomstick Broomstick is offline
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I agree. It's highly unlikely the phrase was meant literally.
No, it was very much meant literally. Labrador Deceiver has kindly tracked down the song. If you listen to it you'll see that very plainly it is meant absolutely literally in the song.

The relevant lines are:

Quote:
See that door right there, man I swear
It ain't never been locked
And I can I can tell you that it never will
The thing is, while I can somewhat grok the concept of a small town where crime is so rare and neighbors so well know that leaving your door unlocked is not dangerous, this notion that the narrator will NEVER lock his door strikes this city girl as quite bizarre. Really? Never? Not even if you go away for a week or some desperado rolls into town? It seems a stubborn refusal to adapt to changing circumstances to me. But whatever.

Last edited by Broomstick; 08-19-2013 at 10:36 AM..
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  #39  
Old 08-19-2013, 10:43 AM
StusBlues StusBlues is offline
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The thing is, while I can somewhat grok the concept of a small town where crime is so rare and neighbors so well know that leaving your door unlocked is not dangerous, this notion that the narrator will NEVER lock his door strikes this city girl as quite bizarre. Really? Never? Not even if you go away for a week or some desperado rolls into town? It seems a stubborn refusal to adapt to changing circumstances to me. But whatever.
We would leave town for days on end without locking the house at all. True fact.
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  #40  
Old 08-19-2013, 10:53 AM
Kimballkid Kimballkid is online now
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It's just the way small towns are. It's only a slight exaggeration that if a strange car pulls up into your driveway all the busybody old lady neighbors will know about it before you do.
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Old 08-19-2013, 10:56 AM
StusBlues StusBlues is offline
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It's just the way small towns are. It's only a slight exaggeration that if a strange car pulls up into your driveway all the busybody old lady neighbors will know about it before you do.
That's not an exaggeration at all, honestly.

I AM surprised to hear the whole "never lock our doors" thing still goes on. I'd assumed that even folks in small towns locked up nowadays. Then again, the small-town atmosphere in village where I grew up has been more or less shattered by a large Tyson plant that moved in ten miles down the road, so it may be a thing of the past there - but not everywhere.
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  #42  
Old 08-19-2013, 11:09 AM
StGermain StGermain is offline
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I don't lock my house. I couldn't actually come up with the keys if I had to. There's nothing worth stealing, and if you want in there so badly you'll brave my doberman, german shepherds, giant schnauzer and standard poodle, I guess you'd break a window if the door was locked. Besides, unless you were really big, you could probably fit through the dog door.

It drives my cop neighbors crazy - they not only lock their doors, they have a security system.

StG
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  #43  
Old 08-19-2013, 11:13 AM
Dallas Jones Dallas Jones is online now
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I live in a small rural town where everybody knows each other and the back door to my house can't be locked. Never has been for at least 50 years. We sometimes lock the front door if we are leaving town. Garage is never locked, except when leaving town even though it has many thousands of dollars of tools in it.

Crime, burglary, robbery, worry me about as much as an asteroid impact does.
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  #44  
Old 08-19-2013, 11:17 AM
Kimballkid Kimballkid is online now
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Hell, whenever I'm expecting a package while I'm at work, I leave the people door in the garage unlocked and put a sign on the front door telling the delivery person that. Also, when I had a neighbor paint my house, I left that door unlocked so they could get to the stuff they needed.
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  #45  
Old 08-19-2013, 11:24 AM
control-z control-z is online now
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Originally Posted by StusBlues View Post
We would leave town for days on end without locking the house at all. True fact.
It's still like that in rural Virginia, a couple I know went on vacation to SC last week and their house doors don't even lock. Another nearby friend doesn't lock their doors. I don't really need to lock my doors either but I just do because it can't hurt.
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  #46  
Old 08-19-2013, 11:25 AM
Broomstick Broomstick is offline
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Originally Posted by StGermain View Post
There's nothing worth stealing, and if you want in there so badly you'll brave my doberman, german shepherds, giant schnauzer and standard poodle, I guess you'd break a window if the door was locked. Besides, unless you were really big, you could probably fit through the dog door.

It drives my cop neighbors crazy - they not only lock their doors, they have a security system.
I would consider that list of large dogs a security system, wouldn't you?
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  #47  
Old 08-19-2013, 11:30 AM
Enright3 Enright3 is offline
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Originally Posted by njtt View Post
I think it is part of the myth of "small town" America, where, back in the good old days before all those city folk and liberals and foreigners ruined everything, everybody in town knew everyone else, there was no crime (beyond the town drunk), and everybody was welcome in everybody else’s home. Locking your door would be both unnecessary and inhospitable.

As a British person, newly arrived in America, in a smallish town (but a university town no less) in California, people warned me not to go out of my apartment without locking the front door (with the implication that this necessity was a fairly recent, sad, modern development). I was quite taken aback. I grew up in a pretty middle-class, law abiding area in Britain, but I would never have dreamed of going out without locking my front door, and I have some doubt as to whether Americans of earlier generations really ever did so either. They like to believe they did, though.
I grew up in a small farm town in Oklahoma. Not only did we not lock our door; but we didn't even have a key to our doors; front or back. Also my mother never bothered to remove the key from the ignition in our car (in town anyway). Even though I graduated high school in 1980; I can tell you that my brother, who still lives there; doesn't lock his doors (and again, doesn't even have a key to them AFAIK).
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  #48  
Old 08-19-2013, 11:32 AM
Enright3 Enright3 is offline
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Originally Posted by Folacin View Post
We didn't even have a key to our front door - we were going on a two week vacation, and the folks thought that locking the door would be a good idea, until they realized that they really couldn't. 1960's, small town MN. The door had a bolt, but it was one of the old 'skeleton' key ones, and we didn't have a key to it.

My dad would get pissed at us kids when we'd take the keys out of the car ignition - he just assumed he could get in the car and go. Same town, but that was in the 1970's.

Mom is still in that house. There is a dead bolt on the front door now, and she was looking it for a while, but I think she's back to not bothering.
Ha ha, I think we went to different high schools together.
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  #49  
Old 08-19-2013, 11:40 AM
Enright3 Enright3 is offline
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Originally Posted by Leaper View Post
But 7-11's do, because what if they need to evacuate the area for some weather emergency or something? Surely the Dennys would have locks for the same reason?
I'd bet it comes down to the simple fact that most doors are built with locks in them. It would actually be more work to order a set of standard glass/restaurant type doors without locks. IOW, I think that the Denny's thing is just some urban myth. If nothing else, during construction; before the store was open; I guarantee they locked the doors to keep people from stealing stuff. At that point it's definitely cheaper to keep the same doors on there.
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Old 08-19-2013, 11:46 AM
Snickers Snickers is offline
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Yep. In my hometown (small western Wisconsin town, ~2000 people), people rarely lock the doors. My mom only locks her door at night if Dad's gone for whatever reason. Hell, they don't even know where the key to the front door *is* - it's been lost for ages. Most of their cars have the keys in them, ready to go, too. When I lived there, the only place I locked my car was at the high school.
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