Fun with mag locks!

American Embassy Madrid, Spain 1997.

The forces of evil tend to live in mortal terror of your average Marine standing post. This generally to leads to hours of very boring and uneventful duty. While this is precisely why the State Department likes having us around at consulates and embassies worldwide, it also makes what could be exciting work turn into an endless battle against boredom.

The Consular Sections daily processed hundreds of people for entry visas and other issues. Before entering they would be screened by local security guards. All the entry and exit points in the embassy have magnetic locks controlled by the Marine Guards at Post 1.

On one particular balmy Madrid afternoon a father and son entered the building and stopped to speak to the local guard before being screened. The young boy, no older than three or four, quickly grew bored and began pushing on the crash bar of the bulletproof glass door leading back outside.

Being the vigilant kind of watch stander I was my senses were always highly tuned to detect the possibility of mayhem or find the opportunity to cause same.

As the young lad threw his weight behind the door it opened and he slipped outside to see if anything interesting was going on out there. The door shut behind him and I immediately toggled the mag lock on firmly sealing the door. The boy kicked around the top step for a moment and turned back to the door as he realized it had shut behind him. Grabbing the handle he began to tug in futility. Valiantly he put his back into the pull straining with all his might. Veins and sweat began to appear on his little brow as he heaved to no avail. I was having a ball.

The father glanced down and finally noticed his son missing. First looking left then right as parents do he spun around searching the immediate area of the lobby. Finally he located the boy who, unable to see through the one way glass, had plastered his face against the door trying to look in. As soon as dad’s hand hit the crash bar I toggled the switch to off and the door opened smoothly as I rubbed my hands together and cackled evilly.

The poor kid was yanked unceremoniously back into the lobby for some harsh discipline. Sorry kid, some lessons have to be learned the hard way.


America’s 1stSgt

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  1. I’m really glad you’re not MY 1SG. No offense meant, of course. It’s just that some kinds of creative and crafty malice need to be appreciated from a distance.

    A BIG distance. 😀

  2. Coffee, it takes a village after all.

    Magoo, mean? Me? Mean? I probably prevented that kid from wandering off the rest of the day. I may have saved his little life!

    Saker, if I was your 1stSgt you would be squared away. If not, well, everyone is the architect of their own destiny. Know what I mean?

  3. Yes, A1S, you, mean. If you’d really intended to save the kid the hideous torments of the streets of Madrid, we’d laud you as a hero and shower you with baked goods and dancing girls. You admit yourself that it amused you so i can only conclude that your motives were not in the least altruistic. Prosecution rests.

    Having said all that, i did something similar myself not too long ago with 2 hyperactive nephews in a Toyota Corolla 🙂

  4. Hope the little bogger was hop-skippin around Dad as Dad applied hand, belt, shoe or whatever to the part that sits down.

    My Mom wouldn’t have hesitated.

    Sometimes a bit of “creative and crafty malice” is needed to instruct some youngins on what NOT to be doing.

    Am-1Sgt NEVER MEAN just “creative and crafty” in a ‘sneaky’ way.

    Loved it … Wish you had pic’s of the kid’s face as he stared back inside or better yet when Dad “crashed” through the door.

    Miss Em
    Austell, Ga.

  5. When my kids were that kinda little it would have taken me approximately .003 of a millisecond to realize they were no longer safe at my side.

    Actually, in a foriegn country or in a busy loaction, it would probably have taken more like .001 of a millisecond.

    Hopefully the Dad got a little tune up out of that.

    Good job!

  6. Ack! I was 3 days late reading this, and it was so worth the read. I scared my children half to death, I laughed so hard (strangely, they don’t trust me when I start laughing like that).

    I had a similar experience when my toddler climbed in the clothes dryer and managed to close the door and trap himself. After searching frantically for the source of the crying, I stood outside the dryer laughing and calling my teenager into the room so he could laugh too before releasing my toddler.

  7. OK. I don’t think our schools need more money, they need Marines to pay regular visits…sure would make my job easier. After the pledge, you could growl over the intercom to let them know you’re there for a surprise visit…
    …start with recess.

    (hey…forces of evil were kids once, ya know.)
    I rub MY hands together and cackle evilly just thinking about it.

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