Escape rooms have become a popular form of entertainment among people without claustrophobia. If you're unaware, you basically voluntarily lock yourself in a room, often with strangers, and have to solve a series of puzzles to find the key to let yourself out. I will admit, the one escape room in which I have partaken was more fun than I thought it would be, but I think that's because I knew everyone I was doing it with, and I'm not necessarily itching to do it again.
Neither was the guy in this hilarious story posted to Reddit's MaliciousCompliance. He made an escape room reservation that he didn't want to keep, so he invented his own escape room situation to cleverly weasel his way out of it, much to the chagrin of the escape room owner.
The owner is actually the person who posted this story on Reddit. He was that impressed with the potential customer's snaky moves. For context, he wrote, "I own an escape room company in a town which borders a pretty touristy area and is very close to an airport." So they get a lot of travelers on their way in or out of town doing escape rooms.
They only take bookings online, and they only issue refunds for cancellations made more than 24 hours in advance of the appointment time. (This will be important later.) They are usually pretty lax with this policy except on Saturdays, when they're usually extremely busy and someone's canceled appointment could have been filled by another group.
So, a guy calls and says he and his group won't be able to make their escape room appointment, which was supposed to be in less than three hours. The place was booked for the rest of the day, so he couldn't offer them a same-day rescheduling, and they were leaving town that night. The guy asked for a refund, but as you now know, that's not the policy.
"After a short pause," he wrote, "he asked if we had any free slots to schedule for next month." The owner gladly moved the appointment to weeks later. That's when this sneaky guy said, "Right, so the booking is more than 24 hours away. I won't be able to make it. Can I have a refund?"
The escape room owner had been tricked! He thought it was so funny that he had no choice but to issue the refund. This man had escape-roomed his way out of his escape room reservation. With that cleverness, he probably would have crushed the actual escape room.
Sometimes, though, when you're actually forced to partake in an escape room, it gets super awkward. That was the case for this next person, who posted their story to the TIFU subreddit. They explained that they were testing an escape room experience a friend-of-a-friend constructed for a Halloween party.
Along with a few complete strangers, they started looking around the cheaply-made escape room. It was awkward because no one wanted to be the "guy who's super excited to lead the group." While quietly looking around, they noticed their was a history theme. We're talking "computer-printed photos of historical figures and explorers on the walls, a cheap dollar-store style globe on an end table, and so on."
So, the first thing this guy did was locate a combination lock on the door. It was one of those ones with a four-number code. He put in the first relevant number he thought of, which was 1492, the year Christopher Columbus landed in the Americas.
And what do you know? The lock opened. He solved the whole escape room just using context clues from the room itself. The host was not too happy about this and awkwardly asked him to leave and then made the rest of the people find where the combination was hidden. Whoops! Maybe that guy shouldn't have made his escape room lock combination so intuitively easy to figure out!
Obviously, the lesson here is that escape rooms are a scourge and I don't know why we as a society let them happen. Doing an escape room is inherently awkward. I can't imagine how awkward it gets when the creator watches you solve the whole thing in two seconds. The best thing to do is obviously to avoid them at all cost. If you have an escape room appointment, cancel today* using any means necessary.
*No shade to escape room owners, but let's ask ourselves what we're really doing here, folks.