Burn after reading


Cover of Judy Bolton book, illustrated by Pela...

The kind of books I read growing up (Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

A relative called me the other day to remind me to clean out the secret compartment in my mom’s house. Secret compartment? I’ve wanted a secret compartment all my life, and now I have one and didn’t even know it? Well, turns out the “secret compartment” was not all the secret after all, because first, he knew about it, and second, it wasn’t really hidden, just a cupboard tucked up so high that one might miss it if they didn’t know it was there.

What is it about secret compartments? A couple of years ago when we were doing some home renovations, I was trying to figure out where I could sneak a secret compartment into the floor plan. A few problems arose. If I had the builders build  a secret compartment, must I have them killed later? Could turn out to be messy and complicated, and might make me end up in another secret compartment, otherwise known as prison. Might they wonder what I was up to that I needed a secret compartment? “Does she have a lot of money, jewels, or drugs?” A casual remark in a bar after work could leave me open to future danger. “Hey I’m doing a kitchen remodel for a lady who wants me to build her a secret compartment.” Next thing you know a guy named Bruno is breaking into my house looking for the secret compartment, convinced I have something worth stealing to hide in there. (By the way Bruno, I don’t.)

I don’t know if it had something to do with growing up reading Judy Bolton  mysteries, or reading novels about the resistance movement in World War II, but I’ve always thought that having a secret compartment is a necessity. You never know when you’re going to need it, but it would be great to have it at the ready just in case. A secret room would be even better, but then I would feel compelled to spend some time in there, if I went to the trouble of having a whole room built. That might get dicey when my husband comes home. “Where are you honey? Oh, just in my secret room.” “What are you doing in there? Oh, you know, secret room kind of stuff…”

Have you ever wished that you had a secret compartment? Or do you have one (lucky!) and want to share about it here?

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12 thoughts on “Burn after reading

  1. Absolutely. I was the kid who wrote notes on tiny bits of paper and hid them in the wall in our backyard. Then, I’d turn into Nancy Drew and go find the clues. A secret compartment would be great. A secret room even better.

  2. I would love to have a secret compartment! I would want mine in the floor, a la Lane in the Gilmore Girls. I have always dreamed of having a house with secret rooms too.

  3. Yes and Yes!!! When we were building our new home this past year, my husband and I discussed a secret room. It ended up we added a storm room. It’s just our master bedroom closet with reinforced walls and a scuttle hole in the ceiling in case the door is blocked by debris after a storm. Kinda cool but its no secret room.

  4. I don’t have one….but I know my wife does. No matter how well I turn the house inside out….I can still never find her hidden chocolate stash. She has to have a compartment hidden somewhere…… I’ll find it someday….. Give me time….. I’ll find it! 🙂

  5. I always wanted a secret room. It would be behind the bookcase. Trouble was, we never had a bookcase growing up. Maybe that’s why we never had a secret room.
    Where is this cupboard, anyway? If it’s the one on the porch, I’ll be very disappointed.

  6. So fun. My mom had a secret door put into her house when they recently remodelled. The whole bookcase on one side of the fireplace opens out and she can sneak into her bedroom. So the room is not secret, but the passage is. Makes great fun when she sneaks up on the grandkids. She’s fun like that!

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