Those others in the house who eventually found themselves on the other side of the door (woken by the noise of me frantically trying to get out) appeared to find the situation rather entertaining, but I - whilst acknowledging that the event was typical of the "One day I'll laugh about this" sort - went straight from confusion to panic to mildly claustrophobic annoyance. I did not pass go. I did not collection my £200. I did not laugh.
And this was a situation not helped by my facing it whilst clad in nothing more than a bathrobe. A chap already feels a tad emasculated by this sort of situation without having to handle it without trousers.
We tried all the standard remedies: tugging from my side and shoving from theirs; taking the outside face of the door handle off; poking in thin cards from either side, trying to get the hinge pin out.
My lovely and quick-thinking wife was able to rig up an emergency transport system using a clothes-line prop and a carrier-bag, through which we were able to transport tools, my mobile phone (I've had to make some funny "I'm going to be in a bit late" calls to work in my time, but this one really did take the biscuit), and - most importantly - a pair of trousers.
But I remained resolutely stuck. By this point we'd figured out that the the door handle mechanism had sheered off internally, with the result that while my repeated turning of the door handle might have had some cathartic effect, it wasn't actually moving the door bolt itself one millimetre.
Eventually though, as I found myself facing up to further incarceration (I'd already been in there getting on two hours, and a quick call of some Yellow Pages numbers had established that the nearest locksmith was 90 minutes and £65 pounds away), the very cool time_for_tea decided that the time had come to get a tad medieval on the door.
First step: prize the wooden lip that keeps the door shuts against off the wall frame.
We had been hoping that he would then be able to slide a metal scraper in, against the curved part of the door bolt, and force it in. However, given that our door doesn't fit the frame well, and given that the application of sod's law means that the part that fits least well (i.e. jams) is the part where the bolt is, he couldn't get enough angle to get up against the curved part.
Which left one final option.
Take the blade off a hacksaw and saw through the bastard. Which we did, in relays, with I myself having the honour of making the final breakthrough. The door swung open with just the merest push, and I was free. And very late for work.
I've got the end bit of the bolt on my desk here at work. I'm thinking of having it made into a paperweight, in case I ever take freedom for granted. And to those who rescued me: thank you!