Keep it Real: I almost became a sharkie sandwich

News Editor Kelly Foulk keeps life interesting. Don’t be surprised if she shows up at school with a penguin costume on (five minutes late, of course). She does what she wants when she wants to.


To many, being locked in a small room with seven of their family members for an entire hour may sound like h-e double hockey sticks (Especially when they realize that no phones are allowed). To me, it was just a fun Sunday evening.

Escape rooms are a fad popping up across the country where a group of people go into a locked room and have to find and decipher clues. The clues eventually lead them to the key that unlocks the door, allowing them to escape. The groups are given a set amount of time to escape or else it’s game over.

When I arrived at Escape this Live, an escape room company in Catonsville, Md, I didn’t know what to expect. I knew I was going to be locked in a room, but I didn’t know for how long or how hard the clues would be.

After arriving, the owner of the escape room, Doug, led us into a small 10×10 room. It was pirate themed, designed to look like Black Beard’s office. There was a desk with ancient books on top, a skull, some booty, a mini cannon, and a pirate flag, among other “piratey” things. Four metal parrots sat on a shelf watching us. Each had a number on it. Suspicious. We were told they probably would turn out to be a clue.

Doug gave us a walkie talkie and told us to call in if we needed help. He would give us up to three hints. He pointed out several video cameras and told us not to try anything funny, like kicking down the door. He then walked out of the room and locked the door behind him.

The timer started. Exactly one hour to break free. Could we do it?

Immediately we started looking for clues. We tried opening all of the drawers in the desk but most of them were locked. We tried opening the doors on the chests that sat on the floor. Locked as well. It seemed like everything was locked. How could we find a clue if everything was locked? Not even thirty seconds had passed and it seemed like we were going to need a hint.

Eventually, I decided to open a random bottle that sat upon a shelf. There was a key inside. This key opened one drawer, which held the key to another, and so on. Some parts were difficult. There were puzzles and treasure maps and mini pirate statues with magnets on them. Everything was connected somehow.

It was amazing to watch all of the pieces come together. What had at first seemed like a boring little room soon revealed itself to have mysteries that would take way longer than a mere hour to discover. Each clue led to another one, yet the timer ticked on.

15 minutes left and the clues came to a halt. We had a treasure map with a golden coin glued to it and a magnetic skull, but no idea how they were connected. The clock was ticking. We needed a hint.

Then there were only 2 minutes left. We were lost again, but we had used all our hints.

Then 30 seconds. We were still stuck. Someone came and banged on the door from outside. It was Blackbeard! He was returning from the outside! He couldn’t find us in his office, or else we would be forced to walk the plank!

10 seconds. My brother hid himself in a trunk on the ground-at least he would be safe from the wrath of Blackbeard.

7 seconds. I grabbed a nearby ladder to defend myself from the pirate.

5. 4. 3. 2. 1. The door burst open. My sister screamed, but it was only Doug.

We failed to escape the escape room. I’m lucky it was only Doug who came to get us, not Blackbeard himself. Otherwise I would have been the sharkie sandwich.

Kelly Foulk is a News Editor for The Patriot and