Locking keys in the car used to be big business for tow truck type people. They would come to the car with some magic utensil that would break into it and get you out of your car-key problem. Most new cars have a thing called a fob, which eliminates this problem. If it is left inside the car, usually, your car will not lock. My car even makes a beeping sound with the fob inside. Now I have confidence I will not have to deal with this problem again, and I thought most people had that advantage, too.
But just recently my friend, Helen, brought all those memories back to me. We were in Florida staying in areas about 20 minutes apart and had agreed she would come to pick me up in about an hour. I was ready and waiting when the phone rang.
I could tell right away something was wrong. And then the story began. She was going to drop off her husband at the golf course and put her purse in the car. Then she shut the door and somehow it locked and both sets of car keys were inside. The one in her purse as backup now was useless and the other one was in the ignition.
Thank heavens the golf clubs weren’t stuck inside. That would have been the seal on her coffin! But her husband, Tim, had many choice words to say to her about the situation because he was in a hurry (as if, she said, he had never done that before in his life)!
Quickly a neighbor came to the rescue and took him to the golf course. So that problem was solved. Now she’s telling me she called someone to come break into her car for her. I went to her home and we waited for the man to arrive.
He was there in about 30 seconds and the door was open. My gosh, why don’t we all have one of those tools if we still have a key and not a fob?
When I’ve had this problem in the past, no one has ever asked me for any document showing ownership and that man didn’t ask her either. I guess they all just figure, if you were going to steal a car you wouldn’t be so obvious about it.
With all the problems solved, we headed out for the day. Helen was feeling dumb about how it happened. For me, it brought back memories of the last time I did it.
It was about five years ago and I was at the gas station. I got out of my car, filled up the tank and when I tried to get back inside, the door was locked. I don’t know how it happened – maybe I bumped the lock. Anyway I couldn’t get in. My cell phone was inside, of course, in my purse and the key was inside my car in the ignition.
I went directly to the office of the gas station and explained the problem. I then asked to use the phone to call my husband, explaining he would bring the other key and get me in my car. To my astonishment the guy in charge immediately said, “No, we don’t let people use our phone.” What? I explained again the predicament, that my own cell phone was locked inside the car. Didn’t he understand the problem? He told me a second time that they didn’t allow people to use their phone. They had had too many problems with that.
I then decided to point out their problem, in that my car was blocking about one and a half gas pumps and was going to be sitting there for quite a long period of time in front of and blocking their money producing, gas pumping machines. I reminded them that a very busy gas station was going to be losing some cash. Seriously can you believe the stupidity of the situation?
Finally, the clearly not-service-oriented employees stepped into the corner to discuss the situation and came back to tell me, OK, I could use the phone.
Once I made the call, of course, I apologized for my stupid actions, but my husband came with the other set of keys and I was out of there, still thinking about this ridiculous situation!
This was my last experience with a key, I hope. It’s just another wonderful reason to have a new modern car with the fob that protects you from craziness like this. We are all busy people, who are often on a schedule and have to be somewhere, so I hope that you never lock yourself out of your car. It’s such a waste of our time!
(Melanie Behrens – firstname.lastname@example.org)
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