Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Just Call Me Lockout Strout

Locks are my new nemesis. I'm not talking locks of hair, I'm talking about locks that involve keys. Picture this: a nice early fall evening in southern Vermont. I drive over to my usual Thursday night hotspot to hang out with my Operation Tanked crew. I pull in, careful not to pull too far forward and hit the guard rail again, hop out, and realize...I have no keys. Hmm. I check my purse. Not in there. A pocket check also yields no results. Then the freight train of dread pulls into the station as I reaalize the keys are in my car. Locked in the car. So a call is put into AAA, the patron saint of dumbass motorists everywhere. A nice man arrives in his personal vehicle and spends a whole three minutes unlocking my doors. I now feel like an idiot because locking your keys in your car is, well, idiotic. But life goes on.

Two weeks later, I am enjoying a relaxing visit with the folks in Maine. I go out to my car to fetch my Gatorade. Car doors are locked. Keys are inside. Again. Not only have I locked my keys in the car for the second time in a few weeks, but I am also in my parent's driveway. I called AAA again. No nice discreet personal vehicle this time. They send out the huge flatbed truck. Fortunately my father was not there because, well, I can only imagine his reaction. Instead, Momma Strout enjoyed a nice giggle as she held back the Ferocious Dog. Ninety-two seconds later, the guy is back in his truck on his merry way. I now feel well versed in the art of breaking into my car, should the need arise again. Mom suggested I look into purchasing a nifty little lockout kit for myself, but I scoff at the thought of locking my keys in again.

Yet, the following week finds me standing outside my car at a friend's apartment, staring at the set of keys dangling in the ignition. But now I'm confident I can handle the situation myself. I wedge the door open with a small tube of Udderly Smooth udder cream, and wiggle a borrowed coat hanger into the car. Sadly, I failed in my attempt to break into my own car. Defeated, I called AAA again. A young man arrives - in a big truck - and employs a method I have not yet seen. It is definitely time to put the spare key on the outside of my car, which I would have done immediately following Lockout #2 had the spare key not been in another state. Yet, typical me, I did not take action. Still one would assume the sting of embarrassment from having locked the keys in the car three times in the last month would stay with me.

Less than 48 hours later I am standing outside the 99 Restaurant waiting for someone to break into my car again - and half tempted to let my buddy JBo employ his low-tech method of punching out a window. But I waited patiently and lo and behold, the same man who rescued me four weeks earlier saved me again. So it all came full circle and I placed a spare key on the outside of my car so no more lockouts, right?

Cleaning and organizing my desk at work, I stumbled upon a ring of keys that had been in the desk for at least two and a half years. I did not know what the keys went to so I began to test them. The lock on my desk did not seem to work quite right, so I threw the keys in the drawer and shut it. Someone must have said the magic word because then the lock worked and I was not able to budge the drawer when I needed a rubber band out of it. I busted out various devices in an attempt to to open the drawer and finally, with the aid of a baby flathead and a broken paper clip, I pick the lock...which then falls completely out of the desk. Guess that solves that future lockout issue. I hope.

Moral of the story: locks do not prevent crime. Instead, locks create criminals because I can now break into cars and pick locks. Not that I would ever do either, of course...crap, is this admissible in court??

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