Sunday, February 1, 2009

On Car Keys

About a year ago my mom locked her keys in the car whilst cleaning snow off the roof. In having the defroster on as well, she had to have the keys in the ignition, so it wasn't hard to happen. Problematically, my spare key was on my spare-key-ring, 150 miles away up at school, as I was only home for a short break.

We failed in our attempts to both find relatives with spares and break into their houses to find other spares. A quick trip to the dealership where we bought the car and get maintenance brought us to the ultimate problem: with my mom's purse in the car, she had no ID to prove she was herself, and thus could not requisition an emergency key duplicate be made.

Stretching reasoning, we showed that as her son, I could vouch that she was herself because my name is on the registration as a secondarily insured driver, of which the dealership must have had a copy somewhere. Eventually, we got the key made and came home and went about our lives.

Well yesterday I drove out to Oneonta from Binghamton (about 65 miles) to visit a friend. In cleaning off my car at 9 P.M. in attempting a return trip, yep, you guessed it. Ice scraper in hand, I had to trudge back up the steps after saying my goodbyes, bag and coat safely locked in my trunk and defroster on full-blast. My spare key, yes, still in Binghamton.

Almost luckily, I had no other options and immediately called AAA. They were so wonderfully nice to me and I had a nice warm place to sit, so I happily waited on the couch with my friends, after convincing them that waiting was preferable to spools of wire. I considered writing this then, in the present tense, because it was just too funny. I was about to do that instead of saying "Screw it," and spending the night.

The body shop AAA called for me called at the exact moment they were due to say that they had come and gone outside without even needing me, and that my door was unlocked and I was safe to go home. I didn't even get the chance to tip the guy for coming out at 10 on a Saturday. I got into a warm, toasty car and found my GPS and iPod exactly where I'd left them, and my precious garbage bag of Wendy's food was untouched. Maybe 8 minutes later I was driving down the highway and received a phone call from AAA making sure I was okay.

I made exact time, despite it snowing lightly most of the way back, and arrived back in Binghamton only to find a massive party at my house, comprising relatives of two different roommates and a series of friends celebrating out roommate-in-exile's imminent midnight 21st birthday. What could I do but have a beer and join in?

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