I am an (annoying) optimist so I tend to look on the bright side in any given situation. I am still trying to find it for this one. Maybe by the end of this post I will come up with something.
I needed to pick Sam up at the school this afternoon. I thought I would leave a little early and pick up a few things at the grocery store. So I did my shopping and came out to my car. I pulled out my keys and opened the back, loaded the groceries and then shut the back and turned to put the cart away. When I walked back to the car, it was locked. That was odd because the back won't open unless the car is unlocked and it had just been open a moment before. I started digging for my keys. I usually drop them in my purse and find them right on top--nope. I searched my pockets. No keys. I was starting to get a little concerned but I just KNEW the keys had to be somewhere since I JUST HAD THEM! I looked all around the car, I tried to peek in the back window and see if they had dropped in with the groceries. I backtracked to the grocery cart and looked on the ground all around.
I finally had to admit that I had somehow locked my keys in the car. The only solution I could think of was to ask some kind friend to go by my house, pick up the spare key and come and rescue me. I called Shayla first to let her know to get the key out and have it ready. That was when I noticed my phone was on it's last gasp of battery. I tried to hurry along the explanation so I would have some battery left to call a friend. Shayla checked in the place where the key has been kept for the last three years we have lived here and informed me that the entire drawer was empty. Of course it was--I had been packing up everything that wasn't in regular use and that included the odd key drawer.
I had texted a couple of my thoughtful, understanding Relief Society friends but hadn't heard back yet. While I was waiting, I sent Shayla on a wild goose (key) chase amongst the stacks of boxes in the garage. She patiently searched every box that might possibly hold the key to my immediate happiness.
In the meantime, it started to rain.
It rarely rains here in southern California but since I was locked out of my car and my son was waiting at the school, of course it would rain. As I stood in the rain I tried to think of a plan B. I realized a locksmith was probably the only other option. I walked into Stater Brothers Grocery but it was so crowded and busy I decided to go next door to the small UPS store and ask if anyone had a suggestion. The very nice proprietor told me she had helped several people with my very dilemma and she got out the phone book and opened it to the locksmith page. I made the call, and the very helpful locksmith said he could be right over for a nominal fee. The fee was not quite nominal enough for my good sense so I asked if I could check to see how my Plan A was working out and call him back. "Sure, but I close in 15 minutes."
Shayla had not been able to find the key in the boxstack. So I resigned myself to paying a King's Ransom to get back into my car, free my hostage groceries and pick up my abandoned son (who just then texted: "It's raining frowny face").
I summoned the locksmith.
And he came post-haste. Luckily his shop was just a few blocks away. He was a portly gentleman who greeted me with "So, what's for dinner?" As he retrieved his tools of the trade from the back of his cheery yellow van. I realized he was referring to my recent grocery-shopping and we had a nice chat about how nice stew is on a cold, damp day. I was interested to see how he would get into a car with power locks--he used a wooden wedge, a blow-up wedge and a stiff wire.
But to no avail.
The car refused all of his advances.
He tried a different wire. He bent it all different ways. He tried the unlock buttons on both sides of the car and in the back. He tried the lift-gate button. The alarm went off, the lights flashed but the locks stayed locked.
I began to despair of ever leaving the Stater Brothers Parking lot.
Undaunted, the locksmith brought out a plastic crate to stand on. He needed to reach from a higher height. And lo and behold, it worked. The door opened and the alarms went crazy again for all the world to hear. That's when a helpful passerby asked "Ever thought of getting Triple A?" Why would I need Triple A when I have the high-priced locksmith at my service?
But alas, the lift-gate still refused to open. I had to crawl back over the seats to see if I could find my keys where they must surely be lurking amongst the groceries.
Can this story get any crazier?
Yes. Yes it can.
I emptied every grocery bag. Then I crawled back to the front of the car and emptied my purse. The locksmith waited patiently while I dug in every pocket. Nada.
How could this be?
The locksmith suggested I check in the store and see if someone had turned in my keys. I just couldn't fathom how that could have happened in the mere seconds it had taken me to return the cart earlier. But there was nothing else to do so I did.
I asked a bagger, who referred me to the manager, who asked a clerk who said "Yes! Some keys were brought in a little while ago." And sure enough, the keys were mine.
I hurried back out to let the locksmith know that he had been right and that he had broken into my car for no reason. He took it (and the cash) all with good humor. I swore him to secrecy and he promised he would not breathe a word of my misadventures.
About then the phone rang and Shayla let me know she had found the spare key--I had shoved the tray of keys from the key drawer into my dresser cupboard. What? I don't even want to try to explain that.
Then a friend called and said she could come right away and I thanked her anyway and said it was solved.
And then my phone beeped and died.
I retrieved poor, abandoned Sam from the rain and we headed for home.
That's when I noticed this:
So, to sum it up--I guess someone picked up my keys just after I dropped them and in the process, hit the lock button--locking me out of my car. In the process of being helpful, they set in motion a comedy of errors that I will not soon forget.
Oh, and on the bright side, it gave me a blog post for today.