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Article Archive >> Community

Daze of My Life: This Belle Was Saved By...

Daze of My Life
This Belle Was Saved By...

I rescued a damsel in distress earlier today and I did it by sitting on my rear end and thinking (remembering, actually). I received the semi distress call from my wife, Dina, at 9:25 this morning. I was in McLean, she was still in Burtonsville, 45 minutes away by car. Dina was calling to say that she had accidentally locked her keys in her car, and did I have any suggestions or words to that effect.
Being an experienced husband, I knew that inquiring (I use that term loosely) as to how such a thing, accidental though it may have been, could have possibly happened would serve absolutely no purpose, and most likely exacerbate an already unpleasant and inconvenient situation, so I refrained. It happened. Why/how is irrelevant. Finding the solution was the proper course of action, at that particular time, anyway. And so we discussed our options: calling AAA, yours truly driving home to unlock her car with my key, attempting to use her car's second key-less entry key fob (the one I had on my key chain) to transmit a signal via cell phone in an technological trick to unlock the door while she held her cell phone against the car (something I had read somewhere, unfortunately it didn't work), calling a locksmith, or even consider alternative modes of transportation: neighbor, taxi, subway, etc. After discussing all these options, I said I would call her back in five minutes after asking around the office in the event there was some idea that we hadn't considered.
A few minutes later I called her back. After speaking with other car owners in my office, some of whom had actually experienced the identical keys-locked-in-the-car problem, the consensus was that Dina should just call AAA. I called Dina back and advised her how best to proceed, and so she called AAA, with whom we've been members going on 25 years. I hung up and told her to call me back if she encountered any problems. At which point I figured my assistance was no longer needed so I resumed my morning duties and re-focused on the newspaper tasks at hand.
And as I returned to my desk and sat back down, I felt my car/house keys in my pant's pocket where I had put them in anticipation of possibly driving home after Dina had initially called to explain her plight. And while doing so, I felt again, saw again, the key fob to her car that I had on my key chain, that moments ago, in crisis mode, we had used (via our cell phones) unsuccessfully to unlock her car, and it hit me.
Dina doesn't use her car's key fob. She doesn't even carry it on her key chain. In fact, I think I remember seeing it in the house, by itself, in an ash tray under a mirror in our living room where, if I wasn't mistaken, it had taken up permanent residence, so I called her back immediately, and somewhat excitedly with news I thought, if true, would eliminate whatever cost and inconvenience waiting for AAA to arrive would cause. And before I could even finish my thought, Dina had, per my suggestion, looked in the ash tray, found her key fob and was already on her way outside to her car, a mere 10 yards or so from where the key fob was (and the front door is) and voila, one button press later, "presto chango," like magic, or shall I say exactly like key-less entry technology was designed to do, the car door opened. Dina quickly called to cancel the AAA Road Service and off to work she drove, with nary a hint of the disaster/delay that might have been.
Mighty Mouse would have been proud as I "saved the day!" And though I didn't exactly swoop down from the sky like he often did, it sure felt like it. For a low-tech, mechanically declined, tool twit like me, this rescue was as good as it gets.

Kenneth B. Lourie is a regionally syndicated columnist who resides in Burtonsville, MD.

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