“So…we’re not stranded, then.”

Went to town with D&L this morning. And I’m not telling this story to make fun of anyone, other than maybe myself. Just saying: Getting old ain’t for sissies. And part of my ordeal is that I’m about half deaf.

I was in the pitiful hardware section of the local pitiful market, vainly searching for some Pex fittings for a revision I need to make in Ian’s Cave. So I was longer in the store than I wanted to be and only started throwing groceries in my basket as I saw D&L checking out. I finished up quick as I could and just as I got to the checkout counter D came back in, said something I couldn’t hear to the cashier, and then started looking around the floor.

L came in, also very interested in the floor. I asked what was going on. L said she misplaced her truck key, and (I swear she added) D hadn’t brought his.

Which was, of course, very bad. At this point, once I’d checked out and stashed my groceries in the truck, I joined in the search with a will. We went over every square inch of this rather small store. Turned their groceries inside out. Looked through her purse, her pockets. Under every seat. Then we did it all again. This went on for a really long time.

At last all options were spent. The key was gone as if it had never existed. L had vainly gone back into the store, D and I were on either side of the truck, front doors open. D said, with what I took to be hopeless irony, “I always keep my key here,” patting his pocket.

I said, “Well, at least we have phones. I wonder if (the other neighbor L) is home. Maybe we can send her to your place. Do you know where you keep your key?”

He gave me a strange look. “Yeah. I keep it here.” And he reached into his pocket and withdrew his key.

After perhaps 3 seconds of silence, I replied, “So…we’re not stranded then.” Because I have to tell you, I thought all the sturm und drang was about us being stranded 10+ miles from home. They can get another key.

And then D went off on a story about a time when L had locked her key in their car and he was afraid to leave it because then somebody would break a window and steal the car. And I realized that what this was really about was my OCD friends being OCD. Like somebody was going to find the missing key and then trek the desert to find and steal their truck out of their locked garage. Which is attached to their heavily-armed house.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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5 Responses to “So…we’re not stranded, then.”

  1. jabrwok says:

    Been there, done similarly…absent-minded stuff:-).

  2. jrg says:

    I learned to keep a spare key to my truck at all times. Once locked the keys in there, and could not locate my wife to bring my spare key to where I was at. She finally answered, brought me what she thought was my truck key (but was not). So back home we go, me picturing someone glancing through window and spotting keys on the seat and taking off. Longest half hour in my life I think.

    So I keep a spare in my wallet at all times now. Haven’t needed it of course but am anticipating it will happen when I forget my wallet or leave it in truck as well.

  3. Mark Matis says:

    So D + L are like that couple in “Tremors”, eh?

  4. Anonymous says:

    To venture Into The World without (a) spare key is something mentally defective children do. Fully functional adults know better. Or are supposed to.

    If one is truly, and seriously, worried about “finding the key and treking to where ever the vehicle is and stealing it” there’s always the option of putting only the vehicle key on a keychain and labeling it something else; the Aware and Anointed may recognize it as a Ford key, or a Chevy/Toyota/Lamborghini/Gulfstream V key, but some degree of confusion can be created by labeling it “Red Explorer,” “Blue Prius,” or “Chartreuse Cessna.” Or something.

    True, going through a parking lot and trying the found key in every Ford/Chevy/Lamborghini/Gulfstream might produce results (assuming that particular vehicle is present), and such procedures would be simpler in sparsely populated areas such as yours as opposed to malls in the Atlanta area, but still….

    And, there is the Tried and True Method of Dealing With Mentally-Challenged Children: a neck chain and an Adult Handler.

    Pro Tip: When D&L procure a spare key to replace the one that was lost, have them get one more and give it to you. Welcome to The Assemblage of Adult Handlership, we meet Tuesdays at 8 PM in the lounge at the bowling alley.

  5. bill says:

    At my wedding in ’72, me and wife went to my Pinto to make our getaway. It was filled with rice though the doors were locked just like left it. Turned out somebody had another model Ford (I think it was a Maverick) and their key fit my car. Compared the keys and they were exact.

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