Monday, August 4, 2008

Something to Keep in Mind

Soooo...Saturday morning on my way back from the farmers' market, I decided to stop and fill up at the gas station next to the MoreMart. I wasn't running on fumes yet, but the gas was, well, not so cheap. Not even cheap-ish. But generally less spendy than the other places.

Now, my brother has a rule: Never lock your car door unless you have your keys in your hand. Not in your pocket, not in your purse, but in your hand, right in front of your eyes. Leave nothing to chance. It's a good rule, and I generally live by it in addition to my own gas station rules: Keep your keys in your hand until you are well out and clear of the car, roll down your window, and of course, DON'T lock the door!!!

I pulled up next to the pump, ran through the check list, stepped out of the car, and slammed the door. And before it even hit... I knew...!!! I reached out and tried the door handle, and...sure enough. LOCKED!!! with my keys dangling in the ignition.

Gas station? Who locks their car at the gas station?! Ummmm...ever since we lived in Houston a *few* years ago, locking my car is like my deeply ingrained, I don't even think about it. I just do it.

Well, we carry Roadside Assistance on our car insurance, and all I had to do was call them for a *free* rescue. Except that along with my keys, my cell phone was safely tucked into my purse which was sitting pretty right there on the floorboard.

Now what? This is just too hard. I can ask the girl in the bullet-proof cage if I could use her phone. But whom would I call? The rescue phone number is safely hidden in the car. I could call my Man, but he won't be out of work for another 30 minutes, and he is 30 miles away. And I don't know anybody in this town! WAAAAAHHH!!! Oh, well. My arm isn't long enough to reach the phone through that little slot, anyway. That sorta leaves me back at Square One, doesn't it.

Oh, and did I mention I have two sets of people waiting for me, and no way for me to contact them?

I approached the glass cage. There was one customer standing there ahead of me, and she and the captive inside were carrying on an animated (and lengthy) conversation. Kids, exes, school, vacations, you name it. Oh well. I had time to wait, and it gave me a chance to sorta rehearse what I might say to try to minimize the indignity of the situation. In the final analysis though, as everyone says, honesty is the best policy, so I decided to man up and be honest. Besides, I could not think of one possible/plausible person to blame it on. Other than me, that is...

Well, let me tell you, that girl in the cage was all business. I barely got the words out before she went into action. "Honey, this happens ALL the time! Well, mostly over there at MoreMart, but here, too. Let me call the police department for you. They will send an officer over here and open it for you for free. They do this every day." She knew exactly what she was talking about. The number was either on speed dial, or etched into her brain, because she had them on the phone in no time flat. "We have an idiot locked out of her car over here at the MoreMart gas station. Red Cavalier." "Honey, what year is it?" "2001. Right here at pump #6." And then she hung up and said, "They'll be here as soon as an officer is available. Don't worry. They know all about this kind of thing."

My credit card was the only thing that had escaped the lockdown, so I went ahead and filled up my car while I waited. It only took a few minutes, and then...well...nothing like feeling stupid. No place to sit, no one to talk to, no phone, no book; so I tried to think of all the things I could be thankful for while I stood around like a streetwalker: I'm in the shade, there's a nice breeze, what a nice clerk at this gas station, what a lucky break that the cops were on the way.

I'm sure it probably didn't take as long as it felt like. I mean, this is small-town Saturday morning. The cops are probably glad to have something to do. And soon enough, only minutes, really, a Sheriff's car came along. And kept right on going. What's up with that?! Then a police SUV drove up. Didn't want to get my hopes up this time, but YES!!! He pulled in right behind me. The driver got out and came over to me, clipboard and pen in hand. Oh, no! He wants a record of this! Well, I'm not really in a position to refuse, am I, so I answer the questions: Name? Physical address? Date of birth? Driver's license # (oh, sure...If I knew that, my brain would be in a lot better working order than this, wouldn't it?)? Height? Uh oh...what's next?! If he asks me my weight I'm gonna ask him his... ACK!

The second officer was still digging around in the back of the SUV, so my guy took off in that direction. He was back in about one second, with a doorstop in one hand and a long, bendy, heavy pink wire in the other. I don't know what this guy did for a living before he became a cop, but he knew his business! Wedged that doorstop in the door, jiggled that wire around, and voila'! I'm in!!! I got my purse and looked up my driver's license for him, and that was that. I hopped in my car, they hopped back in theirs, and...We're off!

Something to keep in mind...If you're going to lock yourself out of your car, make sure you do it in Lampasas, Texas.


~~Deby said...

I know this is not funny...but *moi* has done things like this, to INCLUDE this way tooooo many times in my life...eeekkkkk....don't like that feeling at all...don't even know where that town in Texas is..but I should write it down...say ...where's my pen?

Marytoo said...

Yep. Write it down. It's a good thing to know.

Angie Lou said...

If you really want them to show up fast you have to lock a kid in the car. They really move out for that! :-)

Civilla said...

Oooh, we used to live in Copperas Cove, near Lampassas, in the early '70's.

My husband and I lived in Texas four times. We are graduates of Abilene Christian University.