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Hi, This is Wayne. This is my site, my stuff, my blog, blahblahblah. The site itself is powered by WordPress and the Scary Little theme. I thought it was cool, and I still do.

11:26 am
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A coupla weeks ago, the family went down to one of our timeshares on “Bonus Time” which is free-if-it’s-available time anywhere from 2-6 days at any one of 14 timeshares.  We had planned to be in South Padre but Hurricane Dolly had really messed up the island pretty bad and our reserved vacation there had been cancelled due to, well, the timeshare had nearly been totalled.  Our backup plans were Galveston but Hurricane Ike made a mess of that place as well.

Since I still had time off of work, we ended up requesting the Bonus Time at a place not too far away (an hour’s drive or so).  They have a 2-bedroom place w/kitchen and stuff, so it’s easy to while away the time with a few groceries and such.   The place has minigolf, a big game room, a mini-theatre, horseshoes,  playscapes and lots of stuff for the kids to do.

On one of the days, they had Alvin and the Chipmonks playing in the mini-theatre.  Jaden LOVES this movie so much.  So we went ahead and got in the Durango instead of walking, and drove the 1000 feet to the activity center.  He had wanted to play some word games in the car or something, so we did that.  Then we played some more in and around the car since we still had 20 mins before the movie.  He pretended to drive; I pretended to be in the back seat needing to go to the hospital; he pretended to be Darth Vader.  We had us some fun.

We then went into the Activity Center and found the mini-theatre.  We sat in the back and loved the movie together.  We laughed, he needed to go use the restroom, we came back and laughed some more.  When the movie was over, we got our stuff and went to the game room for a little basketball.  We thought about checking out a Connect Four game from the center and playing it but decided we were a lot hungrier than we though so we started back.

As we walked to the Durango I started checking my pockets for the key and I could not find it.  It was not in either front pocket (I usually keep keys in my right front pocket, and money in right left).  It wasn’t in my jacket pocket, either.

Jaden and I went back to the theatre, thinking the key had come out of my pants pocket while we sat back and relaxed in the seats.  We searched everywhere, feeling with our hands along the floor (ick!) and using my blackberry to light up whatever sections we could.  Fortunately the place was cleaner than it should be, so our hands weren’t treated to the muck and guck you’d think would be on the floors of a public free kids mini-theatre.

I started to get a little frantic.  We only have one Durango key because we had lost the 2nd key we had about a year ago.  We never replaced it because of the cost – it’s about $110 nowadays to get these new fangled security fob-key combos.

We retraced our steps in the activity center, looking around the basketball game, looking everywhere we’d walked.  Went back into the theatre and found the light switch, which helped quite a bit.  Still, no key.

At this point I’m thinking about the call I’m going to have to make to my wife to explain we don’t have a car key anymore.  I’m thinking about how much it’s going to cost to replace.  I’m thinking about how we’re out of town with a car without a car key.  I’m thinking about the awesome blog entry I’m going to have complaining about it.  I’m thinking how much I wish I had the remote just so I could push the panic button on it.

Then I get a thought.  I figure, with all that thinking, it was bound to happen.

Maybe I left the key in the car?

Heck, I’ve left my keys in the car before.  It’s not common, but it happens.  Our previous SUV was a 1998 Ford Explorer, and it has a keypad on the outside.  So it was common for me to leave the keys in the car because I could lock and unlock the car from the outside with my code.  When we first got the Durango, I left my keys in with the car locked out of habit one or twice, but it had been a whole year since that happened.

So we started walking out to the car and I was also thinking something else – maybe I left the car UNLOCKED with the keys in it, and someone stole our car!  That would really really suck – being out of town without a key AND a car.

Fortunately a few steps later, my nerves were eased quite a bit when I saw the hood of the durango over the bushes as we walked down the stairs.  I told Jaden “hey, maybe I left the keys in the car” and he said “yeah, maybe we did!”  He’s so cute.  “I hope it’s not locked!”  I laughed with him.  Nervously.

As we approached the car, I heard something unfamiliar.  It sounded like… hmm, like…. like…. the engine. was. running.

Well, I found my key.

So.  Now I have a locked running durango with the key in it.  Fantastic.  (sarcasm was used for this sentence). 

Oh, and you know what else I realized?  My car had been running… for how long?  yes.  THE ENTIRE MOVIE.  PLUS THE SEARCHING TIME.  That’s almost 2 hours.  Fortunately I had just filled up the night before and the tank still had 7/8 worth of gas.

Good thing for me, *I* knew what to do in this situation.  Instead of calling for help to some locksmith like a wimp asking for them to fix my stupidity, I calmly went inside and asked for a coat hanger.  Surely I can unlock my own car with a coat hanger – I’ve seen this done before (specifically, I saw my Uncle Wes do it when I called him for help like a wimp asking him to fix my stupidity).

The Activity Center girl smirked a little as I walked up to ask for some supplies.  Her smile was a little unnerving, like she knew a secret or something, but still I explained my situation.  She got one of the maintenance guys on the CB and said he’d be right there.  Sure enough, the guy showed up pretty quick with a coat hanger

Oops, wrong wire hanger image.  Anyway, I professed my undying gratitude and said I’ll be back in a bit, hopefully with an open Durango.

Maintenance Guy offered to help, so I accepted.

As we walked to the Durango, he said “oh, by the way, your barn door’s open.”

This did not immediately register. I expressed my best befuddled look and said “Say again?

He explained.  “Your barn door.  It’s wide open.

Having not heard this expression in a looooong time, I finally realized what he meant, fixed my zipper and then realized the source of the Activity Girl’s smirk.  Sheesh.

Maintenance Guy helped a lot.  He had pointed out that he and his buds had noticed the running Durango and joked “hey, free Durango!“.  Hahahahaha.  Real Funneh.  🙂  

Never to pass up the chance to use the word “fortunately”, I will point out that fortunately, I had my favorite tool with me – the SwissTool.  With it, I was able to fashion the near-perfect loop and edges so I could grab the top of the lock mechanism.   I was feeling quite the manly man.

Because it was near-perfect and not actually perfect, it didn’t work.  Nope, not at all.  Just got more and more frustrated and my hand muscles got cramped.

Fortunately, I have the stubborn will of an activist judge.  I made some more adjustments and about 25 minutes later, I was able to finagle my way into the locked door.  My fingers were sore, as were just about all the muscles in my hand from twisting and turning the coat hanger through the upper corner of the door/window seam.  Maintenance Guy helped quite a bit by pulling on the door so I had a crevice into which I could navigate the metal rod of capability towards the lock-pull, and giving advice and encouragement here and there.

After we were in the car and properly thanked Maintennace Guy, Jaden wisely remarked “we probably shouldn’t do that again.”  Then he added “it took you a long time to open it, so we should keep the keys when we leave the car next time.”

You, son, are brilliant.  In fact, I think you’re an angel.

Ok, a butterfly angel.

I think I’ll be buying a 2nd key remote this week.

tsk tsk

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