Friday, September 02, 2005

Even more early senility

This morning, my wife told me that my father, who is visiting from out of town, said he would pick up the boy from kindergarten, and that he might need to borrow one of our minivans to do so.

I assumed he would either contact me or show up at my home regardless of any need to borrow a vehicle. Contact me, because I'm the parent who does afternoon carpool, and show up regardless, because he would need the boy's carseat.

I had heard nothing by 2:30, and kindergarten pick-up is at 3:00, so off I went to retrieve the boy.

I met my father at the school. The trip wasn't a total loss - I handed over the carseat to him, then walked two blocks to Tim Horton's for a large coffee. I had to pick up the girls and their carpool buddy at 4:00 anyway.

I got back to my car with a half-hour left to waste. The kids had a portable DVD player in the back seat and a collection of DVDs. I figured I'd blow 22 minutes with an episode of "Futurama", one of the greatest shows ever on TV, and my all-time favourite DVDs for the commentary.

I unlocked the car with the remote and engaged the electric power to run the DVD player. I closed the driver-side door and went to the passenger-side sliding door. It was locked.

You know that sinking feeling you get when your universe doglegs irrevocably?

All the doors were locked. So was the trunk. I'm not sure why. The doors used to lock automatically once the van reached 20 mph. Maybe I leaned on the door-lock switch. Maybe the mechanics who installed the new engine miswired the electrics. Doesn't matter - I was locked out.

I walked two blocks the other way to a police station. The officer on duty said that the laws prevented police from breaking into a vehicle, even at the owner's request. He said all he could do was call a tow truck for me.

Back at the school, I called CAA. My wife has an account. The not entirely business savvy CAA woman told me I could buy an associate account, but I'd have to wait 48 hours before my first service call.

I tried to phone my wife next. I have never been able to commit her cell-phone number to memory, but the school had last year's files at hand. Not this year's, yet. That's unfortunate, since my wife really only uses the new cell phone, the number of which the school did not have. I called the older cell phone, but I think that's the one I saw in the minvan I was locked out of.

In the end, our fellow carpooler, Julia, came to pick us all up. Luckily, I left the patio door unlocked, so we had no problem getting into the house.

We'll go get the van later. It's legally parked.


Blogger Scott the Reader said...


About 5 years ago, I locked myself out of my car, with the engine running and the radio on, somewhere in Hollywood. The cop I flagged down told me to call a tow truck. When he finally arrived, it took him about 15 seconds to break in. Meanwhile, the whole time I was waiting for him, I had to listen to the music on the radio telling me how stupid I was.

Now I carry a plastic spare key in my wallet.

September 2, 2005 5:48 PM  
Blogger Webs said...

When I was 17, I locked my keys in my mom's Chrysler Cordoba, which I had parked in my girlfriend's parents' driveway. I spent half an hour working a wire hanger behind the passenger window.

When I unlocked and opened the door, I noticed that I had left the driver's window down.

September 2, 2005 6:36 PM  

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