Monday, April 30, 2012

The Hundred Dollar Half-Second

This is an expensive lesson in preparation and lightning fast decision-making. And it only takes a half-second.

Perhaps you can relate. Perhaps not.

It's literally that half-second when you step away from your car and think, "Something is wrong... Do I have my keys?" and you're pretty damn sure you do not. A lot happens in that half-second. You glance back to see your door midway through its momentum, making the journey from open to closed. Freedom to lockout. You consider lunging for the closing space a la Indiana Jones, but instead stand helplessly as you watch the door go flush and click into place. You're screwed.

"Well, that can't be," you say, as you give your pockets a thorough patdown. No key.  "I'm sure it's not actually locked," you rationalize, as you yank on the handle. No give. What kind of an idiot are you?

"Hmmm. I just locked myself out of my car." (That kind of idiot.)

So you failed the lightning fast portion of the test, but don't fret! That's where preparation comes in; At least you have a spare key.

Ahhhh! This is exactly the sort of sticky situation spare keys are for! The downside is that it's on the other side of town at my house - but the upside is I get to take the subway home and, ain't it full of oh-so-eclectic characters? They're way more fun than those lonely, bitter drivers I'm so often associated with in traffic jams. Some of those guys look downright miserable and thisclose to plunging their wheeled prison off the side of the Gardiner (lighten up out there, eh guys?!)

Well, as it turns out the spare key is in my jacket and, have you seen the weather lately? Who wears a jacket? Certainly not me. My jacket's actually sitting on the backseat of my ca - ah, right. See, now that's a problem. I know exactly where my spare car key is.

It's in the car.

Well, at least it has a friend. Both of the car keys locked together in the car. Probably stayed up late giggling like schoolgirls and telling ghost stories. Probably ate my Girl Guide cookies too.

So, now it's another trip back across town - subway ride, ten points - and a call to the locksmith. $100, he says. Sounded nice and shady, just how these operations ought to be. Their website said they had a 25 minute response time. Somehow, that 25 minutes felt like two and a half hours. Aaahhh, that's because it was! (Silly me. His clock must have been broken.)

He finally pulled up in an unmarked white van. I could have been meeting a drug dealer or a mafia informant for all I knew.

You know how he got the car open? He had an inflatable bladder like that arm thing at the doctor's office with the little pump. You know, it checks your blood pressure? That forced the door open just enough so he could hit the button with a fancy coat hangar and, bam - the car is open. That's it?!  Why don't I have one of those things? I bet you could get one at Canadian Tire for $15.

(I bet I would have kept it in the car.)

But, the shadiest part of the whole deal? It wasn't the Slavic accent or the unmarked van or the cash payment. The guy didn't ask me for ID or anything. Proof I owned the car? Didn't care. Sign some paperwork? Nada. He just went to work, unlocked it, collected his money and peaced out. No questions asked. Super professional.

You know what the lesson here is? You can break into any car you want for $100.

Lesson learned.



"Boy, I could sure go for a cheap hamburger... I wonder where the nearest Burger King is? Let me just check my trusty Google Maps... oh, it's close! Waitasec - what's all this??"

Screw you, Google Maps. That's not a Burger King at all!

No comments:

Post a Comment