Last week we had a bit of rain, which is really a good thing, since it cooled things down here in lovely Houston, TX, where humidity and heat are the norm from April through October.Today, however, it was back up to 90 degrees. It’s kind of like Hell, but with fans….that suck the air out of the room rather than blow it on you. Of course I naively assume Hell to be more oven-like than sauna-like, so imagine Hell with misters…..that spray hot water. Cannot wear a dress shirt without a t-shirt or you look like you dove in a pool. Sweat in the shower. You get the point.
Well, let me just say that the rain also triggered a chain reaction of events that I just realized 2 nights ago as I was about to make a McDonalds run. Oh I know. Leave me alone about my sweet tea and spicy chicken sammich. I’m weak.
Sunday it was raining and as a result, I rushed from my car carrying a load of stuff and unbeknownst to me, left my keys in the ignition. My house keys are on a separate ring so I didn’t realize it until Monday morning, when I was looking for my car keys so I could drive to work. I looked all over and finally confirmed my worst fears. Locked in the car, the teal vampire lemon, which has been on pretty good behavior lately.
So, Monday I rode my bike…..which developed a semi deflated front tire midway during the 1 mile ride to work. “Ah, must be the cooler weather that adjusted the air pressure in my tire”. Somehow knowing that didn’t make it easier to pedal. Oh, and I was riding mostly uphill against a stiff breeze. Needless to say, I worked harder than usual and when I got to work, was a little out of breath and looked as if I had been doused by a fire hose (see paragraph 1 re: Hell with misters). I drew a few funny stares as I walked in the hospital looking like a wet rat, but they have seen me drag along that way when I was getting chemo, so nobody really paid attention. Plus, they probably realized I had been outside and what else would you expect here?
Monday and Tuesday nights I worked at retrieving my keys. I didn’t want to call a locksmith and pay $50 or more for 15 seconds of work and humiliation.
“Hmmm. Left your keys in the car and locked it, huh?” (snicker snicker) Click, $50.00 please. Cash if you have it” .
I don’t, which is why I tried it all myself. I also called the campus police who no longer do “lockouts” and the roadside assistance number on the back of the drivers license, but was told that if you are outside the city limits a state trooper will come and make sure you are safe. “What if I am inside the city”. Well state troopers don’t go into cities, silly. The other recommendation I received from a couple of people was to go into the “hood” and ask who could break into a car, then choose the safest looking thug. I passed on that one.
Monday night. I don’t have or know how to use a slim jim, so I used the old stand-by wire coat hanger, but the locks on my car are smooth so I had nothing to grab and lift. Prying the passenger window open, I tried to access the lock and unlock button with a coat hanger, then a fishing pole, but despite my efforts, could not get the switch to work. I assumed it was just inadeqaute pressure on the switch. By the way, it is amazing that nobody even bothered to ask if I needed help or if this was even my car. After 90 minutes of sweat and frustration I went to bed. So end of night #1, the score was Vampire 1, Bagman 0. I realize now that the fact it took me 90 minutes probably confirmed it must have been my car.
Tuesday night I tried again. Same techniques, same results. A friend of mine suggested putting the coat hanger on the fishing pole and trying to get the keys out of the ignition and pulling them out the window. “CRAZY. That’ll NEVER Work” I thought. Well, guess what? I was able to get the keys out of the ignition using my fishing hanger! Vampire 1, Bagman 1. Then I promptly dropped them on the passenger side floorboard. Happy? Not really. Vampire 2, Bagman 1.
It was at this point that a passerby asked if my keys were locked in the car. I asked her to hold my flashlight, which was very helpful.
I worked and worked and finally was able to get the coat hanger through the key ring and retrieve them through my window. REJOICE! REJOICE! Angels singing!!! Yada Yada. Soaking wet with sweat I went inside and collapsed. Relieved to have my keys but in no hurry to go anywhere. Vampire 2, Bagman 2.
Wednesday I rode the bus to and from work and late in the evening I decided to go to Mickey D’s for my late night snack. I went to start my car and the battery was dead. DEAD! No lights, no locks, no nothin. Then it dawned on me. I had tried to push the unlock button and was never successful. It probably wasn’t my technique, but that the battery was already dead. No wonder it didn’t work. Vampire 3, Bagman 2.
Thursday night I asked a friend to help me jump the battery. Found out that neither of us had jumper cables. Nice. We borrowed jumper cables from the security guard, since the campus police doesn’t do jumps either. Too busy eating donuts? Watching for speeders in the parking lot? Jumping did not work.Too dead. So, my friends took me to Wal Mart to buy a new battery. Once I got the battery in, started right up! Vampire 4, Bagman 0.
“Wait! Why, Bagman? You got it running. Whhy did you lose points and the Vampire get another one?”
Remember how I didn’t want to spend $50 on a locksmith?
The battery cost $120.