Is there a business in the world that offers brain cleaning? Or something? I mean, ’cause I think I really need one of those.
In August 2007, I was a bridesmaid in my cousin’s wedding. In Buffalo. Twenty-one hours of solo driving away.
Why did I drive? you ask. Because when I moved to Georgia, I left a lot of stuff behind and I wanted to bring it to Florida. And that meant renting an SUV (Jeep to be exact) and driving myself from Tallahassee to Amherst, New York.
So, I got out of work on Friday afternoon, drove to the airport and picked up my rental. I came home to pack it up and managed (I won’t go into details) to lock the vehicle, running, with my purse (i.e. CELL PHONE) inside. I do not have a home phone.
Rental companies give you a key and a spare. However, both are on a single key ring from which it is impossible to extract either of them without cutting the ring. And I don’t think the rental company would approve of that. Why they give two keys that can’t be separated is anyone’s guess.
So … I knocked on my neighbor’s door to use her phone to call AAA. It was rush hour. It took two hours for the locksmith to get there. I got to the middle of South Carolina and ended up stopping overnight twice on my way to Amherst. It was exhausting. Never again.
But that particular fiasco was because I was unfamiliar with the vehicle and didn’t realize the doors automatically locked when I shut the doors with it running. Not really my fault, right? Right!
Not the case this past Saturday. It was my own car. I’ve had this car for seven years and one month. I’m pretty familiar with it. I have no excuse.
I decided to go rollerblading. I have done this often, but not in several weeks. I rollerblade at a trail that used to be a railroad. This means leaving my purse in my car while I skate several miles away from it. It’s parked next to a major roadway with various people entering and leaving the parking lot. To avoid someone breaking a window in my car to retrieve my purse and the $0 in it, I lock it in my trunk. I unhook my car key and put it in the little pocket in my shorts. I lock the button inside the car that opens the trunk so that if someone does manage to get into my car, that person can’t then get into the trunk.
I’ve done this countless times (every Saturday and Sunday and even a few weekdays for months).
So, this past Saturday, I put on my skates, clipped my cell phone to my sports bra, put on my headphones to listen to my dose of NPR, locked the button, locked the car doors and put my purse in the trunk. I closed the trunk. I realized I forgot to grab my heart rate monitor watch (the thing that tells me how many calories I burned – very important). And just as the trunk shut and I realized I needed that watch, and therefore needed to get into the trunk, I realized I forgot to unhook my car key and put it in my pocket.
Yes, I locked my car key in my purse in my trunk. Even if I hadn’t locked the rest of the car, I locked the button.
Oh, and I also locked my AAA card in the trunk. With the phone number. Miles from home. With wheels strapped to my feet.
A woman nearby was getting ready to go biking. I asked if she had AAA so I could get the number off her card. No.
OK, don’t panic. You have your cell phone. There is this thing called information. Call it.
Relief! Someone will be there in 45 minutes or less to unlock the car! It took him 35 minutes. I skated back and forth without actually going onto the main trail so I wouldn’t miss the locksmith. I have no idea how many calories I burned, but at least I got in some exercise. I went straight home once the car was open. I didn’t want to spend the whole day rollerblading.
I’m an airhead, not a ditz.