Lessons in driving and life

In case you were wondering, you can drive 2+ hours without a car key. I don’t recommend it, but it can be done. I watched a youtube video of a man throwing his key fob out the window of a moving car to demonstrate that nothing happens. The car didn’t sputter to a stop, nor did it beep to let him know access to the key signal had been lost. The car kept driving, business as usual. But I already knew it was possible when I watched the video, and was only bitter the man knew exactly where to retrieve his key.

Saturday morning I was tired. As I get older, I realize my brain can’t handle stress like it used to. If I don’t get enough sleep, I do things like drive off with a key fob on the hood of my car. It probably held on for a half mile or so or maybe it settled in the trench between the windshield and hood and flew off when I got on the highway. I may never know what happened. All I know is I got to my grandmother’s house, turned off my car and realized I did not have my key or way to get home. The No Key Detected message caused a cold panic to settle in my gut.

The good news is I was able to get home that evening to retrieve my spare key and drive back the next morning. The other good news is that I didn’t have to clean on Sunday as planned. Maybe there is no bad news. I am down to just the spare key fob. That is not exactly good news.

I’ve locked my keys in the car twice in my life. As a driver for 32 years (not continuously) that’s not too bad. But both times something precious was locked inside the car. First it was a box of t-shirts for volunteers to wear on the first morning of a camp for grieving children. The second time it was my baby daughter. Both times my husband quickly came to the rescue with a spare key.

This time I ubered to him, as he was luckily not far away, and borrowed his car to drive home and get my spare. The other good news is that I got to visit my grandmother twice in one weekend. I would not have seen that as good news ordinarily and she did not necessarily see it that way, as she seemed more upset at my lost key than I was. She kept saying Some birthday this is turning out to be.

It was not even technically her birthday and I had brought flowers and chocolates, plus a crockpot loaded with pot roast and vegetables. If I were to blame the lost key fob on anything, it would be the pot roast. As I was loading it into my car, I thought I’ll just set my key down here so it will be easy to find when I need it. Ha! The pot roast turned out tender, a delicious apology that wasn’t necessary because I know it really wasn’t Pot Roast’s fault, but I appreciated it just the same.

After my fourth trip back and forth and once I was finally settled on the couch at home, my grandmother called me. She was out of breath and excited. I found your key! she said. I really did not think this was possible since it probably never left the state of Pennsylvania. I asked her what it looked like and she said greenish with clear plastic on the sides and some kind of writing on the front, though she could not read what it said. She said it had a hole so you could hang it up, like you would a key, but that was the only part that checked out. Now there are two mysteries: where is my fugitive key fob and what the hell is greenish with clear sides that you can hang up for display/easy access. I may never know the answer to either but the more I think about it, I think she described a chip clip.

In a little bit I’m going to walk along the road to retrace my path after I pulled out of the driveway. With all the leaves on the ground, it will be like looking for a contact lens on the beach, which is a terrible example because the contact would not be usable even if you could find it. Which reminds me, it rained on and off for the past two days. In case you were wondering, I thoroughly checked the inside of my car in case it fell in between the seats or somewhere else. I don’t think it’s there and, anyway, the car has been pretty insistent that it does not detect its presence.

I learned a few things from just one bonehead move. To replace a lost key fob, you have to pay so much money you will consider just buying a new car. I can get a gps tile for my spare set which is no longer spare. You should never set a key fob down anywhere on the outside of a car. If you ignore this last part, it is possible to drive 2+ hours without a car key but, again, I don’t recommend it.

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