By Karen Adragna Walsh
It’s been over 10 years since we purchased a brand new car. It was time to trade in our old jalopy for a spanking new vehicle with bells and whistles. Little did I know that my old car, facing separation anxiety, put up roadblocks.
The morning of our trade-in soon approached. We removed the loose coins, E-ZPass tag and the garage door opener from the old car. I gathered the two set of keys and placed them together on a single keychain to be turned over to the dealer. Big mistake.
With time to kill, I stopped at a grocery store and picked up a few items before our trip to the dealership. Upon returning to my car, I couldn’t find the car keys. Frantically, I searched my seven-pocket jacket, and my multi-pocket purse with no luck.
I looked inside the locked car to see if maybe they landed there. I couldn’t get a good visual. Luckily, the car had a keypad door entry on the driver’s side. Do you think I could remember the code? I punched in numerous combinations to no avail. Smashing the car window was a thought, but that wouldn’t help if the keys weren’t inside.
I scanned the parking lot, looking under and between cars, nothing, nada. Panic mode set in as I re-entered the store pushing my cart still full of groceries. Retracing my steps, I proceeded to the aisles where purchases that had just been made. I leafed through the lettuce leaves, separated the broccoli bunches etc. They didn’t “produce.”
Unwilling to surrender quite yet, I removed all the brought items from the plastic bags in hoping the keys fell inside. Nada. The next step was to inform the customer service person that I had lost my car keys. She checked and no one had turned them in.
Back to the car I flew, trying more numerical sequences. The last resort was making that dreaded phone call. “Gee Hon, I picked you up your beer and by the way, I lost the car keys.”
Needless to say, anger management was not his forte. How could I possibly explain that I had lost the only set of car keys and had no way of trading in our old car? Would he understand? Of course not! I wouldn’t. I felt a bit better when he also couldn’t remember the car’s key code.
My soon to be “ex-husband’s” suggestion was to have the car tolled to the dealership, some 30 miles away. This was a total nightmare. How could this have happened on the worst possible day? I started to wonder, was our old vehicle getting its revenge?
Luckily, a woman, – no, a miracle worker – had turned in the keys and my marriage was saved. Praise the Lord Jesus.
The clerk who returned my keys said, “Isn’t it odd that you put both car keys on the same keychain?” Not wanting to appear stupid, or too ashamed to visit the store again, I had to explain the whole old-car verse new-car scenario.
We finally got the new car that very day. And to make my life easier, so I thought, it had a keyless car system (called a fob). Wait for it … Yep, just a few days later, my husband’s keyless entry device would not let him access the car. They had given him the wrong key fob. And to make matters worse, I have unintentionally left the car running twice because it’s so much quieter than my old car and there’s no key to turn the engine off, just a button to push … my button.
Karen Adranga Walsh drives a new car, if she can get into it.