Do you have a coat hanger?

I left the house at 10:30 a.m. today, an extra hour early, for an appointment in Lexington. I wanted to have time to meet my friend first to pick up some makeup I’d ordered. I arrived at the Shell gas station a bit before she did and figured I may as well fill my car up while I awaited her arrival. I pulled up to the pump, locked my doors, leaving the driver side door open, as I do when I get gas. While the gas was pumping, I thought I may as well throw away the trash that had accumulated in my car. I gathered all the trash from the cubby inside the car door into my hands, walked to the trash receptacle, and dumped it. The gas had finished pumping so I removed the pump and hung it back up. I turned to get back inside my car, but the door was shut. What? Evidently, I had accidentally and unknowingly bumped my car door with my butt when I was throwing garbage in the trash bin. Not enough to close it all the way, but enough that I could not open the door. I wondered if I closed the door completely if the key fob in my purse (on the floorboard of my car) would work to unlock it. I didn’t try it, and I’m glad.

There I stood — locked out of my car. It was at that moment that my friend, Whitney, pulled up next to me. We exchanged greetings, then I told her I was locked out of my car.  She asked me where my phone was, and I said, “It’s in my car.”  “So you need to call someone,” she responded.  “Yup”.  I had no idea who I’d call though. Probably a locksmith.

Luckily, Whitney’s aunt, who just happens to be a mechanic, emerged from Whitney’s car. She asked if I had a coat hanger which I did not. Even if I did, if it was in my car I couldn’t have gotten to it. I offered to go inside the gas station and ask for a coat hanger and said, “I ain’t skeerd.” But the clerks didn’t have one. So I proceeded to ask every customer coming into and leaving the store, which was about seven of them. No luck.

In despair, I returned to my car and told Whitney I had no coat hanger. Whitney’s aunt was rummaging around the building to see if there was anything she could find to help this damsel in distress. She found a long stick and tried it, but it didn’t work. She needed something she could bend in order to hit the unlock button inside my car. I noticed a hotel across the road and said, “I’ll go to that hotel and ask them for a coat hanger.” I ain’t skeerd. I mean if anyone would have a coat hanger, it would be a hotel, right?

There was a construction worker in the parking lot near the hotel entrance and I asked him, “You wouldn’t have a coat hanger, would you?” Of course, he did not. However, he said, “The manager is inside and might have one.” He offered to go inside and ask for me as he unlocked the entrance door. He kindly allowed me to step inside the vestibule to get out of the brisk, chilly breeze, since my coat was where? You guessed it — in my locked car. As I stood there waiting for the nice construction worker to return, I watched the action taking place beside my locked car at the Shell station across the street, hoping they’d had some success getting into it.

After a brief time, the construction worker returned and said that someone would be bringing down a coat hanger shortly. We had a nice chat while we waited. He told me that while they had been working on the air-conditioning at the hotel, one of his coworkers knelt down on the ground and a dirty hypodermic needle went into his knee. I asked when that happened and he told me it was today. At the time of our conversation, his co-worker was on his way to the ER to get checked out. Good grief! Now, I’m skeerd!

A few minutes later, another gentleman came through the vestibule carrying a very long metal rod in his hands. It was at least 8 feet long. “That ought to work,” I exclaimed, elated that we may be able to make some progress!  I thanked them profusely and started my journey back to the Shell station. 

As I approached, I could see Whitney‘s aunt still trying to unlock my car and two other gentlemen were searching for objects that they could poke down the door crack and hit my unlock button. No luck. I carried that long metal rod over my head like a trophy as I ran across the street towards them. Whitney was in full laughter. Her aunt took the metal rod, and wiggled it down into the crack of the driver’s door — the unlock button her target. She was unsuccessful. Another gentleman who was nearby said, “Here, let me have that a minute.” He soon discovered that the rod was way too long to maneuver with any precision, so he bent it until it broke in half. Having a shorter stick to work with, he was able to get it down into the car and hit that unlock button. I immediately opened up my car door, grabbed my keys, and put them in the waistband of my pants.

Whitney asked that I “please get a picture with that rod sometime today,” so I got out my phone right then and let her take one.

This is just an average day in my life.

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