My Keys

1433267487My car and I were having an argument.

It uses an electronic fob instead of a key and every time I pushed the start button, a cryptic message flashed across the dash display.

Key ID Incorrect”

“Says you…” I shouted and pushed the start button again.

Key ID Incorrect”

It adamantly refused to recognize my electronic key-fob, so I took it out of my pocket and dangled it in plain view. “Look, see the fob?” I said, “Now START.”

Key ID Incorrect”

I tried everything. I scolded, I screamed, I invoked the names of ancient and terrible spirits – to no avail. I was stranded.

A mile up the gravel road, a yard light twinkled like a dirty star. Under the light, a big dog awaited. I could tell by his booming voice that he was looking forward to our encounter.

Nothing focuses the mind like a big country dog.

I knew the key-fob battery was good because the dealership changed it when I last had my car serviced – but that got me thinking.  I inspected the little door on the back of the fob and sure enough, I spotted a sliver of light reflecting off one edge.  The battery was not seated correctly.  I adjusted it and hit the start button again.

Vrrooom!

Moments later, I waved as I sped by the dog – but my adventure with keys had only begun.

I arrived home after dark to discover that the entryway light bulb had burned out.  Now I had to sift through a wad of keys in the dark.  So I stepped into the moonlight and squinted.

I have sixteen keys on my key-chain.

I have a key for my car door – to be used when the fob fails (sound thinking there, Nissan) but it doesn’t start the car.

I have a key for my wife’s pickup (the one she never lets me drive because it is too new and shiny for the likes of me).

I have a key for my shed.

Two keys belong to my bike rack. One locks my bicycle to the rack and because the rack is worth more than my bike, the other locks the rack to the car.

The camping trailer uses four keys. The first locks the door. The second locks the storage compartments. The third locks the camper to the hitch and the fourth, you guessed it, locks the hitch to the vehicle.

I have two keys to houses I no longer own.

I also have four keys that I am clueless about.  I carry them for fear that if I leave them behind, I might only discover what they do when I am out on a dark gravel road, a mile away from a house where a big dog with a booming voice waits for me.

That left one key: the front door key. I slipped it into the lock and turned – but something didn’t feel right.

The door wasn’t locked.  My wife had left it open for me.