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Charlie Hatton
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Hey, If You Press Your Ear to the Windshield, You Can Still Hear the Radio!

Okay, now it’s really time for this week’s Blogger Idol post. So let’s get on with it before I go off on another tangent and have to do this whole thing again. Sheesh.


(Click icon to see all Week Four posts)

Week Four Topic: ‘Ooops’

Well, this is a toughie. So many choices, and only one story to choose. Seriously, if my life had a caption, it would be ‘Ooops‘.

(Or ‘Oh, fuck, no!‘. Or possibly, ‘Hey, how the hell did you get your head stuck in there?’ But let’s stick to the topic at hand, shall we? Nobody wants to rehash my college admission interviews, anyway.)

So. ‘Ooops

There are a lot of tales I could relay from my experience that involved an ‘Ooops‘ moment, but I think I’ve picked the one I want to tell you. It’s the story of the one time that I managed to lock my keys inside my car.

So, I was fresh out of college, still wet (with cheap beer, no doubt) behind the ears, and living on my own in Pittsburgh. My girlfriend (now my wife) was several hundred miles away, still at the college where we met. Because of geographical and financial constraints, we saw each other only about once a month or so. This story occurs maybe a year into that little situation.

(There. That’s called backstory, boys and girls. Don’t say I never gave ya nothin’, okay?)

So, anyway, flying back and forth got to be pretty damned expensive, so we’d sometimes drive the six hours or so to visit the other. On this particular day, it was my turn to drive, and it had been close to six weeks since I’d seen my one true love.

(No, I’m not talking about my penis. Get your damned mind out of the gutter. Just sit back and appreciate the bonus backstory, would you? We’re zooming in on the point now — it should roll around any time now.)

So, I drove to see my girl. Only, she wasn’t there yet — she was doing grad school interviews at the time, and was getting back into town on the same Friday that I was driving in. So we arranged that I’d meet her at the airport, drive her back to her dorm, and we’d commence with the… um, er, well. We’d, uh, commence playing chess, and having tea together, and discussing the matters of the day, of course. Just the sort of activities that any two youngsters like ourselves would engage in, naturally. You understand. Ahem.

Anyway, I make the trek all the way there, and then to the airport, with just such things — to review, that’s ‘chess’, and ‘tea’, and ‘the discussion of current events germane to our milieu‘ — topmost in my mind. That’s after six weeks of not being able to, er, play chess, and drink tea, and et cetera, and all the rest, and I think we all know what we’re talking about here, dammit.

So that’s pretty much all I was thinking about. I don’t remember the drive there. I don’t remember pulling into the airport parking lot. For all I know, I was carried the whole way in a cocunut husk suepended between the beaks of two European swallows. (Or African; whichever you prefer.) I may have smacked into dogs on the way there, or deer, or sheep, or little old ladies — I didn’t know, and I didn’t care. I was finally there, to see my honey, and all I had to do was pop into the airport, collect her and her bags, and then it was wild, sweaty, freaky… um, chess time. With tea, and… er, stuff.

I say all of this in my defense, to indicate just what sort of an excited, joyous, agitated, anxious mood I was in. Not to mention mentally exhausted from the long drive, or coconut ride, or whatever the hell it was. I wasn’t thinking straight, clearly. And that’s why — and the only reason why — I hopped out of the car, and left the keys inside.

In the ignition.

With the car still running.

Oh, shit. There goes that afternoon game of chess I wanted to play. Puckernuts!

(No, I don’t know what the hell ‘puckernuts’ means, by the way. It just popped into my head, and it seemed like the sort of thing I might say in a situation like that. If I remember, I’ll add it to the list.)

Anyway, I didn’t know what the hell to do. I just stood there for a couple of minutes, gaping and drooling. Some might say that this just exacerbated the problem. I like to think that I was just ‘getting into character’, doing my best to look like the stumbling, shriky-brained moron that I apparently was. Hell, I wish more morons would put in the effort, frankly — that way, when I do have a lucid moment, I can avoid anyone who looks like a mouth-breathing assbag, and get on with my day. Too many assheaded jackholes out there operate in ‘stealth mode’, trying to make you think they’re normal people before laying their wrongheaded boobered bullshit on you. Who was it, Bill Hicks, who said those people should wear fucking signs? Hear, hear, Bill — tell the gospel, brother.

So, anyway, there I was, slobbering onto the asphalt of the parking lot, wondering what the hell to do next. As usual, I was borderline late to meet my then-girlfriend-now-wife.

(By the way, how and why she’s put up with me all these years, I can’t say; hell, incriminating pictures only go so far. Unless you’re a politician, of course, which she isn’t.

And never will be, based on these Polaroids. Don’t ever run for office, honey pie — you never know when I might need a little extra spending cash. Love you, snookums!)

Back to the story — after a few minutes, I made my decision. As backwards as it seemed to leave a running car out in the parking lot where anyone could sneak up and steal it, the thing was locked. So at least there’d be one line of defense between my precious wheels and a would-be auto snatcher. And besides, most people probably wouldn’t glance twice at a running car in a parking lot, just assuming that there’s someone sitting in it. I mean, no assknacker would actually leave a running automobile completely unattended in a public parking lot, would they?

*ahem* Sir! Private Assknacker, present and accounted for, sir!

So, I did. I walked into the airport, found my honey’s flight, waited with her for her checked bags, and helped her carry them out to the car. All was bliss and love and happiness, and impending ‘chess’ and ‘tea’. It honestly wasn’t until we were within sight of the car that a little nagging thought poked at me from my brain. I suddenly remembered my little predicament, and tried to find just the right way to explain myself to her:

Oh, honey, that’s right… I forgot to mention it, but there’s a little ‘problem’ with the car.

Oh, no, no, it’s okay. It’s not dead or anything. Nope, got plenty of gas; it still runs. (Oh boy, does it run.)

What? Nothing, nothing. No, it’s just that… um, well, with all the excitement and all of being here, and seeing your beautiful face, and getting to spend time with you, and all the romantic things I was thinking about on the way here… um, I sort of, kinda… lockedthekeysinthecar.

I said, I… lockedthekeys… in the car.

No, I didn’t say I farted in the car! I lockedthekeys in there. Lockedthekeys! Lockedthekeys!

Fine. I locked the keysIN… the car. There. You happy? My keys. Locked. In the car. Mine. In the car. Locked. I hope you’re satisfied!

Oh… and, um, by the way… it’s sort of still running, just a little. If that’s important or anything.

Sheesh. Folks, that happened more than twenty years ago. And I still haven’t lived it down. She laughed at me — just laughed — for… I can’t remember how long, frankly. She laughed while we waited for AAA to get there, and had a nice little chuckle with the locksmith, and then giggled all the way back to the dorm, and cackled as she told all of her friends about it. Laugh, laugh, laugh, ha ha ha, ho ho friickin’ ho. Funny, funny. She even laughed during ‘chess’.

(And yes, I choose to believe that she was still amused by the scene in the parking lot, thank you very much. One humiliating expeirence at a time, if you would, please.)

So, anyway, that’s my story. My most memorable ‘Ooops‘ moment, made more difficult by the fact that I had to parade my sweetest love right by the evidence. And that I had to breathe gasoline fumes throughout the experience, but that’s really secondary to the main issue, frankly. Hell, I’d have chugged gasoline at that point, if I could have just kept my brain fart quiet, and never let my sweetie be the wiser.

But that’s not how it worked out, and she gleefully told me ‘Don’t forget your keys!‘ for months afterward. It’s started to settle down a bit now, of course. Just a little. Of coruse., I did remind her about the whole thing this afternoon, because I had to ask her about a few details in the backstory. (Hey, I told you I was thinking of ‘chess ‘n’ tea’ the whole time.) So she’ll probably be all over me again for a while, now that it’s fresh in her mind. It’ll probably be unbearable for a while, until she tires of the taunting.

Man, the things I do for you people who read this.

(Okay, okay, I’m kidding. Mainly. She was actually very nice and understanding about the whole affair. My wife’s a wonderful woman, and really didn’t give me much hell at all over such a stupid thing. Just a leeeeetle tiny bit. For like a month. Or two. The rest of the nineties, tops. But really, she was okay. That’s just not as good an ending. Sorry.

But hey, people — she reads this shit sometimes. And while I love a good ending as much as the next guy, I can’t go painting her as vindictive and snarly when she really wasn’t. That’s not fair, is it, pookie?

And besides, if I’m mean to her, I might not get to play ‘chess’ for a long, long time. And I love you people and all, but that’s serious shit. Good ending be damned — I need my pawns knighted, dammit! We’re storming the queen’s castle at dawn!)

Permalink  |  11 Comments

11 Responses to “Hey, If You Press Your Ear to the Windshield, You Can Still Hear the Radio!”

  1. Jeff A says:

    I have locked my keys in my car exactly once, I did it at the car wash. A busy car wash, a car wash full of rednecks that wanted to wash their pickup trucks for their friday night hoot nanny. Needless to say, I am very cautious of my keys now!

  2. nv says:

    I locked my keys in once, the same day, for the very first time EVER I swear, I parked in handicapped parking. I was moving and the lot at the P.O. was absolutely full. Whilst waiting atop my car to be robbed by a locksmith, an old woman tottered by with a walker. No lie. I still turn red when I think of that day….

  3. GrumpyBunny says:

    My one time was also in a car wash, Jeff.

    Luckily not busy. No rednecks, either.

  4. Lucky says:

    I love yr blog. I found it on thebigblogshow application thing. Im an applicant too. LuckyLdy27 Good luck to you, youre an excellent writer.

  5. Jaded Angel says:

    I locked my keys in my car while it was running last week in my parking lot. I was lucky I had my apt key in my pocket, so I ran in and ripped open 3 boxes to find the spare. I also locked my keys in my car at work once and had to get my sister to come open it for me. Hmmm there was the 3 times in the college parking lot (I only went for 10 months) and twice in the parking lot at the Real Canadian Superstore (the same year as the college ones) Needless to say, I have a spare key at work, one IN the car, on in my purse and two in my apartment.

  6. HR LADY says:

    that’s ‘chess’, and ‘tea’, –I SO cannot believe you missed this opportunity but I’ll give it to ya: Chess and tea as opposed to play chesstea -which is a far more invigorating and nipple raising experience?

    Never let it be said that HR ladies are prudes

  7. HR LADY says:

    Locked keys in car while it was running -it picked that day to overheat. Called the police to help me break in -they saw all the smoke pouring out of the engine, refused to concede that it might only be the engine overheating (despite the fact that the car was spewing green juice all over the ground -Believe me they don’t give these guys IQ tests), and they called the fire department -5:30 a.m., smallish town, very quiet cul de sac, in they squeal on two wheels (four, six, how many are on the left side of a fire engine?) sirens blaring, neighbors come rushing out of their homes (damned nosy people when you’ve already buried your head in the nearest snow drift) to watch 10 firefighters wander around drinking coffee, laughing and BSing while two others pry open the sun roof (and, of course, break the seal and destroy the latch)and unlock the car. I stopped warming up the car after that day and developed an OCD that involves checking and re-checking locks on doors prior to closing the

  8. HR LADY says:

    I exceeded 1000 characters so my message may be truncated.

  9. #Debi says:

    I also have car key OCD after locking my keys in at the car wash, WITH the rednecks present and so forth. Btw, that’s Bill Engvall w/your sign. (But he’s kind of a hick, so I guess it counts…) My old roommate had a habit of leaving the car running while she filled up with gas. She locked her keys in at the gas pump, discovered it after she filled up, and by the time she got a locksmith there, ran out all the gas she’d just bought. (She needed all KINDS of signs…) Damn! Now I’ve got that song in my head–you know the one: “I’m down with OCD, yeah, you know me!” :^}

  10. Charlie says:

    Damn — thanks for the correction, Debi. I need to brush up on my Bill Hicks, apparently — I just remembered, ‘Southern accent… snarky… must be Hicks!‘, but I can picture Engvall now (though I wouldn’t have remembered his name).

    He’s the same guy who talks about morons asking stupid questions, like: ‘So… tire go flat?

    Naw… them other ones just swelled right up on me!

    (My wife and I still giggle over that…)

  11. Rob says:

    Thats one helluva great story. Laughed my arse off for ages. I’ve had car key OCD in the past, but never because of something this hilarious. You’ve made my Fave Four this week.

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