Thursday, March 26, 2009

Too keyed up ...

Or my week so far as a human yo-yo.

I always carry two sets of car keys. Always. This dates to the time I locked the car keys in the car twice in a couple of weeks.

The first time was on main street in Thompson. Sheriff Don Vold happened to be in town that day and parked next to me and offered to help. He had the right equipment in his patrol car but lacked aptitude. As he was giving up, my neighbor two houses down walked by. He had gained aptitude while practicing the art of breaking and entering as a profession, turned down Don's offer of the store-bought tools, secured a piece of wire and had me inside and driving away in less than a minute.

The second incident didn't end as well. I was away from home in the evening and ended up calling a locksmith. Since thing I've taken no chances.

So when I realized at midafternoon Wednesday after driving back here Tuesday that there was only one set of keys in the house I got that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach others get when considering death by global warming or reimposition by the Obama administration of the ban on assault-style weapons.

Checked out all the usual suspects --- where I usually put things down absent mindedly after coming in with my hands full. Nothing. Started looking under piles of paper and inside boxes that hadn't been opened in years. You'd think the search would be simpler now that there's less here, but the difficulty is that everything that is here is spread in a thin layer everywhere. Still no keys.

Reviewed the morning: First a haircut at Great Clips, then book delivery to Salvation Army, then to Staples to buy a box, then to Target to buy lunch, then to Hy-Vee to mail something. At all but one of those places I'd struggled through the keys in my pocket to the change below --- why didn't I hear the clang when the spare set fell out of my pocket?

Then I began to wonder if I'd had two sets of keys in Mason City to begin with. Maybe I'd only picked up one when I left the house in Chariton Tuesday morning.

So I considered my options --- backtrack across the west end of Mason City asking for keys or what I ended up doing: Throw six cartons of books, two chairs and a set of steel shelving ripped from the storeroom into the pickup and head south, at 4 p.m.

Turned out to be a beautiful late afternoon for a drive --- spectacular western skies as Iowa weather tried to make up its mind what it was going to do --- and I pulled into the driveway in Chariton just before 7. Walked from garage into kitchen and there were the missing keys --- on the kitchen table right where I'd left them.

So It was the right choice. If I hadn't done that I'd have worried and fumed and kept searching until I'd turned myself into some sort of gibbering, slobbering critter crouched in a corner --- actually that's what I'm like anyway after two days straight of sorting and shredding --- with breaks for runs to the window to make sure no one was driving the pickup away using my lost keys.

Besides, all but maybe one carton of stray books are now out of here and down south and the load lightened further and I got a good night's sleep besides. Now I supposed I'd better get back to work.

1 comment:

Ed Abbey said...

I hadn't been to Mason City in probably a decade or so but found myself there for a wedding last weekend. It seemed like not much has changed.

I'm a creature of habit too so when I misplace something, it really bothers me. Glad you found your keys before losing your sanity.