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We May Be Stupid But We Are Good At It

Chains and Locks

I’m not saying I’m always smart but I generally have some kind of common-sense. But hey, we all have occasional embarrassing “duh” moments… well, this is one of these.

On Saturday, Feng and I went through the usual week-end ritual that invariably includes having a late breakfast and trying to figure out what to do. The weather wasn’t great and we weren’t inspired. After a quick stop at the library (I go through several books a week) and shopping for light bulbs (one died in the bathroom and we never got around replacing it), we decided to head to Barrhaven, aka Farrhaven, one of Ottawa’s far suburbs.

There is nothing special there but a cluster of big box stores. The plan was to hang out at Indigo for a while, reading magazines and having a coffee. Feng drove from Nepean and eventually pulled into the busy parking lot. I got off the car first and he followed me, slamming the driver’s door behind him. He stood there for a second and looked at me.

“Oh shit!”

“What’s going on?”, I asked, thinking he was pulling my leg.

Feng pointed at the dashboard. The keys were inside the car, dangling on the ignition.

“The keys are inside.” As you can see, I’m great at stating the obvious.

We walked around the car in case one of the doors wasn’t locked. No such luck. We checked the windows to see if one was still open. No luck either.

“Isn’t there a quick trick for these kinds of situations?”, I asked eagerly, pulling out my phone to Google the situation on my BlackBerry.

“Well, in theory you can put a coat-hanger behind the rubber moulding of the window and pull to unlock the door. But we don’t have a coat-hanger”.

“They might”, I said, pointing a Winners, right across the parking lot.

We briefly explained the customer service assistant what happened. She looked at us suspiciously and stated she had no coat-hanger, while hanging clothes on coat-hangers. We left before she called the police. I could very well see us being arrested for stealing our car.

Feng decided to take the bus back home where we had a spare set of keys. I gave him bus tickets and wished him luck—the trip from far away suburbia to home would take at least 40 minutes. I sat in Indigo with a magazine and kept an eye on the car.

Fourty minutes later, Feng called me. “I forgot something”, he said. “What, what did you…. Oh”. I mentally pictured the car keys and answered my own question. Feng’s home keys were on the same key ring as… the car keys. “Fuck”.

So it was my turn to take the bus. I went to get some change in a shop—bus tickets are not sold in suburbia and buses only take tickets or exact change—and made my way home. Feng picked me up at the bus stop and we went to retrieve the spare car keys. And parted ways again because Feng still had to take the bus back to Barrhaven to pick up the car.

That basically kept us busy from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

We kept on saying how lucky we were: at least, there was a bus service service from Barrhaven. At least, I had my own home keys (this is not a given as I often forget them in my yoga bag). At least, it wasn’t pouring rain. At least, we had our cell phones.

But boy, did we feel dumb…

Please, make me feel better: it happened to you too, didn’t it? Do share!


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French woman in English Canada.

Exploring the world with my camera since 1999, translating sentences for a living, writing stories that may or may not get attention.

Firm believer that nobody is normal... and it’s better this way.

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