Every day is a tough day when you're stupid. (I am stupid.)

So I got off work tonight a little early, about 1:20 a.m. I was heading home, planning to watch the rest of “Don’t Look Back,” maybe send a few overdue e-mails, browse the SDMB a bit. On the way home, I thought I’d drive by the P & H Cafe and see if they were still open, maybe have a beer. I get there about 1:30, they’re sweeping up, but they know me so they let me in and I have a beer or two and talk to the owner. So far so good.

At 2:30, after two beers, it’s time to go home. I go out and start up the truck, Basil, and I notice that we’ve got some serious freezing rain action going on and the windshield is totally frozen over. Hmm, thinks I, better get out and scrape that off. I get out. The truck has those door handles that you have to hold the handle up to make it lock. Instinctively, I hold the handle up. The door locks.

It is approximately one second later that I realize the truck is still running. And the doors are locked. And the keys are in the ignition. Heck.

I go back to the P & H, where Bob, the owner, is still inside. He lets me in and asks what the trouble is. I tell him, “I just locked my f***ing keys in the truck. While it’s running.”

Over the sound of his laughter, I manage to shout to the AAA operator what’s happened. She says, “No problem. We guarantee someone will be there in an hour, and since the truck is running, we’ll make you a priority.”

Super, thinks I! I’m a priority! AAA is so wonderful!

In retrospect, that’s funny.

The P & H is shut down. Bob and I go back in and sit down and start talking. We talk about golf. We talk about local politics. We talk about the local media. We talk about snow. We talk about cars. We talk about the U of Memphis basketball team finally being ranked in the top 25, and our likelihood of getting into the NCAA tournament. We talk about Germany, and about trucks, and about the Midwest, and wonder how the U of Hawaii manages to have any sports teams since their travel budget must be outrageous.

An hour passes. I call AAA back. The dude should be there “any minute.” OK, cool.

We keep talking. Another half-hour passes. (For those of you keeping score at home, it is now 4:00 a.m.) I call again. “He’ll be there in 13 minutes” is the somewhat bizarre message.

13 minutes pass. 15 minutes pass. Screw this. I call AAA again (I’m getting the same operator, Cheryl; she’s really nice, but that doesn’t get me into my truck). I tell her, “OK, I’m leaving. I’m leaving and going home with my truck sitting in the parking lot in the Car Theft Capital of the Country, RUNNING, with the keys inside.” Cheryl says, “No, wait! The driver is at I-240 and I-55; he’ll be there in ten minutes.”

I patiently wait ten minutes, sitting in Bob’s truck, fighting my urge to apologize to him every fifteen seconds - after all, he wants to go home and his wife called like an hour ago to ask where he was. After ten minutes, I say, “OK, forget it, let’s go.” Bob says, “Are you going to call again?” OK, I call again.

We’re actually moving out of the parking lot at this point. Cheryl says, “Wait ONE MINUTE while I call and find out where he is, please!” I wait. “He’ll be there in 30 seconds! Really!”

OK. We wait. He pulls into the parking lot in a van with the name of some locksmith company on it. He pulls up beside my truck, jumps out, whip! unlocks it, jumps back into his van. I get to the truck about then, and he shouts, “A’ight then!” and drives off.

So I get in and all is well and I go home. The entire thing has been an ordeal of discomfort for me, as Bob, who clearly wanted to go home, stayed with me for about two and a half hours when he could have been sleeping.

And who do I blame for all this? Do I blame myself for locking the keys in the truck in the first place?? HELL no! I blame AAA for not having enough people on hand or something vague like that! This isn’t my fault; sure I was dumb enough to lock the keys in the truck in the first place, but situations like this are precisely what I pay AAA for! Or rather, what I used to pay them for, since I’m pretty well done with them.

That’s all; a frustrating story that’s over now. Share your horror tales at will.

(Final note: The heat was running in the truck the whole 2 1/2 hours; when I got into the truck, I must admit that that was, hands-down, the toastiest and most pleasant vehicle I’ve ever gotten into on an icy night.)

My horror story was from that steamy summer before my junior year in college. I worked at a pizza place, and on a busy Saturday, they had just run out of carbonation for the soda fountain. I drove to the grocery to buy 2-liters to get us over the hump, loaded them into my Ford Escort and promptly locked them, and the keys, into the car.

With the motor running.

And the AC on full blast.

And me outside in 100-degree + heat, wearing a uniform and a too-tight visor, trying to camouflage myself in the thin air and not look like a total incompetent (partial incompetency seems to work pretty well on an everyday basis, thanks).

It took about a half-hour to get into the car, but with a similar payoff as yours, jackelope…it was delightfully Arctic by the time I got in the driver’s seat.

I’ve locked my keys in the car numberless times, sometimes running, sometimes not. The greatest invention ever was the little remote thingy that locks the doors. I play with it all the time. If it’s not in my hand, I don’t get out of the car, and haven’t locked my keys in the car since I got one.

Then again, it’s only been a few months…

I’ve always worked at restaurants, and the cooks are always geniuses at picking locks, so while I’ve locked my keys in my car a number of times, I can usually jerry-rig them open.

But I’ve always driven older cars, which are easier. I would suppose. My '86 Dodge 600 sedan was a cinch with a coat-hanger. The rubber around the windows was shredded from the number of times I shoved coat hangers into it. Finally I gave up locking it altogether.

I posted this little escapade in December. I felt like an idiot. And do you know that same girl had the balls enough to ask me in January, one month later for a tampon. “I hate to ask especially after what happened the last time”, she says as she giggles. Don’t you know I took great joy in telling her NO! Why? Well after I got in my car that night I still had to come in and clean my section while she sat on her ass at the bar and had a beer. I would have thought at the very least she could have helped me clean my tables after all the trouble I went through. Oh well. I am with Audrey Levins on this one. I too have handed out my last drugstore need. I have adopted the policy of “Don’t ask, 'cause you don’t get”. The pharmacy is now closed!

Damn gotta go to work.
You want a triple AAA rant? I got one or two or a dozen. From a locksmith point of view no less.

I shall return this evening and regal you with tales of :eek

Well, for locking my keys in the car, I’ve been pretty lucky. One day, while it was raining pretty bad, I went and grabbed a bite to eat at a little place near my apartment after a full day of errand running. As I walked out to my car AFTER having eaten my meal, I noticed my lights were on. Then I noticed that they were my daylights, and not my real lights, which cued me into the purr of my engine going. Luckily, my roomate at the time worked at the grocery store right across the street, and our apartment was a block in the opposite direction. I ran to the store, got my roomate’s apartment keys, ran to the apartment, got my spare, and then ran back to my car. Overall, my car had been sitting there for about an hour with the keys in the ignition. I"m amazed no one took it.

As for a bad service story…one time on a trip from New Orleans to Austin to celebrate some holiday, my windshield wipers went out on me traveling over the bayou around Baton Rogue. So, I’m driving blind on an overpass that seems to go on forever, without the ability to see properly, and with no shoulder to pull off on. I did see the tailights ahead of me, and stopped ten feet short of a stalled car. After about ten minutes, a police car drives up, and the officer “Orders me” to continue. So, I putz ahead at about ten miles an hour till I find an off ramp and exit. I call Saturn to help me out. They’ve got this reputation for being super user friendly and always ready to go the extra mile to help out their customers. After calling three dealerships and getting “Oh, well, it’s almost closing time, so none of our guys can get out to you now,” I finally just called my dad and had him drive out to get me. So much for outstanding customer service.

When I lived in Flagstaff (its cold there in the winter)

I got a fancy keychain that had the detatchable rings so that I could detatch the valet key and warm up the locked car while waiting inside

One snowy morning I Locked BOTH SETS of keys in the stupid car right outside my house, running, the whole bit, neighborhood kids thought it was hilarious.

I didn’t have AAA. I had to pay $35 to feel like an idiot.

Okay, here I go. Many years ago I spent a month as a door-to-door salesman. Selling vacuum cleaners, of course. It was the longest month of my life. In thirty days I sold exactly one of those damn things, and I think the lady only bought it because I risked life and limb in a raging blizzard to get to her house for the appointment to demonstrate it.

I’m a lousy salesman.

Anyway, on one night I had three shows scheduled. You would think that meant I would demonstrate the vacuum cleaner three times. You would think that. What happened frequently, though, was that someone would sign up for a demo in order to get whatever free gift was being offered that day at the signup desk, and then make a point of not being home at the time when the demo was scheduled.

I got to the first address, and I realized that it was in a trailer park. Now, I have nothing against trailer parks or the folks who live in them, but a typical trailer does not need an industrial-strength vacuum cleaner. They’re just not that big. Also, these things I was selling were overpriced by a factor of three or more, and your typical trailer resident does not usually have large amounts of cash on hand with which to impulsively buy large appliances. Sales prospects looked bleak. I got out of the car and walked up to the door anyway. The lights were all on and the TV was blaring inside. I knocked on the door. Immediately the TV was shut off and a few seconds later all the lights went out. I think this was meant to convince me that no one was home. I knocked a couple more times, but nobody came to the door. Strike one.

I walked back to my car and discovered that (you all saw this coming) I had locked the keys inside. Grumbling to myself, I walked to a neighboring trailer and knocked. I told the guy who answered that I had just locked my keys in the car, and could I please have a coathanger to jimmy the door. He said sure, and gave me one. I managed to work the lock, got in, and drove off. On my way out I was jarred a bit when I drove over an inverted speed bump. A speed dip. I think it was also for drainage.

My second demo was at a house that had a very loud party going on. They wouldn’t answer their door either. Strike two.

The third demo was back at the trailer park. In fact, it was just a couple of doors down from the first trailer I had been to. I noticed that trailer-number-one’s lights and TV were back on again. Trailer-number-two, though, was dark. No one home. I walked up to it and knocked, just in case. Nope. Strike three and I’m outta there.

I walked back to my car and realized that I had locked my keys inside again. This was shaping up to be a real bad day. The coathanger I had used earlier sat on the passenger’s seat. Mocking me.

So I walked back to the same trailer from which I had received the first coathanger, knocked, and said “I know you’re going to think I’m the biggest moron in the world, but I locked my keys in my car again. Could I have another coathanger?” To his credit, he didn’t say a word. He just gave me another one.

I stomped back to my car, getting angry at everything now, and jimmied the door. I managed to severely rip the rubber lining in the process, which improved my mood immensely. I threw the second coathanger on top of the first one, got in, and drove off. Too fast. I remembered about the speed dip about a half-second too late. I hit it, the car bounced hard, and the header pipe in front of the catalytic converter snapped like a twig. The catalytic converter, now held on only by the rear mounting bracket, was dragging on the ground. I stopped, got out, grabbed my two coathangers and used them to lash the catalytic converter to the undercarriage. Then I drove home. Noisily.

I locked my keys in my car once when it was running - similar winter situation where the windows were frosted over and I got out to scrape, reflexively hitting the lock button before closing the door. Sigh.

The car I have now is nice about that sort of thing - if the key is in the ignition, you cannot lock the doors manually. My husband demonstrated it once for his friends - he left the keys in the ignition, got out, pushed down on the lock button, and shut the door. Button popped up. You have to use the autolock button after the doors are shut, or put the car in drive, to lock the doors.

I locked my baby inside my running car in the parking lot of a Home Depot about two weeks ago. I had started the car to get it warmed up, put the baby in her seat, closed the door to go load the stuff I’d bought in the back, and realized right as I shut the trunk (through which I could’ve gotten into the backseat) that all of the doors were locked.

Fortunately, the presence of the baby inside the car moved a passerby who saw my stricken face to allow me to use his cell phone to call police; the presence of the baby also allowed the police to waive their policy of not opening locked vehicles – something they stopped doing because of liability for damages, unless there was someone stuck inside the car. The whole drama lasted only ten minutes but they were a very long ten minutes. And I felt like a serious :wally

I locked my keys and purse in the trunk of my car once. I was putting groceries in the trunk, and had set the keys and purse down inside. A friend brought me a spare, thank God.

I’ve had problems with AAA, too. Some friends and I were on a road trip when we had a flat tire. The car belonged to my friend’s mother, and she didn’t want us to change it, she wanted the “professionals” to do it. We waited for an hour and a half on an open highway where the nearest building is a prison. In spite of the fact that we’d given the operator very specific instructions including mile markers, she kept telling us that the AAA guy couldn’t find us. In the breakdown lane of an open highway. At the specific exit we gave her. By the mile marker we gave her.

However, my faith in human nature was reaffirmed, because we let go 13 Knights in Shining Armor (including one lady) who had stopped and offered to change the flat for us, while waiting for AAA. Finally, we gave up on AAA and let the 14 K.i.S.A. change the tire. AAA are useless, wormy, steaming, piles of dog turds, IMHO.

When I had my first car (1974 Pontiac Ventura), I locked my keys inside many times. I finally just wired a coathanger on a spot under the hood for a spare “key.” I could get into that car in less than 5 minutes with a coathanger. (This happened in the Long Ago Days when you could open the hood from the front of the car without having to trip a release inside the car.) I used the coathanger for other things too, like propping open the butterfly valve in the carburetor when it would stick on cold mornings.

My second car was a 1982 Pontiac T1000. I had fun with it once. It had about 100,000 miles on it, and the ignition switch was sufficiently worn that I could remove the key without turning the car off.

One day I came out after class and found that my car wouldn’t start. It turned out that one of the battery terminals had corroded enough to come loose from the battery. Well, since you really only need the battery to start the car, I had a classmate give me a jumpstart and drove to the auto parts store to buy a battery. I couldn’t turn the car off, because I wouldn’t have been able to start it again. So I parked by the store, pulled the key out of the ignition with the car running, locked the car door and went inside to buy a battery. Then I came out and drove the car home to change the battery.

(Well, I thought it was cool.)

The car? No. The house? Definitely.

Last year–Paidhi boy was fascinated with keys (you can put them in things, you see, and when mommy does it, doors open and cars start. During that period, he failed to start the sewing machine, though he tried, and he blew a circuit breaker when he stuck them in an outlet…but anyway) and he climbed up and took mine off the table one day and put them somewhere. Where? The Deity only knew, and I had to go pick up Paidhi Girl from school. And Mr. Cameron works evenings, so he was already off to work. So I grabbed a ring of random extra keys, hoping one would start my car. I went outside, figuring I’d see if the most likely suspect was the one. It was. Hurray! But–I’d just locked myself out of the house, with the 2yr old Paidhi Boy alone in the living room. And none of the extra keys were house keys of any description. What the heck were they, then? I have no idea, but there were lots of them.

I checked all the windows I can reach from the porch–locked or painted shut. Darn. I hear Paidhi boy beginning to fuss. Don’t panic. Think rationally. If I break the glass in the front door, likely it will come showering down on Paidhi Boy. Not good. So around to the back door. Where’s something heavy? Ah, a brick. The back door has a nice big window. Had. Reached in, without cutting myself, and unlocked the back door. Grabbed the extra front door keys (I knew where those were all along–I just wasn’t smart enough to grab them before I went out in the first place). Grabbed Paidhi Boy, who was happy to see me. Went as quickly as possible to school and got Paidhi Girl, came home and called Mr. Cameron.

“Hi, Honey, I locked myself out of the house with the baby in the living room.”

“What did you break?” he asked, calmly. No problems there.

But where were my keys? It was time for a thorough, between the cracks sort of clean. They were behind the couch, stuffed under Paidhi Girl’s violin. (The space between the couch and the wall is a convenient place to keep it).

I have never forgotten that day, and now always, always make sure I’m holding my keys in my hand before I close any doors.

jackelope, there’s some weird quality to ice/snow conditions in Memphis, isn’t there? Funny how that is. Your post reminded me of several occasions where we had to travel to Memphis and negotiate winter conditions with those notorious drivers. Ya know, it always starts snowing at State Line Road. Maybe its Elvis.

ForgottenLore, that was beautiful. <sniff>

Later, if I remember, I’ll come back and tell about how Mr. S and I put two cars in the ditch and locked ourselves out of the house in a raging blizzard, all in one day.

So ForgottenLore I take it you don’t sell vacuums anymore? Geesh dude. I thought my luck was bad, but I believe we have a winner here folks.:smiley:

P&H Cafe? Burgers any good? Been looking for another local place to try… how smoky is it though?

Gah. Thankfully, I haven’t locked my keys in the car… but I have left my keys on my desk, stepped outside and closed the door… and heard the ‘click’ just in time to realize my keys are not with me. :smack: D’oh! Thankfully, there’s normally someone with a spare key about.

<< Dum-de-dum-dum. >>

NinetyWt, there’s definitely some strange weather here. We don’t get near as much wintry weather as most places, but it’s just… weird. We’ve been seesawing back and forth over the freezing point for a couple of days now with intermittent precipitation, and today I went and walked the dog through a park that somehow had a thin (maybe 1/8-inch) layer of ice sort of resting on top of the grass. As in the grass wasn’t frozen into it; the ice was just sitting on top. It was cool.

And Nightsong, the P&H has great burgers and (sometimes) interesting crowds, but does get pretty smoky when it’s full, especially in the wintertime when they have to keep the doors shut.

jackelope slobbered:

Hey, I agree. It’s surely not your fault. As an idiot it’s your job to do things like lock your keys in a running car, catch Mr. Happy in the zipper, and find out you left your wallet at home just as it’s time to pay for lunch. These things are expected, otherwise you’d have to be here telling everyone what a freaking genius you are.

Professional organizations like AAA are depending on you to keep them in business. These sorts of things are a large part of what you do to keep the old economy rolling along.

Way to go!!! We retirees applaud you.