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.)