A tale of two Chrises

27 Nov

A holiday jingle played in my heart as I left school yesterday, on my way to  one of my favorite holiday rituals: mailing my Christmas parcels. I pressed the button on my key fob, heard the beeps, opened the door and tossed in my school bag. I heard the keys jingle as I sat and  closed the door.  I stretched my leg to press the brake before pressing the button that  keylessly starts my new car.

I knew the universe was on my side because there was no line-up of parent pickups holding me back. I exited the parking lot and was on my way swiftly. Although I used to enjoy the ritual of mailing from the main post office downtown, I had discovered a USPS outlet in the route home from school and pulled into the parking lot. I found an ideal, drive through, parking space and got out. I reached into my right pocket to retrieve my keys to lock the car, but they weren’t there.

A slight panic arose in me. Even though I always keep my keys in my right coat pocket, I patted all my pockets – left, right, coat, pants. The keys weren’t there. Feeling slightly more panicky, I remembered the jingle of keys I had heard as I sat in the car. I searched under the driver’s seat, the passenger seat. No luck.

Could I have dropped them in the school parking lot? I wondered. I tried calling my teaching partner. No answer, so I left a message. I tried calling the principal. No answer. I  sat in the front seat and scrolled through my contacts. I called our student supervisor, Kris. He answered! He was also my first call using the car’s hands free computer. Kindly, he went outside to look as I drove back to school. As he looked, he asked a good question, “Your car started?”.

As I drive back to school, I pondered his question. Can a keyless car start if the fob isn’t in the car? By the time I reached school, I was convinced the keys had to be inside.

I parked in an open spot –  not my usual one for fear of flattening the fob. I threw open all the doors and pulled everything out of the front seat. The secretary was just leaving and I asked if keys had been turned in. Of course, none had. A 7th grade Humanities teacher in my hall came out (another Chris) asked what I was doing and offered me the flashlight from his car. As he was getting it I knelt on the driver’s seat and peered into the narrow gap between the seat and the center console. A thin flash of silver caught my eye. I stuck my hand in, wiggled my fingers until I clamped two around the item, and pulled out my keys! I held them up triumphantly as Chris arrived with his flashlight.

Feeling relived I chatted with Chris and the secretary for a bit. We made disparaging remarks about newfangled technology before getting into our cars and setting off on our merry ways. I returned to the post office and, finally, got those packages mailed.

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5 Responses to “A tale of two Chrises”

  1. arjeha November 27, 2018 at 7:09 am #

    I understand your panic. Last winter I went to the store, held my keys in my gloved hand and unknowingly dropped them as I closed the car door. Luckily some kind soul found them and took them into customer service. It was a long 10 minutes from when I discovered I didn’t have them until we were reunited. Glad your found your keys.

  2. Lisa Corbett November 27, 2018 at 1:41 pm #

    Glad you found the keys! I think the “key” has to be within a certain distance of the ignition for the car to start/run. I know people who just leave it in their purse all the time!

  3. mbhmaine November 27, 2018 at 2:35 pm #

    I had to laugh because I was thoroughly confused by your post. I kept thinking–Did I miss something? Didn’t she just drive there? Of course she has her keys!!! I even went back and reread before going on. Can you guess that I drive a 2004 car!? None of this new-fangled technology for me! lol

  4. Brian Rozinsky November 27, 2018 at 6:58 pm #

    Reading this slice, I felt both your panic and relief. I believe I’m paraphrasing Nancie Atwell when I say that conveying thoughts and feelings is (um) key to memorable writing.

  5. Gretchen December 1, 2018 at 1:18 pm #

    My mom has a keyless ignition also. We asked when she was in the process of buying her car what would happen if I dropped at the airport for example and she kept the fob with her. The sales lady said if the car was still running it would continue to run without the fob but it would probably beep. It would not start again if Mom kept the fob and the car was off.

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