Wednesday, August 26, 2009

How I ended up on the side of the road in my bathing suit for 9 hours or How Lake Champlain stole from me Part IV-The Finale

I was relatively sure that we would be spending the night sleeping on the ground by the car.

One thing I realized I forgot to mention before is that our dog, Bandit was home in Maine being watched by Geoff's mom. She was supposed to drop him off back at our apartment in the early afternoon since we planned on being home by late afternoon. So our little dog was stuck in our apartment and I had no way of contacting anyone to say "We're stranded! He needs food! Water! A walk!!!" I was worried sick. At this point it was about 9pm.

Just as I had given up all hope of ever being rescued, a big truck pulled up...with Geoff and the locksmith inside! I jumped up excitedly, filled with relief. Geoff got out of the truck, followed by a middle-aged man who looked a little on the crazy side. But he also looked like he had the tools to help us, so I pushed that thought out of my mind.

" guys dropped your keys in the lake, huh?"

"Yeah," I laughed embarrassed.

Geoff said, "The girl at the gate said they're closing the park at 10pm, but if for some reason we're not out by then she showed me two houses on the street that have a key to let us out."

"Ok...hopefully it doesn't come to that!"

The first thing Locksmith did? Unlock the doors!! I immediately grabbed my cell phone and had Geoff call his mom to tell her what was going on and to go rescue Bandit. When Locksmith went back into his truck for a moment I grabbed the necessary equipment from my purse and ran into the woods to take care of the period situation. When I came back, Locksmith and Geoff were having a conversation about how on earth he was going to make us another key.

"You SURE you don't have any spares on you?"

"We're sure."

He began sticking different tools into our ignition trying to get information for key-making I guess, while Geoff and I raided our cooler and began making roast beef sandwiches. We. Were. Starving. We offered Locksmith a sandwich, but he declined. As we ate, he talked to himself, complaining about how he didn't think he was going to be able to make a key. Our car apparently, is made differently than most. We have a Chevrolet Cavalier...who knew?

As he was struggling with the tools he kept repeating a code that the tools were telling him our key must be. "But that's impossible," he said. "That pattern just doesn't make sense for a key code. I'm going to need a picture of the key."

"A picture...of the key?" Geoff asked.

"Yeah. If I can get a picture, I can try to mold a new key using it."

"Um...we have a spare at our apartment back in Maine. We'll make some calls."

The first person we thought to call was Geoff's mom since she was going to our apartment to rescue Bandit anyway. Luckily, she had a friend with her, because trying to explain to Diane how to take a picture with her phone and send it to us? It would probably be faster to hitch hike to Maine and do it ourselves.

Poor Di. She sent us three pictures and after each one Locksmith said, "Tell her to get a closer shot with more light. I don't need the whole key, just the part with the ridges." Finally she sent one that he thought should work. We thanked Di for helping us and told her she could take Bandit and leave our apartment now. She was free.

After several minutes of using more machines/computers/the picture Locksmith said, "This still doesn't make sense. The picture is kind of blurry but this looks like the same code as I thought it was before and that just can't be." The feeling that we were in fact, never getting out of this place returned.

Locksmith needed a new picture. Geoff called his friend, Mike, one of the only one's not at the camp party that we were not going to make it to, and asked him for a favor. "Can you go to our apartment and take a picture of our car key and send it to us?"


Geoff explained the situation and Mike heroicly took a perfect picture of the key on his first try after arriving at our apartment. We thanked him and waited for Locksmith to do his business.

"Wow, I just can't figure this out. This code just doesn't make sense! I'll try it anyway though and we'll see if it works."

He made the key. He sat in the driver's seat. He put the key in the ignition and turned it. We all held our breath. The car started.

Geoff and I let out a loud "WHHOOOO!!!" Oh my god I cannot explain to you the joy of hearing that engine. Of course, we could have been spared this whole hour and a half with the locksmith if he had tried this code THE FIRST TIME he thought of it instead of exclaiming over how it didn't make sense.

Locksmith then made us five spare keys and told us to give some to family members and at least put one IN the car so worst case we would just need our doors unlocked (duh). He also printed off a copy of the key code so that if for some reason we dropped all five keys in the lake, any locksmith could quickly make us a new key using this code. We paid him with a credit card as we had promised AAA girl we would do, and began to drive away.

Then we got to the locked gate. "Oh yeah," Geoff said. He got out of the car, hopped the fence, and went to find a neighbor to unlock it for us and Locksmith. Twenty minutes passed and I began to worry. He finally came back with an old woman in her nightgown. Apparently at the first house he tried no one answered. Luckily this woman was still awake, and answered the door for a tired-looking stranger in only a bathing suit and t-shirt!

We drove home mostly in silence from Burlington, VT to Portland, ME. When we finally arrived after 2am we were both exhausted and relieved to be home. It had been a long, tiresome day, we'd missed out on fun with our friends and we missed our poor Bandit. We definitely slept well that night, and now we have a crazy story to share!



Mom said...

Jen, you should quit your day job and become a comedy writer, although I knew the story, the way you told it was great, you would have lots of great material just look at your job now!

Jen T said...

I had better material before I got a real job. Subway and the newspaper were full of characters!

Allison said...

OMG. OK, after reading this story, I don't advise you to cut back your wine intake.

That. would. have. sucked.

KG said...

I think I would've gone crazy!!! How frustrating.