frustratedThe following is true. The names have been changed because no one wants to own up to being the real people.

On his way home from work on a rainy Friday evening, Harry noticed that his car was behaving oddly. He pulled into a gas station. One tire was flat.

AAA came and found a nail. Since the car came with a repair kit instead of a spare, the AAA man surrounded the nail with goop, filled the tire with air, and sent Harry on his way.

Once again on the road, the car shimmied terribly. Costco was not far away, so Harry drove there, intending to buy a new tire first thing Saturday.

Meanwhile he’d been texting his wife, Sally. She too was driving home. But she keeps her cell phone on stun while at work, and hadn’t turned the sound back on when she got in the car.

When he tried calling instead, she heard her phone buzz and answered, only to get an earful of Harry’s frustration. Mildly chagrined, Sally made a detour and went to pick him up.

In the morning, while trying to take the tire off, the Costco guy managed to break a lug nut, which meant the car had to go back to the dealer. The dealer sent a flatbed to pick up the car.

Turned out, the broken lug nut was the least of the wheel’s problems and would have to be there for several days. Harry got a loaner car and headed home. Somewhere along the way, he realized he’d inadvertently left his key ring, the one with the keys to his car and Sally’s and their son’s house as well as their own, in his car. Since the dealer was closed, he didn’t bother turning around.

That evening, Harry and Sally had tickets to a community theater. They drove in the loaner car. Harry remarked on how unusual it was to have only one key. When they arrived back home, Sally got out and punched the code into the keypad next to the garage door. Instead of opening the garage, it flashed on and off for several seconds. She tried it a second time, and a third. Then Harry tried. With the same result. They suspected that the pad needed a new battery.

Harry’s key to the front door was at the dealership. Sally’s keys were in the purse, which she’d left home. It was now 1 am and the temperature had turned frosty.

“But wait!” said Sally. “We gave our neighbors a key.”

Harry said, “If we call them at this hour they’ll think someone died.”

“Do you have a better idea?”

So, Harry called. And sheepishly retrieved the key. Only to discover that it was the key to the door they had recently replaced, and therefore useless.

Sally suggested replacing the keypad battery. Faced with diminishing options, they got back in the loaner car and went in search of a replacement battery. Which is hard to find in the suburbs at 2 am.

After they’d returned home, found that the new battery failed to lift the garage door, they read the instructions. They learned that when a fresh battery is installed the pad needs to be reprogrammed, using the motor inside the garage. The garage they couldn’t open.

They retreated to the warm car and began looking online for a 24-hour locksmith. The first one said he’d be there in 15 minutes. Half an hour later they called the same number and got another, who said he’d be there in 30 minutes. 40 minutes later, they woke up a third who said he’d call someone else.

With each phone call, they watched the power on his cell phone battery decrease. When it was close to running out, they drove off again, this time in search of a charger since the one Harry would normally use was in his car that was at the dealer.  After two more calls, a lovely young man with a toolbox arrived. It was now 4 am.

When Harry and Sally bought their new door, they noted that it had the finest lock possible: one that couldn’t be picked, with screws couldn’t be drilled, and was next to impossible to disassemble. That night, they learned they got exactly what they paid for.

After a full forty minutes of blow torching, hammering, and drilling, the door opened, and Sally ran to turn off the burglar alarm, so they wouldn’t have to explain to the police why they were breaking into their own home.

Later, Harry and Sally agreed if their children ever learned of their nocturnal adventures, the kids might take away the car keys. So you’re now sworn to silence.

Don’t Tell The Kids was last modified: by

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