Wednesday, April 20, 2005

My Name is Elaine and I'm Here To Help

I was sitting on the hood of my Jeep outside the grocery store where it had spent the night with the keys locked inside.

The cops had come yesterday and, after several efforts, failed to pop the car locks.  Meanwhile, I tore up the house looking for my spare key, which may actually be in the glove compartment of the car.  I checked on a locksmith, but I didn't want to pay $140 for an after hours guy to come last night.

Instead I called in the morning and agreed to the locksmith's day rate and waited for a red panel truck from AAA Lock and Key -- that name is so generic there has to be one in every town across the country.  

I expected some guy with a butt crack to get out of the truck, rip the bejesus out of the inside of my door until he unlocked it, and then charge me an arm and a leg for his services.

Well, up drives the panel truck.  And out jumps the wiry, tan, effervescent and crisply turned out master car door opener, Elaine, a trained professional at opening locked car doors without using a key.

I wasn't expecting a woman.  Professional lock picking seems like one of those jobs that a guy would fall into because they generally have more practice heisting cars in high school.  But Elaine actually went to a special school to learn her craft.  And boy was she crafty.

After about twenty minutes of trying to make her assortment of curved metal "tools" pull up the lever that would release the lock, she came up with a completely different solution.

Taking a narrow bend rod, she wiggled it through the rubber trim around thetriangular side vent window of the Jeep.  Using a second metal rod, also bent, she worked the two together, using one to press the button that released the handle holding the window shut and the second rod to turn the handle itself. The whole process took less than five minutes.  Watching through the window on the other side of the car, I was mesmerized by her skill in working those two metal rods in tandem with each other.  It was like watching a xylophone player holding four sticks.  You can see their hands moving and hear the sound, but you have no idea how they know what they're doing.

Presto the window was opened.  She reached in and unlocked the door.  I was in.  I had never seen anyone perform a feat of manual dexterity quite so well. Man or woman. I told her I wished I had been able to videotape her efforts.  She was that fast and that good. 

That's the good news.  The bad news was that locking the keys in the car had just cost me $85.00. 

But it was worth the price of admission to watch such a great show of legal breaking and entering.


tdain2003 said...

I would have paid to see that!  I bet you'll find your spare key instantly now that you've shelled out $85.00 -

gaboatman said...

I'm impressed.  Glad you got the use of your Jeep back!

screaminremo303 said...

At least the person knowing your personal information (where you live, credit card number, etc.) is only a woman who knows how to break and enter without leaving a trace.

Sleep tight.

jevanslink said...

Hey, I'm blond.  Mrs. L

suzypwr said...

I hope you now have at least 3 spare keys, and have found out the serial number to get another if you need it, lol. When I travel, I use a carabiner and clip my spare house key and spare car key to my slacks. It's pitiful, but it works!

sekirley said...

I locked my keys in my car once.  Now I have a spare key locked in one of those "lock boxes" that attach to the under frame of the car.  if you lose your key again, you punch in a combo code and POOF...  there is the spare key.


bosoxblue6993w said...

Did you know you had to be BONDED to posses that 'SLIM-JIM' rigamarole?

robbush6 said...

Is there anything sexier than a woman with a toolbelt? Does she have one of those key chains with that retractable cord that zips in and out? I want one of those.

judithheartsong said...

yea Elaine!!!!! Now is not when I tell you that I like to pick locks, is it? It is a skill that started with breaking into my parents' room each Christmas morning. They would lock the door and see how long it took me. :):) So glad you got your dear jeep back!!!! judi