Standing on the outside

The ironic thing about locking your keys in the car is that although it’s the keys that are incarcerated, it’s you who is trapped, in yourself.

I realised this recently after doing the deed twice in three days.

It was like a little cloud of moronic-ness settled over me.

Got me contemplating the nature of destiny, the psychology of positive thinking and whether it’s a good thing to be on first-name basis with roadside assistance.

For the record, roadside assistance dubbed me ‘‘Stupid’’, as in ‘‘Stupid’s stuck down at Newcastle West this time’’.

First time it happened heading to work.

Second time I was chasing down a gift for Mother’s Day.

Each time I thought I had my destiny under control.

Each time I went through my standard car-exit procedure.

Got my wallet, check.

Got my phone, check.

Got my ... slam.

Hang on, that didn’t feel right.

And I knew why immediately because there, visible through the locked car window dangling from the ignition, were the keys not only to my vehicle, but also my short-term happiness, or lack thereof.


A more positive person would have taken the opportunities to smell the roses.

I, instead, like a good lamb shank, stewed.

Work would think I was malingering, which of course I was as I waited for roadside assistance.

Mother’s Day would be a disaster, which of course based on previous Mother’s Days, was always on the cards.

How could this be happening to me ... twice?

First time it happened I was parked out the front of Newcastle court house.

A good place to malinger, actually.

Quite a steady flow of humanity heading to and from the cop shop of an afternoon.

Possibly dudes doing their parole checks.

The thought crossed my mind some of these guys could probably help me get into my car.

Instead, I went it alone.

My car had a dodgy window that you could usually pull down manually, by sneezing.

It had been like that for years, and was very handy in situations like this.

So I started pawing at that window, like a cat frantic to go outside and do its business.

Not a great look near a police station.

Then I remembered; a back-seat passenger had whinged vehemently about the dodgy window a while back.

During a rain storm.


So Stupid had jammed that window so it would never move again.

How bloody efficient.

Carjack over.

Time to slump against the car and wait for roadside.

The guy duly turned up and showed me and the parole dudes what’s possible when you go legit.

Second time it happened I was in the car park at Spotlight, en route to the mysteries of sewing world.

As anybody who’s ever ventured there knows, Spotlight is by and large a female domain.

Very little man action unless standing uneasily near rolls of fabric is considered action.

So in the interests of equity I shifted the gender imbalance by two, me and the roadside guy, by locking down the keys, take #2.

And as I peered out of that caged car park, it struck me that, like my keys, I was a prisoner, of my own stupid actions.

Not sure if there’s roadside assistance for that.

Is there a cure for locking keys in cars?

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