Saturday, we went to a Halloween party where there were at least 4 people wearing scrubs, which is 4 too many even though there were 100 other people with pretty nice costumes. i think that having to wear scrubs on a regular basis makes the doctor costume very uncool to me, even though i realize these people have nothing to do with the medical field and are probably just fans of Grey’s Anatomy. still, how much effort did that take? put on some scrubs and now you’re a “doctor”. at the least you could get a cane and call yourself House.
Sunday morning we woke up at 10 am and panicked because we were supposed to be in SF in an hour. we quickly showered and were out the door in 30 minutes, at which point we realized that it was only 9:30 am because daylight saving time had ended. [see? didn’t i tell you that i would totally not know?]
we got to SF on time for josh’s meeting with his group members to check out their site for their next project. after walking around the neigborhood for an hour and splitting up the work, we headed back to my car, at which point i realized i didn’t have my car keys and the drama began.
of all the things that i forget or lose (i.e. glasses), i’ve never actually lost my keys. i’m also not one to lock my keys in the car, especially since i usually use the clicky thing to lock the doors. we peered into the windows, hoping that i’d left the keys inside rather than dropping it somewhere along the 5 city blocks we had walked. unfortunately my keys were nowhere to be seen. and the spare key was 2 hrs away in Sacramento. and josh didn’t have a functioning car, which was why i had accompanied him for his group project work. and my roommate was working in the hospital that day, so i couldn’t have asked her for the huge favor of rescuing us in SF even if i’d wanted to. and josh was supposed to pick something up in Oakland that afternoon. and he’d made plans for us for that evening as well.
so we retraced our steps, heads tilted down, scanning the ground for keys. strangely enough we did find a set of keys (not mine) on one block. we asked the people at Trader Joe’s (the only business i had walked into) if anyone had turned in any keys. they did have a set, but not mine. we borrowed their phone book to look up locksmiths and i left my cell phone number in case anything turned up.
we called one locksmith who informed us that cars after 1998 were likely to have transponder chips in the keys, so they referred us to another locksmith that would be able to handle the transponder chips. the second locksmith told us it would cost $650 to create the key for a car with the transponder chip system. i’d been prepared to spend some money for this emergency, but not $650 (!!!). we asked the locksmith if there was a way to know for sure that my car had a transponder, but all he could tell us was that a lot of the new cars did have transponders. we tried calling a Toyota dealership to see if they knew about the transponder, and the guy (salesman?) told us that XLE but not LE models (my car is an LE) had transponders.
at this point we were wholly confused about the transponder issue and stressed about the extreme cost. and of course, there’s the fact that we may have simply locked ourselves out which would make the whole replacement key thing a moot point. so we called a third locksmith to try to confirm that my car did or did not have a transponder, and he told us that keys with the big plastic top part were keys with transponder chips. however, he quoted us a much much lower price of $225 (whew).
with a plan in motion, we grabbed some lunch as we waited for locksmith #3 to arrive and work his magic. he arrived in a black SUV and wore black sunglasses and skinny jeans. with his Russian accent and fancy gadgets, he reminded more of a spy on Alias than the plumber-type i’d somehow been expecting. he unlocked the car and our suspicions were confirmed – my keys were not inside.
as he started working on his laptop and fancy gadgets to make a new key, i sat in the car to escape the cold cold wind and josh headed off to finish some more of his neighborhood assessment for his project. 10 minutes later, my cell phone rang, and i picked it up to hear josh saying “abort! abort!” (i’m not kidding). turns out he had decided to stop by the diner next to Trader Joe’s and inquire if anyone had happened to turn in a set of keys. someone had. and they were mine!
meanwhile, mr. spy/locksmith had been working diligently on my new key with his hi-tech equipment. i walked over to his SUV to tell him that the keys had been found, and unfortunately we would not be needing a new key. he told me he’d finish making the door key (without the transponder chip) anyway, since this was his first time using this particular machine and he wanted to check it out.
so in the end, i got my keys back (yay!), we only paid $125, and i had an extra door key which could be used for lock-outs or if necessary to make a transponder key at a discounted cost. of course, the whole car key drama had taken up 3 hours and much energy and we still had lots to do. by now, josh had already confessed what the mysterious item to be picked up in oakland and our surprise plans for the evening were – tickets to the sold out Regina Spektor concert!
we rushed back to oakland, picked up the tickets, picked up some socks, gloves, and a long-sleeved tee at Target (i was seriously not prepared for the cold), changed into warmer clothes, and headed across the bay bridge for the third time that day. [aside: at one point, the manager from Trader Joe’s called me back to let me know a set of keys similar to mine had been found. i gleefully told her they weren’t mine.]
the concert was awesome, and even josh was pleasantly surprised. i was blown away by her opening song, an a capella jazz/blues number called “ain’t no cover” (which can be found on her Live at Bull Moose album). the picture to the left is of her tapping into the microphone as she sings the song a capella (the version on the album doesn’t sound quite as good because the tapping heartbeat sound is very faint). i was also thoroughly impressed by (and jealous of) her piano skillz. she’s quite the storyteller in her songs, and i could see her composing for a musical or a movie, though it would be quite off-the-wall and non-disney.
morals of the story?
- don’t lose your keys
- more people lose their keys than i expected
- if you do lose your keys, call Available Locksmith because they are nice and don’t charge insane prices
- it helps to have a boyfriend who manages to stay calm and comforting and has the random stroke of genius to check a diner that we hadn’t even visited for my lost keys.
- good music performed live is even better.