My Recent Little Adventure -or- How to Waste an Otherwise Lovely Morning

Yesterday morning we were treated to some lovely fog along the Portneuf river. The Bannock mountains behind were lit up in the sun, the beautiful colors of the snow highlighted by the dark junipers. The view across the valley from SillyBilly’s school is particularly nice, as is the panorama as we crest the hill between our house and Anthropapa’s work.

I’ve often thought of stopping to take photos of these views, maybe even taking many shots over the course of a year to compare and possibly even inspire some artistic work.

So yesterday morning I remembered to pop the camera in my pocket amid the rush out the door. We didn’t have time to stop on the way to work, but after I dropped SillyBilly off at school, I noticed the view there was looking particularly good, and that the fog would be likely to move and obscure things later. So, I took my chance.

Or tried to.

I pulled the car out of the parking lot and down the road about 50 feet where I could pull off and not have power lines in the photo. I put the car in park, but thought (as I never usually do) that I would leave the car running since I’d only be a few moments.

And I got out of the car, and shut the door firmly with camera in hand. Shut the door firmly, thereby locking my purse inside with the engine running.

After cursing my inattentiveness and overall foolishness, I walked quickly back to the school office, and tried to call AAA to see if they could send out a tow truck. No dice–they couldn’t find a record of our membership. Maybe it had expired since we moved from New York. The kind lady offered to transfer our membership to the Idaho region, if only I had a debit card handy….

Next I called our auto insurance, USAA. Now, though USAA membership is only available to those in the armed forces, military retirees, and their families (thank you, Grandpa Al!), I always make a point of praising their customer service, which is excellent, so that anyone I know who is eligible might check it out. Their security measures are exemplary, and their call centers are too.

Here are some examples of that excellent customer service:

  1. Their operators are always very well-informed and their databases must be quite efficient. It took the person mere moments to find our account, even though I could only give her my social security number, name, and address as every other applicable bit of information was locked in the car. It took only moments to confirm that I indeed had roadside assistance coverage.
  2. The operator took the time to explain my situation to their roadside assistance department while I was on hold, so that I didn’t have to repeat myself.
  3. The roadside assistance department was equally efficient, completing the transaction in just a few minutes.
  4. Both ladies asked me if I was in a safe place before discussing anything else, given that I was locked out of my car.
  5. I received an automated follow-up phone call within 5 minutes giving me the name of the local towing company, their phone number, and the estimated arrival time. I also received a call about 5 minutes after I arrived home stating that the tow truck should have arrived by then.

In any case, the tow truck did arrive, the nice man used his little pump and pillow thingy to pry open the door and the little wire loop thingy to pull open the door lock (the whole operation took about 3 minutes) and I was on my way.

Later when I came back to pick up SillyBilly, I told him the whole sad story and then we pulled over in the same place to take some photos, as the fog had not yet obscured the view. This time I turned the engine off and put the keys in my pocket.

The camera batteries were dead.

❖❖❖❖❖❖

Want to see what those mountains look like, before I get the batteries charged and my brain back in place? Look here!

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14 Comments

Filed under life, Nature, Silliness and Mayhem, SillyBilly

14 responses to “My Recent Little Adventure -or- How to Waste an Otherwise Lovely Morning

  1. Those mountains are beautiful. Wow..what a morning! I’m glad that you were close enough to walk to the school and not stuck out in the middle of nowhere.

  2. Some days, you’re the windshield, and some days…well, today was one of those days.

  3. Sounds like exactly the kind of thing I would do … I sympathize. Thanks for posting a picture anyhow. Those hills are lovely.

  4. Ah…the things we do for our blogs 🙂

  5. Oh, what a pain! Sorry to hear about it.

  6. Of COURSE they were dead!!!!
    I’ve never had the misfortune of locking the keys in the car. But I have the feeling i would probably be the impatient type who just lobs a huge rock in the window! Much to my huz’s chagrin.

  7. Sorry you had such a bad morning, and thank you for reminding me that usually life is just fine!

  8. Alida

    I smile…nodding compassionately.

  9. At least you didn’t drop the camera and then run over it. That’s what I was expecting.

  10. Mon

    Gawd! For a moment there when I read about leaving the car running…. I was holding my breath. Locked keys suddenly weren’t so bad! lol

    I used to do it quite a bit, then finally, learnt.

    Bit confused, did you take that shot? breathtaking anyways.

  11. Thanks everyone — no harm, no foul, in the end.

    Sarah: Of course I immediately started writing this post as soon as the drama unfolded 🙂

    Mon: I was holding my breath too the whole time I waited for the tow truck. It isn’t likely that a parked car with the emergency brake engaged is going anywhere, but I had to think worst case, just in case!

    I didn’t take that photo. It’s by a computer science professor here at ISU, who has many galleries of beautiful photos on that site.

  12. Tammy

    It was just NOT your day, lol! Glad it all turned out ok in the end, though. I’m not sure where you moved from, and I’m wondering if the cold here has surprised you? It’s cold, but there is beauty in the cold weather, too. I love it when frost covers everything and I can look at the frosty trees and bushes with blue skies.

  13. See, if you had a Prius you couldn’t have locked your keys in the car because the Smartkey won’t allow you to lock the car doors from the outside if there is a key on the inside of the car. Don’t ask me how the darn thing can tell whether the key is in your pocket or in your purse. Also, if you get out of the car with the key in your pocket and leave the engine power on the car complains bitterly until you put the thing in park and turn it off.

    Actually, I don’t really like having a car that nags me, but it is very useful to not be able to lock the keys in the car. I’ve done that with other cars and it is one big pain in the neck.

    The mountains are beautiful. I see why you want to photograph them.

  14. Tammy: Well, we moved from New York where we had lived for the last 3 years, so the cold isn’t entirely new to me. (Though before that I had lived my whole life in non-cold parts of California, so it’s not exactly old hat yet!) But I am noticing the different qualities of the winter here. New York is much more wet all year round, and the snow was much wetter too. Here it’s like grainy powder most of the time! Too bad I don’t ski. And NY had ice storms, too. I have been enjoying the frost over the last few days though, the crystal forms covering every little twig are just amazing.

    HMH: Yes, our car is about 6 years old and so does not have any handy-dandy technology like that. I believe it dings at you if you open the door with the key in the ignition, but either it doesn’t do that when the engine is running, or I completely ignored it. I don’t know if I would want a Smartkey, but I do look with envy on those remote start doohickeys, given how cold it is when we leave in the mornings!

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