I was driving yesterday with my friend and we passed a sign for Independence Louisiana. She said “Can we go there?” I said “Of course!”.
We pulled off the road and drove through this tiny town, on a rutted, torn up, pot-hole-filled blacktop road. My friend was about to give up on finding civilization in this town (read: a gas station), when we passed a car that was stuck out in the middle of the road. There was a man trying to push it out of the way of traffic. My friend said “Do you want to help?” and I said “Absolutely.” and I pulled off the road into the nearest parking lot.
We asked the man if he needed help, but he’d apparently just called some friends, so he sent us on our way.
We continued down the road a bit, and my friend was like “I don’t think there’s one here. Maybe we should turn around.” I said “Sure; let’s go to the next stop light though.” Lo and behold, we found our gas station before the next stop light. (A lesson learned: sometimes just a bit more patience is needed.)
We stopped at the gas station and went in to get drinks. My friend bought a pack of cigarettes, I bought a glass-bottle Coke. The woman who was running the cash register was wonderful, and she couldn’t get her machine to work properly, so she just charged me a dollar, so we wouldn’t have to deal with it. We were walking back out to the car and I was checking my pockets for my keys, so I could pop the top off my drink.
That’s when I realized: I had left my keys in the center console of my car.
I locked my keys in the car. In the middle of Independence, Louisana. The town where one has to *find* a gas station.
Bad not good.
I do have a spare key, but in a fit of brilliance I had left it *inside* my car.* So it was really a non-issue at that point.
My friend was like “I guess we’ll have to smash in a window, then.” and I was like “No. Absolutely not. There will be NO smashing in of windows.”
I went inside to ask if there was a local locksmith to call. The women behind the counter were all amazingly helpful. They unburied a phone book from somewhere in the back, and brought it out, and pointed out the local company.
I called and I was informed that it would cost around $75 dollars and it would be about a four hour wait.
So. Not really an option.
I went back outside, and my friend had found some folks in the parking lot who were willing to help us out. There was a local Reverend and Larry Muskeloosa. The Reverend mentioned that sometime a radio antenna can be used to unlock a car. My antenna is very securely attached to my car, so the Reverend borrowed the antenna from one Mr. Larry Muskeloosa.
It turned out that to actually unlock my car with antenna we would have had to bend the antenna, so, (after trying to unlock my car through all four windows) we put the antenna back.
The Reverend had to leave, but Larry then pledged to stay with us until we were back on the road. When we couldn’t get my car open with the tools we had, Larry made a phone call to one of his buddies, who happened to be with the local fire department.
I went back inside for a moment while we were waiting, to see if I could borrow a bottle opener for my coke. The ladies behind the counter then sent me back to the fridge to exchange my drink for a cold one, and then opened it for me.
I went back outside and our Fire Department reinforcement had arrived, with a flathead screwdriver and a wire hanger. I was able to get the wire hanger through the window, and our Fireman friend managed to hook the door lock and open the door.
Larry Muskeloosa stuck with us, and waved us out of the parking lot. Before we left he told us, “This is Louisiana. There’s a lot of love in the South. Everybody just helps everybody.”
It’s so freaking brilliant. We would have been *so* out of luck, but then…people happened.
He said “Never forget! Larry Muskeloosa.”
and one hell of an adventure in Independence.
*this situation has been remedied.