This is a long story that was minutes in the creating but MONTHS in the editing:
Everyone has that little voice that’s just below a whisper. I try to write it off as a little negative vibe and just soldier through it. Living life while worrying about what could happen, will guarantee that nothing ever WILL happen. Maybe that little voice should learn to speak the fuck up.
It’s no secret that I’m no fan of lakes, boats and such. So in the attempt to keep an open mind, I stifle my negative thoughts on purpose. Nobody wants to be THAT GUY and I certainly can’t stand THAT GUY.
We hop on my parent in law’s boat and as I’m getting on, the little voice says ‘aren’t you too heavy to ride with all these people’? Little voice just called me fat? Fair enough, but.. shut up.
I don’t know anything about boats, and if I speak up, everyone will just think I’m spewing my regular anti-lake propaganda. Let’s just get to wherever we’re going. Besides, we still seem to be above the waterline, I guess it’s fine.
We arrive about 50 yards from our destination (no psychotic mermaids or water horses to be found), and need to hit the proverbial water brakes, and that’s where we hit the iceberg. Well, it’s the middle of summer and we’re in Kansas, I don’t believe there was an actual iceberg but the front of the boat starts going down like it saw a shiny penny on the ground.
oh lordy lord we’re going down and there’s not even an orchestra or leo decaprio to push off a door. I grab the two nearest children in hopes of using them as flotation devices. We are only about 30 feet from the shoreline so I figure I can chuck them over the side in case this boat decides to join davey jones in the deep dark depths of this what… 17-20 feet of lake? Still, those floating kids will come in handy.
Finally everyone scampers to the back of the boat and it rights itself. Everything is wet and there seems to be a cooler floating away from us. We have an unlikely hero swim out and grab the bobbing beer coffin. Who knew our cooler could float?
I find out later, that our extra towels and clothes bag seems to have been lost at sea as well. Which in regards to tragedy happening, it’s pretty low on the scale. However, because my hands were full when walking to the boat, I threw the car keys in THAT BAG. When I learned of it’s demise into the brown grimy depths, I informed everyone in my most calm voice that our means of accessible transportation was now gone.
Situation Status: I need to find a way back into our car, on a Sunday, at a lake, in the middle of Kansas.
Good News: My wife’s copy of the keys are available.. in the trunk. I do have my phone and even though it’s a little soggy, still seems to be working. I make some impromptu sacrifices to the google gods and find a signal. The search for a locksmith willing to drive out to the lake is on.
The search quickly becomes a race as the weak signal is draining my battery. I go from %65 to %25 in about 10 minutes. Actually get a live person who talks on the phone for about 8 minutes before telling me he can’t send anyone. Way to kill my battery and my hopes in a brilliant double asshole killshot. My Brother in law mentions Baldwin city (I have no idea where that is in relation to my present location), and after a quick search, get a number, leave a message and finish up my google altar. (the apple gods are punishing me for my google offering and my battery is down to 20%)
We decide to see if we’re lucky enough to find the bag, as I said, we weren’t FAR from the shore, so maybe the waves pushed it closer? Maybe we can find the needle in the wet haystack. Like a (fat) blind autistic monkey, I’m basically floating while feeling around hard rocks with my feet. After 20 minutes or so, I give up the search and go to my phone (14%). I missed a call. Damn. Call back and find out my possible hero is ‘out checking on the cows’. great. I leave my number and inform that I will be waiting patiently and staring at my phone.
He does call me back in what felt like the longest 5 minutes ever. (11%) . Says he CAN actually be out and will call me back. I feel like an ass because I need to ask for a timeframe as I explain my battery situation. He says about an hour as I gush like a comic con attendee finding out superheros are real. I shut off my phone I attempt to relax and enjoy watching the kids play on the little island. Which has somehow become a ‘king of the hill’ competition. As if you couldn’t tell from the pictures.
It’s still hard to relax when you’re in the middle of a different state without an easy way back to the sanctuary of home sweet home. I do my best and everyone is nice enough to mostly leave me alone. Which is the best thing for people like me. I’m in problem solving mode and unless you happened to bring your car jacking tools, I’m not in the mood for relaxing lake banter. Whatever that might be. Why do I come to the lake again?
Next problem is that I have to get back to the car. Granted, it’s only about 2 miles, but I can’t walk it. So I’m stuck (again) waiting for someone to give me a ride back to the marina. I stall for about 40 minutes, taking pictures, etc, before stating that I need someone to float me back. Luckily there are wave runners and my niece is willing to drive me to where I need to be. I awkwardly hop off the jet ski while keeping my phone and shoes above water, get to sweet dry land and turn on the phone. It whimpers at a meager 2%.
I make a last ditch effort to give more precise directions since I’m staring at the marina. I hang up and attempt to send a text. As soon as the text bounces back ‘not delivera…..’ The phone is dead. I write the number in the dirt of my car as I have no pen and paper (When did this become waterworld?) and will have to find another way to call my savior. A part of me is hoping he’ll show up and recognize his phone number written in the dirt. I debate drawing his name inside a little heart…too subtle? I have to ditch my car for a minute to walk to the marina and ask to use their land line. I tell them my sad story and they agree, but he doesn’t answer. Leaves me wondering if ANYONE is even coming. How screwed am I in this geographical anomaly (2 weeks from everywhere!).
I go back to my car and wait. What else can I do? I keep thinking he’s trying to call me and getting nothing but voicemail so he slams the phone down and calls me a name and drives back home. Here I am, stuck in the floor, waiting for the inspector with no means to get in touch with him.
I sit and stare creepily at other happy campers happily bounding in and out of the parking lot. Instantly mad at them for being so godamn happy. I should run over there and pop their stupid inflatable tube. In my anger I remember something from way back in my brain. I take off my shoe and remove the shoelace.
There’s a way to make a loop, run it into the frame of the door and hook the door lock latch. As long as I’m sitting here staring at happy fucking smiling faces, I may as well try it. It’s not like my anger is going to get me into this car any faster.
After several failed attempts. And even more confused looks, I give up. Walk back down to the marina and try to contact the keymaster again. I’m half expecting someone to say there’s a minority trying to break into cars in the parking lot. Who could blame them, I’m wearing a ratty lake shirt, baseball hat, sunglasses and have one shoe without a shoelace. It doesn’t look like i’m running a high tech crime operation here.
Frustrated and now dry, I go back to my car jacking and move to the passenger window. No reason really. Just wanted to get a tan on the other side of my face I guess. After a few more [expletive deleted], and even more adjustments to my technique, I grow weary of this challenge. With my hopes dwindling and no sign of a guy driving a car shaped like a key, my shoelace… trick… WORKS.
I am the Alpha, I am the Omega, I am McGuyver and I am the smartest man ALIVE!
wait.. when I pull this up, the alarm will go off. I need to open the door (.3 secs) hop in (.9 secs), pop the trunk (.1 sec) , run to the back (2.1 secs), somehow locate the keys in my wife’s purse (.4 to 17 years, variable) and turn off the alarm (.2 secs). Deep breath and GO!
Luckily nobody called the cops when I was running around the car like a meth addict on Halloween. Being the nice guy that I am, I decide to wait for the key guy (also, the family is still playing in the water). He does show up about 15-20 minutes later and sees his number written in a heart. I chat him up for a minute and pay him for the service call. He’s really REALLY nice about the whole thing as I apologize for wasting his Holiday Sunday.
I think the family had fun.