The funny stories on the rural plains just keep happening. Joel has started claiming that when he does something funny, he’s only being helpful by providing material! Today’s sketch is called, “Honey, Where are My Keys?”
I drive a little hybrid for work. As High Plains listeners know, when you live out here, you put in a lot of miles just in daily life. I maintain that we may have to travel more miles, but we take about the same amount of time to get where we’re going as city folk do. And, we also experience less traffic stress and more pink sunrises while doing it. Nevertheless, I don’t like spending money on gas, and I do like to give the misleading impression that I am living green, even though I live in a gigantic house and my family of five throws away more trash than most families with twice that many members.
No lie. One early morning on trash day, Joel was outside turning on the sprinkler when he overheard the garbage men remark to one another, “American consumerism at its finest,” as they threw our giganta-bags in the truck.
But back to my little hybrid. Joel has to leave for work before I do, which means that I am in charge of getting our kids up, dressed, breakfasted, and off to school or daycare by myself. To offset this, Joel, bless his heart, always gets my car out of the garage and loads my briefcase and a water bottle for me. He even sometimes takes the time to leave a little love note or picture of a minivan on the driver’s seat as a surprise.
One day as I was shooing kids out of the house, I noticed that my keys were not on the table, where Joel usually leaves them for me to grab as I walk out. Occasionally, he has left them on the car seat, so I wasn’t too worried until I got out to the car and realized that the keys were locked in the vehicle. My husband commutes to a town that is 30 miles away (Like I said, listeners, we put in the miles around here). He had the only other set of keys in his pocket, in that town, 30 miles away. I couldn’t take the minivan, because my keys to that were on the keychain that was locked inside the car, so I was stuck.
Another wonderful thing about living in a small town is that you usually know the city cop, or a former felon who can enter vehicles with a coat hanger. I decided to try the city cop first, and luckily Rodney arrived in short order to get me into the car. I was only a few minutes late to work, and I wasn’t too upset with Joel.
Until the next week. Another similar morning was whizzing by when I noted that my keys were not in their customary place. No, I thought. Surely not this soon after last week’s incident. I attempted to relax as I served up toast to the kids, threw an ice pack in Dashiell’s lunch, and signed a permission slip for Millie.
When I arrived at the car, I realized my worst fears were totally unfounded. The car was unlocked. There were no keys in it, but now, I just needed to find the alternate spot that Joel had left them. I did a quick sweep of the most likely places for misplaced keys and realized that my best course of action would be to call Joel. When he picked up, I explained that I couldn’t find my car keys. There was an incredibly long pause on the other end.
“Uh. They seem to be in my pocket.”
“Then where are yours? I can use those for today.”
“They are in my other pocket.” Joel’s voice was pained. I almost felt sorry for him. I really did. Almost. Long story short, I borrowed a vehicle and was late to work. At least I didn’t have to call the ex-con to open my door.