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More stupid human tricks

Inspired by Waveflux‘s post (I also commented right there), this happened my first day in the new role and the day of my Sydney trip:

My car key is a square/cube shaped thing, with no edges whatsoever (http://consultaglobal.files.wordpress.com/2007/08/image55.png) and I’d dropped it onto the floor of the car. I can still drive the car as long as the key is in the front half of the car, somewhere around the front seats (it has a sensor). Through the course of a busy morning, I kept telling myself I’d look for the key on the floor and pick it up, but never did. In the evening, I saw that the key had gone and lodged itself in a square-shaped hole on the floor under the driver’s seat. The hole, bizarrely enough, was *JUST* large enough for the key to fit, and no more. I said to myself, okay, if I can’t pull the key out of the hole, maybe I can push it through the hole and pull it out the other end. So I pushed it a couple inches more before I realized it wasn’t just A hole, the hole was the AC vent!!! And I, being the car expert I am, had NO IDEA how to open a vent!! It didn’t look like it had any screws or anything.

So I tried to pull the key out, but I could barely touch it as it was so far gone. I couldn’t pull it out with a flat blade, or with my fingernails, because it was pretty tightly lodged in. I tried to take the carpet out from under the pipe that had the hole, so that it would create a downward slope for the key to fall out the hole. No, that wouldn’t help either. I couldn’t go to a garage, because I had to reach the airport for a flight in 20 minutes. I couldn’t just drive to the airport, catch my flight, and bother about the key later, because what if it got in deeper into the air conditioning system and then the car stalled?

Through a stroke of brilliance – as big as the one that got my key lost in the first place – I started the car – and Viola, it did work. Good sensors. I drove VERY, VERY slowly and carefully to another area of the parking lot that had an upward slope and parked the car on the steepest part I found. I then went to the back seat, and with a tiny screwdriver, *rotated* the key on a vertical axis, until the metal ring (see the image above) around the key faced me instead of inside the hole. And still, I couldn’t pull the key out. because I didn’t have enough space to angle the screwdriver enough. So I pulled a big part of the carpet from under the pipe, and then in a self-described-magician’s-tablecloth-trick-type move, pulled at the ring of the key with the screwdriver at the same time that I pulled out the final piece of the carpet from under the pipe.

Ah. It came out.
🙂 I still have bruises on my knuckles where the skin was scraped right off for my efforts. But I made my flight!

And to all those who say women aren’t handy with tools, PPFFFFFFFFTTTTTTTTTT to you.

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