7-11 Chivalry

Friday night’s adventure started with stopping for gas at 7-11. I was nearly out when I rolled in.

I played the which side of my car is the door on game I’ve played with my new car despite it being months old. I fueled up uneventfully. As I was starting to leave, I heard the older woman next to me ask someone for help with her car. She had locked her keys in her car. And shut the door just enough the lock engaged and she couldn’t get it back open.

The keys were sitting on the seat. It was a brand new car. The means to unlock the car were inches away. But we had no means to reach them.

First, I tried breaking a branch off a nearby tree. It was long enough, but too brittle and snapped as I tried to maneuver it into position to press the unlock button on her door.

As we struggled, two Hispanic guys came over with part of a fishing rod and a screwdriver and we tried to fish for the unlock button. But didn’t get any bites. It was at the wrong angle from the door.

We ended up denting her door frame slightly but were no closer to freeing the keys.

At that point, they left and I had nothing else to help. I told the woman I lived just down the road and would check to see if I had anything at home to help her.

I rode home, said hello to my wife, and searched the house.

I found a long, skinny metal rod in the basement. I have no idea what it was part of but it was about three feet long and no bigger around than a pencil, it looked perfect to my eye.

I grabbed it and returned to the car and drove back to 7-11. As I went, I hoped she would be gone before I made the 5 minute drive back. But she hadn’t moved. Her car, still stranded where I left her.

I parked and walked over, rod in hand and said, I think this will work.

I fished it passed the door’s padding.
I angled it towards the unlock button. It was long enough, but not at the right angle to apply any pressure to the button. I needed a few more inches. Inches I didn’t have.

So we went to Plan B. Her keys were thankfully sitting on the driver’s seat of the car. The fob was visible with the panic button staring back at us.

I took the metal rod and nudged the keys up the back of the seat enough to flip the fob over. I had just enough length to press the unlock button.

With a satisfying click, the doors unlocked and she was able to open the driver’s side door.

With a huge smile, I got a hug and heartfelt thank you. I wished her well and we went our separate ways.

I returned home to dinner filled with warm feelings.

2 Comments

  1. Many modern cars have a little triangle or arrow near the fuel gauge. It points to the side of the car where your fuel door is. It can be subtle enough to look like a decoration or obvious enough it actually says “fuel door” next to it.

    • Yes, I know there are indicators on the car’s gas gauge. But I still have to check every time I pull into get gas. It’s one of those things I’ve never been able to remember. And each car I’ve owned has been the opposite of the last car. Which doesn’t help.

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