Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Best Story I Have

It was a drizzly spring day as I was driving myself and my dog, Kahlua, back up to college after a weekend at home. I needed gas, but as I neared my exit I saw it was blocked by a six or seven car pile-up. It didn't look like anyone was hurt, and I decided to get off at the next exit and whip out my GPS to get back en route. But first, fuel for The Red Baron (my car). I pulled up to a gas station, and my dog started freaking out and running from the passenger's seat to the captain's chair (yes, the captain's chair.) and whining. I closed the door quickly when I got out because I was afraid she'd jump out and run into the busy road next to the gas station. I walked around my car to pump gas when I realized I needed to pull up a little further so the hose could reach. Before I could even turn around I heard a faint but definite honk.

No. That's all I could think. No, it can't be. My dog couldn't have locked me out of my car at a gas station. I slowly bent to look in the window. My dog was looking at me, tail wagging. Then I saw it. My keys (including a clicker) were in my cup holder, which is located directly between the two front seats. My dog must have stepped on it during her freak out. She locked me out of the car.

I stood there for a moment completely frozen. My mind refused to make sense out of the situation. I could not even begin to figure out what to do.

"Excuse me miss, are you having a problem?" Asked a guy nearby.

"My dog locked me out of my car." It was all I could say. The guy laughed, looked in my car, and laughed again when he saw my dog looking back at him. He then offered to help unlock my car. Unfortunately, he and his friend couldn't open it. The good Samaritan had another suggestion for me though, "I'm pretty sure the police will open the door for you if there's a child or animal inside." Since all of my stuff was in my car, he handed me his phone which was already calling the police station. I had to explain my story twice, once to the operator of the police station and then again to the operator of the fire station.

"I wouldn't be surprised if it took them a couple hours to get out here. There's a bad accident on one of the exits." the guy who had lent me his phone said after I gave it back. Yeah, no kidding.

No more than 15 minutes later the fire truck arrived. It was big and cartoon looking, definitely not one used to fight fires anymore. There were a ton of stuffed animals in the front, and I figured this must be the truck they send out to rescue kittens in trees or unlock doors for girls too absent-minded to take her keys with her so her dog couldn't lock her out. The firefighters approached. "Are you the girl with the dog locked in the car?" one asked.

"Yes sir, she locked me out. See my keys are in the cup holder and she must have stepped on them." Kahlua was sitting and looking at us. Almost defiant in her sudden calmness.

The fireman laughed, "You couldn't get her to unlock it for you?"

"No, I haven't been able to teach her that one yet."

"Well, we'll see if we can't open this up for you."

"Thank you so much."

At about this point the fireman on the other side of my car had my door open. I reached in and grabbed my keys, thanked everyone profusely, and offered to buy all of them a coke or something. (Don't judge. It was the best my rattled brain could come up with at the time.) They declined and told me to not leave my keys in the cup holder with my dog in the car again. Yessirs. All in all, the entire incident took less than forty minutes. That's from me pulling up to the gas station to me getting back on the highway en route to my school. Not too bad of an inconvenience for such a remarkable story.