We have locks everywhere. We lock doors, gates, bikes and even our cell phone keypads. Besides hard work being the key to success, all other keys are small metal pieces with jagged edges. Now keys have an infuriating tendency of following Murphy’s Law and get lost at all the wrong times. Okay I know there is never a ‘right’ time for something to get lost, but I hope you are getting the point. My bicycle lock also needs a key to open it. I am actually thinking of installing a remote controlled central locking system for my bicycle. Wouldn’t that be cool? Anyways, I do not have a keychain for my bicycle key as key chains make an annoying rattling sound against the mud guard while in motion.
So there was this one time when I parked the bicycle on the footpath locked it and was about to put the key in pocket. Just then the key slipped from my fingers and, believe it or not, fell right into the drain through a small crack between two slabs. I shouted ‘Noooo’ as I agonisingly watched it fall in slow motion into the drain. I had to go home and get the spare and that involved walking for about 1km to borrow a bicycle and then cycling 3km one way to my home and back. Anyways all’s well that ends well and the incident was forgotten.
A couple of weeks later I went to a cyber cafe with my bicycle. I locked it and put the key in my pocket. After surfing I walked back to my bicycle but just couldn’t find the key. I checked my pocket thoroughly and realised that it had a small hole. Damn! The key must have slipped through it. I frantically traced my steps back to the booth I was sitting in but to no avail. Now I was in a fix as I didn’t even have a spare! There’s Murphy’s Law for you. It takes ages to lose the first key but just a few days to lose the spare key when you haven’t yet made a duplicate.
Hmm, what do I do now? I could go and fetch a mechanic and get him to remove the lock. But that would involve keeping my bicycle unattended and given that the key was certainly picked up by someone, that wasn’t a safe option. So I decided to wheel my cycle home by lifting the rear wheel. I realised that wasn’t a good option as it was quite difficult and my home was about a km away. I would also have to pass through the market place and my actions would certainly evoke some suspicion. Bicycles don’t even have RC books! How the hell am I supposed to prove my ownership if someone questioned me?? I decided not to risk it as I didn’t even know the local language in case I had to explain myself.
So I was back to square one. I decided to risk it and go to the mechanic. I began walking dejectedly with my hands in the pocket cursing fate and myself for not making another spare key and for not being careful about checking for holes in the pocket. Suddenly I felt the cloth lining through the hole in my pocket. The pocket was in between the outer fabric and the inner lining. So the key must still be inside. Not in the pocket but in the pants! I quickly bent down and felt all around the lower hem. And voila! There it was. I gave a cry of joy! People around me looked at me curiously. So I started walking slowly thinking how I could get the key from there. I bent down again and tried to force it back up. But I felt it wasn’t a pretty sight in public as I probably looked like I was scratching a bad itch. What if someone gave me Itch Guard?
After a little brainstorming I realised I had to go home and do the retrieval. I hurried back home, removed the key and rushed back to my bicycle, lest someone around there thought it had been abandoned and decided to take it. Luckily my bicycle was still there. I made sure there were no holes in the drain covers this time in case history repeated itself.
Key of the story, keys should be kept away from all holes except for keyholes!