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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Heads or Tails Tuesday - keys

This is my first contribution to Heads or Tails, and I must admit, I initially had no idea what to write. Then I decided that the word "key" has so many alternative meanings, I really had no excuse for being stumped. I played a little word association in my head, and within seconds, I had my post outlined. Anyone who knows me, will tell you that I'm utterly paranoid about losing my keys. Whenever I'm out anywhere, I constantly check and re-check to make sure I still have them. This is as a result of a lifetime of disasters involving lost, misplaced or broken keys.

I've had so many mishaps with keys, I've lost count. But some occasions stand out more than others. Whilst a little bit tipsy, as a teenager, I managed to drop my house keys into the lavatory and flush them away. Luckily, they didn't go very far, and one of my housemates retrieved them from the U-bend, with a bent wire coat hanger.

On another occasion, almost twenty years ago, I'd been out clubbing with some friends. One of them, Pete, lived about seven miles outside town, and couldn't afford a taxi home. I lived in one room at the time, and didn't even have a couch for him to sleep on. So I gave him my keys to use my room, whilst I went to a friend's, to sleep on her couch. The reason I went, and not Pete, is because my friend's landlady didn't allow her to have men in her room overnight, no matter how innocent the reason for their stay.

The doorbell woke us at 5am. It was Pete, in his socks and underwear. He'd locked himself out of my room, and then walked the best part of a mile in his undressed state. I had a three month old kitten at the time, and he'd tormented Pete by leaping over him and attacking him as he tried to sleep. Desperate to escape the little fiend, Pete had dashed out of the room, and the door had slammed behind him. My landlord was away, so there were no spare keys available. Unsure what to do, we headed for my house. I realized one of my windows was open. There was no other option other than to send Pete up the drainpipe, which he did, with much shrieking and cursing.

Even now, a couple of decades or so on from the above events, I still have mishaps with keys. I have a metal box file full of important documents, none of which I can access, because I can't find the key. I also have a window that is permanently locked, because the key has gone AWOL. The frustrating thing about that particular key is that I can remember holding it in my hand, saying "I'll just put it here, where it'll be safe" - only I don't remember where "here" is. Then, there was the time I went to unlock my back door, and the key snapped in the lock. I really don't think keys like me.

My most recent mishap with keys happened about a year ago. I was at Tesco, my local supermarket. This supermarket has a loyalty card scheme, the Tesco Clubcard. You can either use a credit card-sized Clubcard, or as I do, a small, fob-like card that fits on a key ring. I handed my keys over to the guy on the checkout, and he swiped my Clubcard, to add on my loyalty points. When I got home, absolutely laden with groceries, I hunted in my bag for my keys. Yes, you've guessed it. The checkout guy forgot to give them back to me - and I forgot to ask. I left my groceries with a neighbour and hopped onto a bus that was heading back to town. Horror of all horrors, the wretched bus broke down en route. It seemed like one disaster after another!

I now carry a backpack with me everywhere, which has a clip inside the front pocket, especially for securing bunches of keys. Even so, I still go through the key-checking ritual several times a day, and often think I've lost them when I haven't. And don't get me started on all the times I've been late for appointments, meetings and suchlike, because I've mislaid my keys somewhere in the house. I must have offended the key gods at some time in my life, because any key that comes into my possession seems to develop a mind of its own. Maybe it's the Curse of the Keys or something. Anyway, that's my story about keys.

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palmtreefanatic said...

I have an issue with keys too;)
I keep my car keys in the car parked in my garage most of the time as this way i do not have to search!

Heart of Rachel said...

Thank you for sharing your interesting experiences with keys. I've misplaced a few keys in the past too but I was lucky because I eventually found them somewhere in the house.

Thanks for visiting mine earlier. Enjoy the rest of the week.

Skittles said...

Ok.. I know losing keys all the time would drive me crazy.. but I had to giggle as I read your post. :)

I don't think I've ever heard of anyone losing keys in a toilet. The part about Pete? I could visualize all of that happening, even the kitten jumping on him!

I have the opposite problem. I have extra keys. I have no clue what they go to!

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Shelby said...

oh i have such issues with keys. take care :)

Anonymous said...

I lost the keys of a car once. I had just sold it but much against my will. The vehicle in question is at the head of my Cars page and I was only selling because I couldn't afford to run it. I think it was some sort of Freudian thing - the keys were in plain sight all the time on the arm of a settee. Perhaps she didn't want to leave either.

Misty Dawn said...

I go through the key checking ritual all the time too. I think simply because I'm paranoid and a worrier LOL I loved the story about Pete - I could just picture it!

Anonymous said...

Hi Sian - read your comment on my nanowrimo blog but I have decided to blog my progress on my Pig's Lip blog instead. I have tried to sign up to Nanowrimo but they aren't allowing any more until October 1st. I am getting quite excited about this event - hope you get the opportunity to join in as well.

bundle-o-contradictions said...

My mom used to make me wear my housekey around my neck. She was a lot more worried than I. :)

Tammy said...

I love the story about Pete! The poor guy.

Mama Pajama said...

Oh my goodness! You have had some funny incidents with keys. I'm notorious for leaving mine in the front door. Great post!

Mike said...

You did very good on this meme. I've lost keys several times in the past but luckily I have found them. I had a good chuckle at your post.

Julie said...

I love your stories! And I can definitely relate to many of them! LOL! Thanks for visiting my blog! :)

Julie said...

Great post! I can certainly relate to many of your stories! LOL! Thanks for visiting my blog! :)

Vic Grace said...

I go through the ritual with keys too. Mainly my car keys because we don't bother to lock the house. But when I go anywhere I am always checking and rechecking.

Thanks for commenting on my blog about my post on the history of keys.
I didn't really put that much thought into it. I am good at research and found the information on the internet. Do pop by again. My father was Welsh, his name was Tudor. Can't get more welsh than that!

meeyauw said...

those are such funny stories (for me!) I'm sorry you have so much trouble with keys. but the vision of a half-naked man running away from a tiny kitten is hilarious!