Early yesterday morning the phone rang as a customer needed a locksmith to come get the keys out of his car. He was at a gas station about a mile away and the keys were in the ignition.
My back has been giving me grief on and off for the past several weeks; but a simple lockout job shouldn’t be a problem, or so I thought.
I threw on clothes from the day before and was there in only a few minutes. His was the only car at the gas pumps, a 2005 Ford Focus. The fellow greeted me with a heavy Caribbean accent explaining that he’d bought the car this past week and didn’t know it had auto lock when the doors closed.
Glancing at the driver side door handle it was clear that it no longer functioned, at least not from the outside as it was unhooked. I asked him how it got broken and how he’d been getting in.
“It was like that when I bought the car so I get in through the passenger side. Is it very expensive to fix?”
My plan did not include taking a door apart to repair previous damage, not with my back as I set about fitting a door key. With electric locks it would unlock the whole car and I could be on my way in no time.
That was a great idea too…
The door key fit perfectly except it didn’t unlock the whole car, just the driver door, the one that wasn’t going to open since the outside door handle wasn’t attached to anything. There was no lock on the passenger side thanks to Ford’s engineering staff trying to save a few bucks on each unit.
The only other outside lock was on the trunk; glad my key fit so nicely. When I popped the deck lid I explained that my back was out and that he would need to push the back seat down by triggering the latch which holds the seat backs firmly to the frame.
“I’ve already had to do that once”, as he laid the seat backs down and slid into the car. He then unlocked the other doors and I opened the rear driver’s side door so he could exit the car.
“Please don’t fall”, I half way laughed as he tried to figure the best way to glide out of his awkward position, “With fabricated media coverage coming out of Baltimore someone would swear that a White guy just beat up a perfectly innocent Black guy and shot him in the back.”
Fortunately, perhaps not the most efficient choice of words; but fortunately the fellow was familiar with the news item referenced and had a good sense of humor. Beyond that he was extremely grateful for being able to get on his way without further damage to his car; he’d fully expected me to break out a window or some other drastic measure knowing the door handle didn’t work.
Aren’t there enough problems in this country; illegal immigration, unemployment, an economy so bad it matches that of post WWII, and foreign terrorists on our own soil who don’t appreciate the 1st Amendment?
So why did some nitwit have to fabricate a story to further enflame racial divide by saying she saw and heard a White cop shoot an unarmed Black man in the back?
Summertime is just around the corner, that time when folks tend to get agitated more quickly and do stupid things. Let’s hope cooler heads prevail as our nation struggles to find its way in spite of our challenges.
The Moral Liberal’s Senior Editor, T.F. Stern, is a retired City of Houston police officer, self-employed locksmith, and gifted political and social commentator. His popular and insightful blog, T.F. Sterns Rantings, has been up and at it since January of 2005.