Continued from Livin' On ZaBlanc: The Ignition Key
The doors of the train opened. John and Michele were at Mineral station. Nobody checked their tickets. Thus, they saved $2.50. Score! The damage on the night was $8 for batteries, $5 bonus tip, and $2.50 for the Light Rail. About $15, not terrible.
Michele's mom picked them up, got them in the house, and now it's time to go upstairs and find that backup key fob. John checks the filing cabinet, but no luck. Hmm, thought it was there. Michele checks the junk drawers downstairs...nothing. Oh, crap. AH, the key holder! NO. Shnickies! Where is this thing, I'm sure we'll find it...
So the key fob is gone, and John and Michele now face a scary reality. They have no way of getting into the car (no door keys, no key fob), and no way to turn off the alarm. So there are two realities: Volkswagen can fix or replace the key fob (possible) or door keys (unlikely), or the car will need to be towed.
"Fuck," John summarized.
To sleep they went...
They wake up at 8 AM, get dressed and head over to the Volkswagen dealership on Colfax Ave.
John finds a desk jockey, "Hi. I have a problem, my car is locked and the alarm is set, but I don't own any door keys (insert crybaby story here) and the one and only key fob I have is dead. I have the ignition key, but wWhat can I do to get in the car?"
"Hmmm, I'm not sure. You seem to have replaced the batteries on the key fob, but unfortunately the fob is programmed on the battery...so the thing is useless and we'll have to reprogram it. To do that, we need the car, a key in the ignition, and a key in the door," says the man.
"But that's impossible. I don't have the car here and I don't even own the door key anymore," worries John.
"Well your fucked," sayd the man, though not necessarily in those words.
Real trauma was setting in now. A few options were layed out about the car, and all were impossibilties. The man offered no suggestions. John stood there in a stunned hush.
Minutes rolled by, with John trying to get some form of optimistic news from the man. Finally, he went and talked to a technician. He returned.
"There's no way to get in the car. Your only option is to call a locksmith and get a door key made," offered the man.
"But, what about the alarm? Even if the windshield is broken, the alarm will go off. What then?" John asked.
The man shrugged. He offered a business card to the "Key Man" and John had no other recourse. If bad news came from this phone call, what else could be done?
Michele visited the restroom (presumably to vomit), while John called.
"Hello? Is this the 'Key Man'? Hi. I have a problem and I'm hoping you can help. Ya see, my car is parked in a hotel parking lot. I don't have a door key for the car, only a key fob. Problem is, the key fob is now dead. The alarm is set on the car. Can you help?"
"Sure," the phone fired back.
"Really? What about the alarm? Can it be disabled?"
"Sure, no problem."
OPTIMISM! There was a chance here!!!
"OK, so we need to get the door open (busting the windshield would be an easy way), turn the alarm off, and then I need to have a door key made. Is that possible?"
"Sure. Lemme give ta na estimate....................................How about $60?"
And with that word, hope came back for John!!! And all for $60! Never was $60 of unexpected billage so welcome! He told the man where the car was, and then they booked it downtown.
The "Key Man" had beaten the dynamic Blanco duo to the hotel. But there was work to be done. First, the men had to be navigated through the hotel and to the car. The hotel staff was iffy on that, but Joh told them what other option was there? Did they want to buy his car?
The men nacigated the van up the ramps and to the sad Volkswagen, shivvering cold from an unusual overnight away from garage cover. The men set to work.
First, they inserted a crowbar into the door, wedged between the door and frame. An air bag was placed there, and pumped up. Witht he door a healthy inch separate from the door, a tool was inserted into the car and reached for the locks.
The door was unlocked! They opened the door and phase 2 began:
WOOOOORRRRRR, WOOOOOOOOOOOORRRRRRRRR, AKKKKKKKKK, AKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK!!!
The alarm went off, loud as can be. Hotel guests and apartment dwellers raced to their windows and shut out the noise. The man signalled for the ingition key.
"This should turn off the alarm, but starting the car," he assured me.
Turn: No luck! The car would not start with the alarm going off and the men set quickly to disable the alarm. THREE SOLID MINUTES pass, alarm still whirring, and the men are setting to work on the door handle of the car. At one point, John overhears the man saying, "We may be able to get the part by Monday."
Oh no. The car will be stranded the whole weekend? Oh no no no.
But the speech was not meant to be. The alarm was quieted, set back to protection mode. Sweet relief. The men had removed the entire door handle and quieted the device that is responsible for setting off the alarm. This is geat news!!!!
The men set to the van and began working on the new key. The machine were firing, and hope was restoring. Ten minutes went by and a welcome sound was heard.
The car alarm had been disarmed! The man who made the key had done it correctly, and with the existence of a new door key came the ability to disable the alarm and START THE CAR!!!!
And so at 11 AM on Saturday morning, the drama that had begun the night before was over.
The awkwardness of an unopenable car being valet'ed, having to go to Walgreen's for a battery, taking a Light-Rail with the wrong ticket home, waking up your in-law to drive you home, having to go to the Volkswagen dealership on a precious Saturday morning, having to trust your life to a locksmith to get into your car. And it was over!!!! All told, the incident cost John and Michele $102. Considering the almost definite recourse of breaking the windshield and having to replace it would me many hundreds of dollars...this is not bad!
So, all is back to normal. Add the asset of a door key, and really, it would have cost a good chunk of that $102 to get it done anyway. The "Key Man" had to drive downtown, go through the hotel, open the car, disable the alarm, AND make the key. And it only cost John $87 all told!
And John and Michele lived happily ever after...