I went to the car wash this morning because the car was filthy after our “Carmageddon” weekend in the Santa Barbara region.
(We had a splendid weekend with our friend Jo, which I will blog about later in the week.)
I also haven’t mentioned the awful traffic jams we faced in our commute this week as everyone slowed down to gawk and check out the Mulholland Street Bridge demolition (the reason for the 405 closure).
It was sliced in such a clean straight line, it looks like a regular fully functioning bridge.
As I said, I went to the car wash. Usually a boring half hour, but not today. I was surprised to see a Mini Cooper being pushed out of the washing bay.
“I’ve never seen that before,” I said out loud, “Are they trying to save gas?”
The guy next to me laughed, and the woman on the other side of me looked up from her iPhone and said “Hey! That’s my car. Why are the pushing it?”
“Perhaps you didn’t leave your keys in the car?” said the man next to me.
“I did,” she said, but checked in her bag to make sure, “It’s impossible to lock the car from the outside. What on earth …?” she said running over to her car.
The friendly man sitting next to me who introduced himself as Alex Medoza, knew what had happened, and although he tried to explain it, I’m not sure I understand:
“When you switch on your car there are three positions: the first turns the engine just enough to put on the radio, but you have to turn it all the way to start the car. If by mistake the car is left in the first or second position and moved (as it does in the car wash) it automatically locks the doors for safety.” he said
“And when this happens you won’t be able to open the door without a key,” Alex said.
“I have a spare key, but I keep it at home,” said the woman, whose name was Cynthia.
“The AAA can sometimes break into a car… depends on the make though…” Alex said looking at her Mini Cooper without much enthusiasm.
Fortunately for Cynthia she lived a couple of blocks away. After hearing Alex’s explanation she went home to fetch the key. I was still waiting for my car when she returned with the spare key, which without any drama or setting off car alarms, simply opened the door, and the people at the car wash cleaned the inside as if nothing had stopped them.
Alex told me he knows all this car lore because he’s a fireman (in Thousand Oaks), his brother’s a fireman (in L.A), and his cousin works for the AAA [American Automobile Association for those of you who don’t know], and he added, “Believe me, I’ve heard thousands of stories about people stuck in cars.”
I didn’t know how hard it is to get a job as a fireman. It took Alex three years. They work twenty-four hour shifts in three-day segments, and after working six day shifts without a break for a year Alex is now enjoying a two month vacation. For his Carmageddon weekend away he went to Sycamore Springs – which he highly recommended – and is going to Hawaii next week. Nice.
Mr F and I are always ready to visit places in this beautiful state of ours, so of course I checked it out. The Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort looks wonderful. 118 acres. Massages. Stay tuned.
I don’t really understand what happened to Cynthia’s car. I hope someone can explain it to me. If I see a car rolling along without a driver, will I be able to save the kids inside or will the doors lock themselves?