Organization is key

A lack of organization leads to pesky annoyances.

A few months ago I bought a used truck and was given two keys. One had remote control buttons for the locks, the other was a simple valet key. Since then, I have lost both.

The first to go missing was the fancier one. I now refer to it as “Pesky.” I lost it right after I’d had my truck towed to the repair shop.

I’d only owned the vehicle a little over a month when one morning it wouldn’t start. Actually, it would start, but it kept shutting itself off after a couple of seconds.

It continued to do that until the nice BCAA guy showed up. For some reason he had no problem keeping it going long enough to drive it right up the ramps of his tow truck.

It never dawned on me until he was driving away that I might have discovered the solution myself with a bit more time.

“When the driver arrived I remembered I had a valet key so I gave him that,” I told my trusted mechanic, Howie.

“Is it possible it wouldn’t work for me because I was using my remote control key and had dropped it earlier?”

To my surprise, that was it exactly. Because the battery had come loose, I had put it, along with the casing and the little screws in a plastic bag, and without its bulky plastic shell, the naked key on its own no longer worked.

Apparently it had a security feature that was shutting the engine off automatically.

Such a feature didn’t seem logical to a klutz like me, but I was relieved not to have to pay a bill later on when I picked up the truck.

Instead, Howie just fixed my broken key.

The following week I lost it.

“How is that even possible?” my husband asked as I was dumping my purse upside down on the kitchen bar.  “It’s on a big ring of keys.”

“I take it off when I go for walks,” I shrugged.

“No worries. It’ll turn up.”

I didn’t panic because I knew I could use the reliable valet key until Pesky showed up.

It didn’t occur to me that I would lose that one as well.

Sure enough I misplaced it after briefly going into a large store. Retracing my steps throughout the building and parking lot I couldn’t find it anywhere. With less than an hour until my next appointment I did my best to remain calm and once again emptied my purse in an effort to find it. But dumping the bag upside down onto the hood of my truck turned up nothing.

After a 55-minute search, an additional purse dump and a couple check-ins with the cashiers, I wondered when I’d ever get back in my truck.

I was mad at myself. I mean, really. Who has only one key to their vehicle? And then loses it? That seemed as stupid as a key designed to shut off the engine just because the tiny battery had fallen out of it.

Frustration turned to glee when I finally found it in the parking lot under someone else’s car. I vowed to order a couple of back-ups, and the next day when I went for a walk I committed to putting the key back on its big ring immediately after I was finished.

And I did. Grabbing it out of the pocket of my raincoat I ended up finding something else in there too: Pesky.

I’m now back where I started with the original two keys I was given. Who thinks I should still order an extra? I sure as heck do.


Lori Welbourne is a syndicated columnist. She can be contacted at

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