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The Two Daves

(I almost broke this story into 2 parts.  It tells so much better as one, so I couldn’t help but keep it intact.)

Gather ’round, kids!  It’s time to hear the story of The Two Daves!  Before I introduce you to Dave (and Dave), let me give you a little bit of the story before he (and he) came along.

I was out running errands with Claire this evening.  Our plans were to get some iced drinks from Sonic and return a Redbox DVD at a local grocery store.  The Sonic part of it went off without a hitch.  The service was good, if even a little too good.

As an aside, it seems to me that no matter what you put in italics, it sounds ominous.  It’s the old-fashioned case of “it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it”.  Compare:

“What’s in this casserole?” and “What’s in this casserole?”

“That guy’s a machine!” and “That guy’s a machine!”  (With an implied “RUN!!!“)

“Thanks for the mincemeat pie.” and “Thanks for the mincemeat pie.”

“Do you feel me?” and “Do you feel me?”  (Also with an implied “RUN!!!“)

Since a fast-food restaurant chain that owns 51% of Redbox, serves Big Macs, recently brought back McRibWiches, starts with “McDo”, and ends with “nald’s” that shall remain nameless had a Redbox that would not accept returns, I had to make the drive to Price Chopper (a local grocery chain that specializes in poor service and cockroaches) to utilize their Redbox.

I pulled into the parking lot without incident, and shut off the car.  I grabbed my drink, and we exited the car.  We promptly locked the doors and closed them.  There was maybe a 100th of a second between the time I pushed the door to the time it closed where I said to myself, “ohmygodiforgottotakethekeysoutoftheignitionandnowi’llbelockedoutofthecarbecausei
neverhadasparemadeformyselftoputinmywalletsoicouldavoidthiskindofcatastrophe”.  I was talking fast, I admit.  My eyes popped squarely out of their sockets and rested on my cheeks.  That’s what it felt like, anyway.

I immediately looked to Claire.  “You have your keys, right?” I said.  She replied, “No, I just grabbed my purse when we left the house.”  And yet, despite knowing very well that the doors were locked and that no keys were to be found in that black hole of a purse, she started digging in every fold of the bag (I think she did this so I would calm down enough to put my eyes back in my head).  I checked every handle on the car, as if this one time (there it goes again), the rear passenger door would choose not to completely lock.

No such luck.

Men do crazy things in this situation.  I, being a man (last time I checked), looked at Claire and said, “Why don’t you have your keys with you?  You should always have your keys with you!”  She smiled and said, “You locked the keys in the car.  It’s not my fault.”  Checkmate.  If I were holding a helium balloon by the string at that moment, it would have entirely deflated and landed at my feet.

I called “Dave’s Service Involving Locks, Handles, and Other Assorted Keyables” (name changed to protect price gougers) to see if they could drive across the street with a slimjim, a crowbar, and a blowtorch.  I was willing for them to do whatever it would take to get my keys out.  Since it was 8:00 PM, I thought they might be closed.  A gentleman picked up.

He: Hello?  Dave’s Service.

Me: Are you still open?

He: No, we closed at 5.

Me: I locked my keys in my car.  Not that it makes any difference, but how much would it cost for someone to come out and unlock my car?

He: $60.00

(That made ALL the difference.)

Me: Alright, let me call you back.

I would not be needing Dave’s services today.  Claire then suggested that I go inside and ask someone inside the store for a coat hanger and a doorstop.  Apparently, she’s been the victim of trapped keys herself (more than a few times).  Begrudgingly, I walked into the store, first returning the Redbox DVD, then approaching the Customer Service counter.  My conversation with the Customer Service Lady was as follows:

Me: Excuse me, I have a strange request.  I have locked my keys in my car, and I was wondering if you have a doorstop and a metal coat hanger I could borrow.

She: I have a coat hanger, but no doorstop.

Me: How about a screwdriver?

*She disappeared into a side room for a moment and returned with a hanger and 3 screwdrivers*

Me: Not to be picky, but do you have any in a flat-head?

*She disappeared again and returned with a flat-head screwdriver*

Me: Thank you so much!  I will return with your tools.

She: I trust you.  Good luck!

To be honest, she was as friendly as could be.  Price Chopper ought to be proud to have such a helpful employee.  I don’t know why I would speak so poorly about the place (as I did above).  My working for the competition across the street for over 10 years may or may not have played a part in that.

I sauntered back out to the waiting car, which was being leaned on by a waiting Claire.  (Okay, so this story has already clocked in at over 850 words.  Let me speed this thing up.)  I went straightaway to work on wedging the door open with the screwdriver, and using a manipulated coat hanger to try and press the “unlock” button.  It was far too weak to press the button with any force.

I worked in this manner for about 20 minutes as approximately eleventy gazillion gawkers passed by.  Some were kind enough to offer helpful comments.  “That stinks,” they would cheerfully remark.  One woman really did help take everyone’s eyes off of me by yelling at her crying child while forcing him into their van.  I maintained Zen-like focus as I heard his little feet kicking the van windows from the inside.  Come to think of it, I may have been witness to a kidnapping.  No matter; my keys were trapped, and only I could retrieve them.

One enterprising youth offered his help, and I graciously accepted.  He said, “Let me see if I have any tools in my trunk.”  After rummaging around for a minute or so, he said, “Do you want to just break the window?”  “No, thanks anyway,” I replied, slightly smiling at the audacity.  (As much as I would have preferred to pay $150 for a broken window instead of $60 for a locksmith, I had to politely decline.)

Out of nowhere came Dave.  I knew his name was Dave, because it was sewn into his shirt.  Was this Dave from “Dave’s Overpriced Lock Service Center”?  I had no idea.  He also offered to help, this time without suggesting taking a hammer to the window.  He didn’t have any tools, but he seemed to know his way around a coat hanger and a screwdriver.  With a Marlboro Menthol Light hanging out of his mouth (I know this because the rest of the pack was in his shirt pocket), he happily accepted the hanger from me, and went to work as I propped the door open with the screwdriver.  Since he didn’t have tools, I pretty well figured he wasn’t a lock professional.  In the distance, I spotted his truck.  It read: “Dave’s Trusted Auto Repair”.  If he were to accept anything from me, his conscience wouldn’t allow it to be 60 bucks, that’s for sure.  He was too kind for that, I could tell.

As I pulled with all my might (the strength of two 7-year-old girls), he maneuvered the hanger deftly.  He uttered few words, and yet he spoke so much with the unintelligible language of men: The Grunt.  Within 15 minutes, the shared testosterone swirling above our heads shook the car so violently that the door lock could not resist such a masculine presence.  The familiar *click* resounded throughout the parking lot, deafening several bystanders and shattering windows of nearby businesses (by some accounts).

(That’s the competitive nature of men kicking in again.  It doesn’t matter what he was competing against–in this case, a Red Grand Am–it was that there was a battle to be won.  I, likewise, would let no man come and unlock my car for an ungodly profit.  But that might just be the case because I’m cheap.  At least there’s honor in being cheap.)

I shook his motor oil-stained hand gratefully and said, “Thank you, sir.  I really appreciate it.  What do I owe you for your help?”  His blue-collar, American pride kicked in.  “Don’t worry about it.  If you’re ever in Grandview, come and see me for a great deal on an oil change.”

With that, he walked off into the sunset.  More accurately, he walked off into the Price Chopper, likely to buy beer.  Gosh-darn it, he earned it.


That was a great story, wasn’t it kids?  The moral of the story is: Go see Dave at Dave’s Trusted Auto Repair if you’re ever in Grandview and need to get a great deal on an oil change; you can reach him at 778-6205 to set up an appointment.

Now that we’ve hit the 1500 word mark, it’s time to call this story officially told.

  1. Mindy
    July 2, 2009 at 2:50 am

    ahh. once again, very well done! i enjoyed the “competitive nature of men” plug!

  2. Erin B
    August 2, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    A lady locked her baby in her car on Saturday(the 1st) at my hyvee….and firetruck and police were out in the parking lot…and she got her baby after the firefighters used a HUGE jimmy door unlockers wire

    • kylebaxter
      August 2, 2009 at 10:30 pm

      Darn. I KNEW I should have left a baby in my car. Next time.

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