Sunday, January 4, 2009

We always said we needed to have a reality TV show... maybe we'll get one!

We left Tuesday evening to go to Arkansas to see my family. We got there around midnight and were going to leave the next day to go to Branson, MO, which is only about an hour and a half to two hour drive from my parents. Tim, my mom, and I were going to leave around 1, my dad was going to leave from his store around 3 or so, and Ryan and Natalie were going to leave from Little Rock sometime in the afternoon. So my group left, with me driving and Tim in the backseat (which NEVER happens), and about an hour or so into the trip, I needed to stop so I could fix my contact. We stopped in tiny little Alpena, AR, at the only gas station. After I fixed my contact, we decided to all go on to the bathroom. The bathrooms in this gas station are quite small. When sitting on the toilet, my legs were under the sink, and when standing up, I had to be off to the side of the toilet and sink. Well, when I stood up, I flushed and was fixing my pocket in my jeans. I pulled my hand out of my pocket and my keys came out of my pocket, bounced off the toilet seat, and into the flushing toilet. I watched as my keys just got washed away. I stood there and waited for them to bounce back up into the water, because what just happened could not have really just happened. No keys came bouncing back up into the water. Now, would be a good time to let you know that we don't have an extra key to my car. When we purchased it, they only gave us the one key and two key fobs. We often talked about possibly getting another key made, but it was quite expensive for a key since it had a computer chip in it, so we have been putting it off. Now seemed like a great time to have that expensive, extra key. Oh, I should also tell you that all of our cell phones and purses were in the car. I walked out of the bathroom, walked over to my waiting husband, looked him in his eyes, and told him I had just flushed our only means of transportation down the toilet. He looked at me in disbelief and asked how it happened. I explained it to him, then I told my mom what happened. We walked over to the ladies working at the gas station and told them what happened. First they laughed, and I must have had quite the disgusted look on my face because I was sure there was nothing humorous in what had just happened. After they got their little chuckle, they told us this had just happened not too long ago to a man who had stopped there on his way to somewhere and they were able to take the cap off of the cleanout part of the septic tank and there his keys were, just floating in the water. Immediately, I just knew my keys were in the exact same place! We were home free...until they went out back to take the cap off and discovered it had been covered with gravel...a year ago! So they start digging, while my mom guarded the ladies bathroom and did not allow anyone to go in it out of fear they would flush the toilet and the keys would get washed away (we later found out that all the toilets ran together, so having people go in the other bathrooms did not help in keeping the keys from getting washed away). Tim went out to help with the digging and I started pacing the gas station. About 45 minutes into this ordeal, a man and his family were standing in line for the bathroom, and heard what had happened. He told us that his sister had just done that a couple of months ago at a rest stop in Kansas with her dog locked in her car. I asked if she got her keys back and he quickly said "No". But, he let us use his phone to call my dad. My dad answered and I told him what happened, only to have him respond with "No you didn't" about three or four times. I finally told him that, yes, I had in fact flushed them down the toilet and I need him to stop saying that and help us figure out what to do. Thankfully, he knew he could get a key made from the VIN of my car, so we gave the number to him, and he told us to call OnStar to have them unlock my car. I know for a fact that we had OnStar because Tim had called not long ago to see how much longer we still had on the free subscription and we had several months, and the OnStar light next to the button was green on the trip there (which means OnStar is activated). I hung up with my dad and Tim called OnStar, only to find out that it had been completely deactivated. How can that be since it had just been activated not long before, they don't know but it has indeed been deactivated. And wouldn't ya know, we couldn't just start a new subscription to it, because that would be too easy. In the mean time, the gas station workers are still digging, I'm still stressing, and my mom is now pacing. After about another hour of digging (in the wrong spot) this big man comes around the corner in his truck full of junk and asks what's going on. The lady explains and he hops out of his truck with a pick ax and starts digging away (in the right spot) and finds the cap. At this point, I'm still positive that they are going to take that cap off and my keys will be right there. Before they can take the cap off, someone comes out and says that the women's bathroom had just backed up all into the floor (how did that happen?!), so they plunged it and flushed it, so the keys should be right there. They take the cap off, no keys. At that point I begin having an anxiety attack. We borrow someone else's cell phone to call my dad to let him know that my keys are definitely gone. He tells us that he found the only 2008 G6 key in NWA, was having it made for my car and was headed to the dealership to pick it up. Also, he had called for a tow truck to come pick up my car and take it to the dealership in Harrison so they can hook it up to the computer and program the key to work in my ignition. Not too long after that, a tow truck pulled up and the man got out and told us that we need to pop the hood so he can put it into neutral. We told him that was not possible because we cannot get into the car. Well, he can't tow the car because he can't get it up on his tow truck. Thankfully, he had a cell phone and we called my dad and told him. They worked out a plan that when my dad got to Huntsville, he would call the tow truck and about the time the tow truck got back to the gas station, my dad would be getting there. He could then unlock the car with the key, then we could have my car towed to the dealership in Harrison. We would have to leave my car in Harrison, because the dealership closed at 5 and there was NO WAY they could stay till 5:15 to program the key AND they were going to be closed the next day (since it was New Year's Day). We would just come back through on Friday and pick up my car on our way home. Seems like a great plan. So we wait, and wait, and wait. We were at the gas station for a total of almost 4 hours when all was said and done! Everyone in the whole town of Alpena knew us and what had happened to us. They all had their ideas of what we could do (several included breaking my window, but I kindly told them "No, thank you"!) But, about 15 minutes before the tow truck came back, this man came in and was talking to us about what happened and what we were doing to get it taken care of. He then said that there was a man in town who worked on GM cars and he might know a way of programing the key. He called the guy and told him what kind of car we had and what had happened. A few minutes later the guy called the gas station and talked to Tim and told him how to program the key to recognize my car without having to use the computer. The only thing is it takes about 30 minutes and he said that it SHOULD work, but there was a chance it wouldn't work. So we were worried that we would try it and it would not work, and it would be after the time the towing place closed so we would have to leave my car at the gas station on Friday, only to have to have it towed to Harrison then! So, my dad got there (I've never been so excited to see his white truck round a corner before in my life!) and unlocked my car, we got it into neutral and loaded it up on the wrecker. We followed in my dad's truck and when we got to the dealership in Harrison, Tim started in on the programing process. We prayed and he programed!! At 6:17 exactly, we heard the engine start up. It worked! We all screamed and jumped up and down, then got in all of our cars (Ryan and Natalie had met up with us at this point) and finished the 30 minute drive to Branson...where everyone laughed and teased me for three days! :-)

So, the next time you hear some crazy thing that happened and you ask "How does that happen?" or "Who does that?", you can think of me. Maybe now you will all be careful when you go into tiny bathrooms with your keys in your pocket!


AliciaG said...

Oh Randi!!!! Bless your heart! I have always been afraid of doing that very thing...either my keys or my cell phone. I am glad you had a happy ending to the story and I hope that is not an indication of what this New Year is going to be for you. lol
By the way, this sounds so much like something that Andrea would do!

Andrea said...

OMG...I'm laughing so much right now. I love you to death!!!

Alison said...

This just cracks me up! I can totally see you having your anxiety attack and your mom pacing around.