Opinion: Have time for a fob story?


This kind of thing could only happen to me (in a way, that’s good, because if things like this happened to you, you’d have your own humor column).

The other day as I got into my car and pressed the button to start the engine, it fired up as usual. But wait: My key fob was not hanging on its little knob where I always put it.

I went inside the house, and sure enough, there it was on the table. How could my car start without the fob? It was way out of range. It meant anyone could get in my car and drive off.

I was on my way to visit my friend, Bob. I said to him, “My car started this morning, but it wasn’t supposed to.”

“Were you out of gas?”

“No, my car is not supposed to start without the fob inside.”

“Your fob was not inside?”

“Yes, it was inside — inside the house.”

Bob was no help. He reminded me that a month ago I drove around with my cellphone on the hood of the car, so this didn’t surprise him. He suggested I go to the dealership.

I headed over and spoke with my service advisor, Kevin.

“You have great technicians, right?” I said.

“Only the best, Dick. What’s wrong?”

“My problem is that my car started.”

“Hmmm. In 25 years, that’s the oddest complaint I’ve ever heard.”

Kevin asked where my spare fob was, and I told him it had been missing for several weeks.

“BingoI It must be somewhere in your car,” he said, “Go home and look for it. I have people waiting with serious powertrain issues. I can’t help you now.”

Back in my driveway, I looked for it under the seats, between the seats, under the floor mats. The problem was the fob is black, the seats are black, and the carpet is black. Looking for it in the daylight was not working, so I waited until it was dark out and used a flashlight. Mary Ellen came outside and found me on my knees searching the car. I explained what happened.

“Do you want me to call it?” she asked.

“Jeesh, it’s a fob Mary Ellen, not a cellphone.”

I finally found it, lodged on the track that the seat slides back and forth on. I put the extra key in a safe place, and I felt relieved.

By the way, I’m not the only one in my family who loses things. The next evening, Mary Ellen said she wanted to prepare a holiday dessert ahead of time and couldn’t find our electric mixer that we keep in the basement.

I told her not to worry, that I’d give it a call first thing in the morning.


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