Thursday, April 7, 2011


Stuck in what seemed like an interminable red light queue (at the first, and one of only two actuated traffic lights in our town) my husband and I were distracted by a mini drama occurring in a parking lot bordering Main St: Someone had locked his keys in his car.

There was a young man with dreadlocks pumping a thick wire rigorously down into the door of a car, while another button-down-shirt-wearing man bent over the front of car, looking anxiously through its windshield. I wondered aloud if the man peering into the car foolishly thought he was helping to direct the guy with the wire when the lock mechanism he was searching for was inside the door. Then, with the appearance of two ears and a tail, his concern with the interior became apparent.

“Ooooh. There’s a dog in there.” And so I became more invested in the vignette of the button-down man trying to get his dog out of the car. Questions ran through my mind: How long had it been in there? Why did the man call the local lock company instead of AAA? What would become of the pooch? Why couldn't that kid with crazy hair get the door unlocked?

Immediately, I pointed out that I probably wouldn't feel too reassured that the kid, apparently from a local lock company as indicated by the van parked behind the car, would be able to unlock my car. He was wearing a t-shirt and a mountain of sandy blond dreadlocks—a look I associate with being stoned (or veganism), not professionalism and competence. Did the lock company care that he looked more like a car thief than a locksmith? My concern for the dog grew in tandem with my distrust of the young Rasta-coiffed worker.

Sadly—or happily, depending on your point of view—we sat through another light cycle and got to watch the drama play out. The dreadlock dude finally released the lock—Et voila! In a plot twist that could be successfully orchestrated only by real life, we were shocked to see the button-down businessman return the wire to the van as the Rasta-man reached into to the car to retrieve Rover!

That’s right.

Mr. Dreadlocks was the owner of the car and dog, while Mr. Button-Down was the locksmith.

Why the men switched apparent roles is unclear, but I’m pretty sure they didn't do it for our amusement. Nonetheless, we laughed so hard at our initially understandable, but inclination-enhanced misapprehension of the situation that we almost missed the next green light.


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