There are two things I do before I leave work each night. I get out my swipe card so I can get out of the building and get out my car keys. Every night except tonight. Tonight I found my swipe card ok then spend ten minutes rummaging in my bag for the car keys. I took each item out of my bag, still no keys. I retraced my steps from the morning, calling in at reception to ask if they had been handed in, and still no luck.
Then, finally, I found them - swinging jauntily from my ignition - and no way of getting them out.
I had a few inspired thoughts about how to get them out but ended up settling on the mundane RACV option. My RACV membership lapsed about 12 months ago so the girl told me I was up for around $150. I looked at my keys a minute then agreed to pay it.
Since she couldn't give me an ETA she said to just wait by the car. Now waiting by the car sounds like a simple thing to do but hell and damnation, there were some perfectly good coffee shops nearby and my car was parked in THE coldest car park in Melbourne -- docklands, water on three sides and no protection from the wind. The coffee shops were looking so tempting but I have experienced the wrath of the RACV driver before when I have wandered away from my car. I tried to find shelter behind my car but no matter where I moved the wind followed me.
The driver turned up 40 minutes later. I was an iceberg, barely able to move. He thought we should do the paperwork first. I wandered to scream -- that's ok for you sitting in your overly heated van -- but my teeth were chatting too much for me to talk. I stood beside his window, mere ghosts of warmth trickling over me, enough for me to remember how heat felt without actually benefitting from it. He got me to sign and my usually elegant signature was replaced by the sprawl of a hand frozen of all fine motor skills.
Then he told me it was $165 not $150. I had 4 $50 notes. He didn't have change. I asked if he would take Visa for the extra $15. He made me walk to the bar nearby and get change. It was a lovely walk, cos you know, at that point a walk in the bitter Artic wind was so brisk and refreshing.
When I got back he had my car open. I was jubilant. But, before I could get in the car, he decided to fix the rubber strip that was coming off around the door. There is nothing in this world harder than having someone do you a favour when all you want to do is get home and get warm.