M. Giant's
Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks

Wednesday, June 07, 2006  

Remote Possibilities (Part 2)

My wife and remote controls don’t often get along very well. Not just TV and VCR remote controls, mind you. I mean remote controls of any kind at all.

Like the ones for our cars, for instance.

For years, she only had one keyless remote on her keychain, and that was the one that opens my car. It’s not that she drives my car that often; it’s just handy for me to have a backup fob for when I can’t find my own keys. Or at least it was.

One day a couple of years ago, my keys had gone missing again. I found hers before my own turned up, and I headed out, letting her know I was borrowing them. She said fine. Not warning me or anything.

Because when I got out to the driveway and pressed the button, nothing happened. Even the resistance that normally meets the press of the button? Didn’t happen. And now that I thought of it, the weight of that little key fob seemed a little slight. Perhaps someone had stolen the battery out of is as some sort of incredibly oblique prank? I popped it open, and indeed, the little silver button battery was nowhere to be seen. As indeed were the entire rest of the key-fob’s guts. I was holding a plastic shell with buttons.

Who would steal the guts out of a key fob? I wondered, and then remembered. Remembered that the week before, Trash had dropped her keys down the elevator shaft at work.

She had told me about it at the time, that one brief moment of panic when she was just walking onto the elevator and the keys slipped out of her hand, directly towards the gap between the door track and the floor. And then the moment of relief as she realized that the ridiculous array of crap she lugs around on the thing would certainly prevent it from falling through. And then the moment of vindication as it hung up on the edge. And then the moment of panic as the whole Katamaru Damacy-looking assembly wiggled loose and vanished, inches from her outstretched fingers.

She managed to get the building maintenance crew to fish it out of the bottom of the shaft the next day, but it wasn’t the same. Even though she only worked on the fourth floor. Her Barbarella key ring, a tiny little lizard-shaped beanbag, any number of other purse-weighting accoutrements were gone forever. Along with the guts to her remote for my car.

When we bought her car last summer, she got a remote-control key fob of her very own. It looks just like mine, except that where my buttons say “lock” and “unlock,” hers have little padlock-shaped icons representing the functions thereof. That’s really the only way to tell them apart. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve headed out to my car at the end of a long day, tried to unlock it remotely without taking my keys out of my pocket, only to find out that I’d been pressing the button to unlock Trash’s car, which would have been six to ten miles away at the time. How many car thieves have been foiled only by the remote’s limited range?

And now it turns out that the remote has a limited lifespan. Trash hasn’t had the car for a year, but the battery in her key fob is already dead. So she swapped hers for mine. Key fob, I mean, not car.

Now I need to remember to go to the Saturn dealership downtown (we have one in the Skyway, if you believe that shit), and get a new battery for her key fob. I would suggest that Trash do it on one of the days when she works downtown too, but now she’s on the 27th floor. I don’t think anything could survive a fall that high.

posted by M. Giant 8:46 PM 2 comments


FYI - you can actually buy a battery at Target, or whatever electronics store you have there.
My battery lasted 2 years adn then died. The battery kiosk at Target had lots of options, and the back of the key fob told me which one to buy. I unscrewed it with a quarter, and voila!
I have a Honda, though, so YMMV.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 8, 2006 at 10:58 PM  

Dropping the keys down the skinny space in front of an elevator (or the grate in the street) is right up there in my Worst Fears In Daily Life. Glad Trash could get her keys back, though!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 9, 2006 at 8:57 PM  

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