Elvis Has Left The Building, Keys Have Left The Chrysler

Elvis Has Left The Building, Keys Have Left The Chrysler

A Story by Dutch

A short story about Murphy’s law and work related travel.

Sundays are special days in Casa Los Dyer, and have been for years, literally. However, probably not for the reasons you're thinking. Yes, we're Catholic, yes we're foodies, and yes we live in the deep South. So you're probably thinking Sunday morning church services, cast iron skillet fried chicken, mashed potatoes, browned flour-n-dripn's gravy, and a Martha White cat head bisket dinner. Bravo! Excellent guesses! But you're wrong, and now, I'm hungry.

Sundays are typically travel days at Casa Los Dyer. Saturday's or even earlier if it's an international destination to Europe or the other side of the international dateline. That means either a mid-morning or early afternoon flight, and an even earlier, minimum three hour prior drive to the Birmingham Shuttlesworth airport. Wash, rinse, repeat. Week after week, month after month, year after year I pack my suitcase Saturday. Them Sunday I take my IT consulting expertise where corporations contractually depend on me to deliver. This is the life of an IT consultant, if you’re successful, and blessed. I am humbly both.

Today was no different than any other Sunday. Ms. D. and I both focused, prepping for departure. Clothes washed and packed. Check! Backpack containing Apple Macs and assorted attachable accessories. Check! Coat, phone, wallet, shades. Check, check, check, check! Three hours to flight departure. Hoo hoo! Plenty of time for the one hour-ish drive to the airport, check-in, and boarding. Or so I thought....

I cranked the Chrysler, backed it up for loading, and popped the trunk. I returned to the house, Chrysler keys in hand, and set them next to my wallet, shades, and old school nickel plated 357 Smith & Wesson. After all, it IS Bama and I have a permit. So I pack. In fact most if not all of my immediate and extended family and friends do too. Welcome to Bama, ya’ll! I cruised the house one last time to make sure I had everything I needed. Just like I do prior to every Sunday departure.

As stated earlier, Ms. D. and I are focused. We’re a team. She knows I need to absolutely make my flight or risk immeasurable suffering at the hands of the travel gods and invoice processors. While I’m cruising the house she scoops up what’s on the counter and takes it to the car for me. 5,4,3,2,1......hugs and kisses, I’m off! Quickly accelerating I hit highway 195 headed toward Jasper at serious risk of being an Alabama State Trooper statistic. Almost to Brown’s grocery and I happen to glance at the Chrysler’s console. WTH!!! The message in bright red reads “ Keys have left the car “. I immediately begin rummaging in the passenger seat with the right hand, still steering with the left. I quickly pull up in the next vacant drive and get out headed for the passenger side. Sure enough. No car keys. My choices: 1. Drive on to BHM knowing once the car is shut down I can’t start it again or lock it once it’s turned off. Returning from San Jose sans keys will suck and I will need keys hand delivered by Ms. D. to crank the car. 2. Call Ms D. and return home to find a set of keys. I glance at the clock and opt for number 2. Twenty minutes later I’m pretty much back where I started from and the clock is now working against me.

Turns out the keys I used to start the Chrysler were Ms. Ds. She saw them on the counter and put them back where they belong, in the key cookie jar. Then carried my stuff to the car and put it in the passenger seat. Once the Chrysler is started it will continue to run even if the key fob isn’t close by. I had gotten in the Chrysler, sans keys, and driven almost 15 miles from home before I saw the red warning light. Nice. Tick tock tick tock. If you don’t have your bags checked 45 minutes prior to departure the only option you have is to gate check it, after you go through TSA security. Restrictions on liquids, creams, tools, wine bottle openers, etc DO apply. You will surrender items that do not meet carryon guidelines. I know, I’ve seen me do it....

Thirty minutes disappear like hickory bbq smoke on a brisk Bama breeze. I’m back on the road, behind Walker County’s three safest 40 MPH drivers, and already I know. In the blink of an eye and well intended slight of hand, our carefully choreographed pre-trip preparation is turning into a proverbial Ca Ca catastrophe.

Sailing onto I65 South from I-22 a good 15-20 above the posted limit I say a quick prayer there isn’t any construction. Hit the blinker, shift to the far left lane, and check the clock. Against all odds I might just beat that 45 minute bag drop window. Might is right. Have you ever heard of some jerk named Murphy with his own law? Well I'm here to tell you that harbinger of fate inflicted hazard is alive, well, and thriving!

The BHM Shuttlesworth airport is insight now. Tick, tock, tick, tock. I think ahead. Snatch a daily parking stub, drive to the 6th floor, grab the bags, fast-walk to the counter, through TSA Pre-Check, and onto the plane. Queue Mr. Murphy and his damn law: "Anything that can go wrong will go wrong".

I round the curve and line up for access to one of the two lanes to the daily parking dexk and come to a screeching halt. The left lane is occupied by one each Billy Bob driving a beat up white Dodge truck full of homemade wire fishing traps. He has his emergency flashers on and he's standing in front of the parking ticket machine attempting to pry his ill placed credit card out of one of the slots while cussing a blue streak. The other lane is occupied by three Jenny Craig escapees shoehorned into a beat up, dirty yellow Toyota Yaris. The individual with the meaty hand extending from the drivers window seems to be incapable of overcoming the technical challenges associated with getting a ticket out of the #%*^%#• parking machine. Oh for the love of...... Damn you Murphy!

Fifteen frustrating minutes later and I’m running for the AA ticket counter. God bless the men and women working the AA counter at Shuttlesworth. They know me. My ticket is already printed and waiting. I made my San Jose flight with ten minutes to spare, and not a minute more. I put my VModa headphones on and dial in some classic Graceland tunes. The little regional AA jet scoots down the runway and leaps into the air headed toward Dallas. Elvis has left the building, car keys have left the Chrysler.

Sent from my iPhone

© 2018 Dutch

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Added on December 16, 2018
Last Updated on December 16, 2018
Tags: life, cars, humor, travel, work



Nawth West, AL

Ex-military, high tech, white collar country boy striving for that perfect balance between work and play, but not quite there.....;) Enjoy the smell of fresh cut hay, long distance Harley rides, fine.. more..

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A Story by Dutch