Date: Tue, 4 May 2004 08:54:20 PST
From: (Everett M. Greene)
Subject: OT: Don't let this happen to you

There are numerous petroglyphs in the local area but some of the best-preserved are in a remote area of a military installation. This last weekend, I was one of the "escorts" for a tour and when one of the people making the tour wanted to return to the parking area before the rest of the people making the tour, the rules are that someone has to escort the person. I volunteered to return since I've seen the petroglyphs ten or more times. Another escort with whom I'd ridden to the site offered me the "keys" to his car so that I could get to some of the things I'd brought with me and had left in the car. The "key" was an after-market remote control device that unlocks the doors and allows starting the engine. Instead of handing me the remote, the guy tosses it to me while we're in the (very rocky) canyon. Unfortunately, the guy's throwing ability was off and the remote sailed about three feet over my head and found a rock upon which to land. No obvious damage resulted other than the battery and its cover going directions different from where the main body landed. We found all the pieces and reassembled the unit. A quick test indicated it was working... Upon getting to the parking area, I found the remote wouldn't unlock the doors. Being unfamiliar with the mechanism, I didn't worry much about the situation and the returning tourer and I found a shady spot in which to wait for the everyone else to return. An hour or so later when everyone returned, I reported the situation to the car owner and inquired if he had a real key with him. Nope. He confirmed that the remote wouldn't unlock the doors and we were locked out of the car. Oops. We're 45 miles (75 km.) from civilization and could do nothing but ride back with others and leave the car to be retrieved later. The guy was lucky in that he was able to find a locksmith to go back out that day (Sunday). If he hadn't been able to get it out that day, he might have had to wait a week or more since the area between the petro- glyph site and civilization sometimes has the rockets' red glare and bombs bursting in air during the week and access to the site might not be granted. It was a bright yellow car, so it would make an excellent target! :-) Moral of the story: If you're going to be away from home and normally use some fancy electronic gadget to operate your car, take a real key with you as well.

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