Never Turn Your Back On Your Car

In the past I’ve mentioned how bad things tend to sneak up from behind.  I’m especially paranoid about bad things involving my behind.  This has led me to develop a few, um… let’s just say ‘unique’ behaviours like always sitting with my back to a wall and obsessively checking the butt-end of any spandex-containing garment I intend to wear.

Nothing has sneaked up on me for a long time; but this week I got ambushed by an entirely unforeseen enemy:  My car.

It was raining when I parked at the art centre for my Friday painting group.  I sidled between the vehicles and carefully opened my passenger door, not enough to hit the vehicle beside me, but wide enough to retrieve my largish Rubbermaid tub and the art canvas I carry on top of it.  Thinking ahead (and smug in my own efficiency), I hit the door locks before I grabbed the tub so I wouldn’t have to add ‘fumble with keys and lock car’ to my list of acrobatic manoeuvres.

I eased the tub out, balancing on one foot and stabilizing the door with the other, while remembering to keep a thumb on the canvas so the wind wouldn’t blow it away.  Then I turned to complete the final step in my awkward ballet:  Slamming the door with my elbow while holding the tub in both hands.

Everything went fine:  The door latched, and I didn’t drop my tub or fall on my butt.  Except… when I tried to walk away, I couldn’t.

I had a moment of blank incomprehension:  “Can’t move. Why…???”

Then I realized the wind had gusted at the exact moment that the door slammed shut, and a big fold of my jacket was locked into the car.  And there I stood:  My back jammed against the car, both hands occupied by the tub, arms immobilized by the tightened jacket, and rain bucketing down.

After a couple of futile tugs on the jacket, I raised one knee to balance the tub and groped behind me for the door handle.  But no; I’d been efficient.  The door was locked.

Then came the truly ridiculous part of my performance:  Standing on one leg, balancing the tub on my drawn-up knee, gripping the handle of the tub with my left hand, left thumb stretched up to hold the canvas in place; all while insinuating my right hand between the tub and my belly to reach my waist pouch (which was jammed under the tub), where I’d ever-so-efficiently stowed my keys in a zippered pocket.

By some miracle I still didn’t fall on my butt; but it was a near thing when giggles seized me halfway through the process.  The only saving grace was that my car has electric locks.  If I’d had to insert a key in a keyhole one-handed, behind my back, while standing on one leg balancing a heavy tub, I probably would have done myself an injury.  From laughter, if nothing else.

I managed to free myself without drawing a crowd of jeering onlookers, so I considered it a win.  But that’s the last time I’ll ever turn my back on my car…

Book 15 update:  Another good writing week!  I’m bombing along on Chapter 43 and all the threads are finally coming together.  Dare I say… “The End” is in sight…?

50 thoughts on “Never Turn Your Back On Your Car

  1. You described the scene so vividly I could see it rolling along in my mind. however video would have been even better. Perhaps now going viral on the internet was a stealth onlooker filming the car stalking shenanigans. I’ll keep an eye out for it.


  2. Love it…being a very visual thinker I so pictured this in my head and had to laugh as it so sounded like something I would do. Always trying to gather way too many things while either unlocking the car to go or locking after I have arrived. Of late I have just given up and make multiple trips. Having said all of that, put the rain on top of it all….sorry more laughter at your expense!!


    • Never apologize for sincere laughter! 🙂 I really should learn to make more trips; but in this case my options were limited by the large tub. The smarter thing to do would have been to buy a vehicle with a power liftgate so I could carry the tub in the back, lift it out with both hands, and be able to close the liftgate hands-free. I’ll remember this episode the next time I’m in the market for a vehicle… in ten or fifteen years… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I like to think there is a security officer somewhere who watched this entire event unfold, then saved the clip, which due to the rain had any personally identifiable details obscured, and that it will find itself eventually included in a fail compilation that goes viral on Youtube. Nobody will be able to identify you, but WE’LL know…


  4. Oh my! Oh no. I could so imagine this scenario. You lead such a non-boring existence, Diane, but what impresses me most is your sense of humor – in the most tough situations. It was raining after all. I just love how situations like these give you the giggles, while anyone else (read: me) would have been screaming from frustration. And, I wouldn’t have remembered where I’d put the key!

    Congrats on all your book progress. It sure sounds like the end is in sight!


  5. If you could turn those contortions into a party game, you’d have one more income stream. And you can work it into your next book.
    But i do wish someone had videod it


    • It’ll probably find its way into a book somewhere — at least I have a never-ending supply of inspiration with my own missteps. And I’m thinking the party game could be called something like “Slipped Disc” or “Fun With Sciatica”…


  6. Please (pretty please) tell me “The End” refers to Book 15 and not the series. I discovered and read the series in the last 4 months and am obsessed. I have never re-read a book in my life and I am already up to book 12 on my second pass. So flippin’ good!


    • Oh, wow, that’s so awesome! I’m pumped that you’re loving the series! And have no fear: Book 15 is not the last in the series. Every time I start to think, “Okay, maybe I’ll wrap it up in the next book (or two books), my headstrong characters come up with new stories that need to be told. And I love telling them, so it’s a match made in heaven!

      Thanks for dropping by and commenting! 🙂


  7. You did all that, Diane, and didn’t even end up on surveillance CCTV? Most definitely a win. Can you imagine if your keys were in your pocket and that was locked inside the car? Something almost like that happened to me once, and ever since I’ve always carried two sets of keys. You never know when cars will turn on you…
    Loved your description though, I could see the action vividly in my mind’s eye!


    • Thanks, Tom — I’m glad you got a chuckle! We (fortunately) don’t have nearly as many CCTV cameras here as you do on your side of the pond. With any luck I’ll be able to perform my embarrassing shenanigans in relative obscurity for a while yet.

      And now you’ve made me completely paranoid about carrying a second set of car keys. I always used to carry two sets when I had a car with non-electric door locks, but the new key fob is bulky so I haven’t bothered. Now I’m seriously considering it, because locking my keys in my pocket is exactly the kind of freakish thing that would happen to me! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • Unless you continue to write about such shenanigans that is… which obviously you simply must 😉!
        As for the keys, always best to be prepared! As long as you don’t carry the two sets in the same pocket! 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  8. It wasn’t the coat getting stuck in the car, but the balancing act that had me laughing and looking back to my days growing up. My dad was never one to waste his efforts. He was one who would manage to pile all sorts of things up and try to carry them all in one load, rather than make two. Car to house, kitchen to basement, you name it. Pack mule mode. Then he’s comically (or not, like when he dropped the glass crock pot lid) trying to carry everything in one hand while working a doorknob or car door handle with the other. I shudder to think of him trying to open a trunk lid with the key. Mom called it “lazy.” I called it “education,” as I learned new words that my delicate young ears shouldn’t have been subjected to and of course, shared with friends the next day at school.

    But coat-grabbing car doors also remind me of paybacks. Ditzy blonde driving all over the road, not paying much attention, dressed to the nines…and there’s the tail end of her cream-colored dress coat and its belt, dangling outside the car in salty, slushy winter weather, already covered in grey road grime. It gets no better than that!

    Maybe cars need Google Assistant. Outside the car. “Open the door you effing idiot!” That would be me, yelling at an inanimate object in a busy parking lot, drawing undue attention to my stupidity as wild-eyed mothers drag their kidlets to safety…


  9. I have to say I’ve not laughed so much since last weekend and my mate broke the bath and had to empty it with a bag in a bucket as the bucket was cracked. When she finally went to reception to tell them they did offer a new room but she refused, the whole saga is on Facebook can’t remember if was hers or mine. Needless to say French bath plugs are stronger than Avon tweezers. It took about 3 hours of faffing and bailing but we finally managed to empty the bath and the plug hole popped up.

    It was so funny after and for me at the time but not for her I was on the bed playing games on my phone while she sorted the bathroom


  10. I can relate to this so much! Every car I’ve had has had it’s own “personality”. One of them would catch my hair in the door. Usually in a situation where I was, like you, juggling stuff. Try turning away and having your head jerked back and then trying to find your keys! Not fun! But did I learn my lesson after the first time? Heck no. For about a month it was once a week. And one of those times I had locked my keys in the car. I can’t explain it. I was very happy to see that car go, because obviously it was all the cars fault, lol!

    I’m so excited about the book!!! Yah you!


    • I’m excited about the book, too! This one has been a bit of a struggle, so it’s so lovely to just let the words flow at last.

      Your car was evil! I had one that used to grab my hair, too — that was the inspiration for Aydan’s near-whiplash in Book 4 when she slams the car door on her hair. I’m glad I’m not the only one!

      Still, though, Hubby’s old car has both of us beat. That car hated me. He could get in and out of it completely unscathed, but every… single… time I got in it, it gave me an electric shock. I’m pretty sure “she” was jealous!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Efficiency is not usually thought of as a bad thing, but in this case … I’m glad you were able to manage after all, but I agree it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your car from now on!

    When my husband’s brother was getting married, my husband and his parents and I were exiting the in-laws’ house, mother-in-law and I the last ones out, in our long gowns (this was the 80s); her dress got caught in the door just as it locked. There was a flurry of waving down my husband and his dad who were leaving in a separate car ahead of us, and had the only key.

    And when my dad had his stroke, he tried to wave down his lady friend who had just left for work; he closed the door behind him so the dog wouldn’t get out, and the door closed on the end of his unfastened belt. He had to step out of his pants, work the belt out of the loop holes (the buckle end of the belt), and put his pants back on; then he managed to drive himself to the neighbour who took him to the hospital. Not an easy thing for someone in the process of a stroke with one sided paralysis. The way he told it it was funny, but it absolutely breaks my heart to remember it as he never set foot in that house again; he was in a wheelchair for the next eight years until he passed away.

    Well, that took a turn . . . didn’t mean to get all serious. I must say, I like the ending of your story a lot better 🙂


    • Mine had a much happier ending. Strokes are such vicious things — so hard for both the victim and their loved ones. Even though your dad’s story is funny in the tiny snapshot of the telling, my heart hurts for you, and for him.

      Those long dresses were a mixed blessing, weren’t they? I was fond of them because I didn’t have to wear pantyhose or attractive shoes, and I didn’t have to constantly remind myself to keep my knees together; but the tripping hazard and the danger of entrapment were a major downside. All in all, I prefer jeans… 😉


  12. Definitely a win. I would certainly have done a face plant and probably thrown the art supplies under the car as well. There would also have been a muddy puddle for objects (and me) to get dowsed in. And gravel. And perhaps a littel broken glass.
    Inanimate objects are deceitful. The corners of tables and benches leap out at me on a regular basis (and I have the bruises to prove it).

    Liked by 2 people

    • They do leap out unexpectedly, don’t they? Just the other day our kitchen counter island sprang out and hip-checked me. After living with it for three years, I thought I could trust it; but clearly I was wrong.


  13. Yes I’d consider that “win” Back in 1969 I joined the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Dept. After completing a bunch of paperwork which followed my physical and mental eval., representatives from our Personnel Dept. sent the group of us to a Uniform Vendor where we would get fitted for uniforms. Once that was complete we had to report back to the Hall of Justice for the official “swearing in” process. As I exited my car at the uniform vendor, unbeknownst to me the car parked next to me decided to totally embarrass me by allowing a piece of side chrome trim to jump out, snag my dress suit pants and rip about a 20 inch hole in my trousers. Oh, so much fun. While I was at the Uniform Store I got them to sew the pants so I didn’t have my personals hanging out in the breeze. It served my purpose but the suit pants were ruined for life so in conclusion, cars can be deadly even when they’re parked.

    Liked by 1 person

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