Last night for the first time ever, we accidentally locked ourselves out of the house. My mate and I were off to buy fish at the talipapa (local wet market) when in my haste, I absentmindedly grabbed the keys to the car, instead of the bunch meant for the house. The moment I closed the door behind me on the way out, I instinctively knew right away that things were not right. The keys felt different in my hand somehow, and for a second, I was afraid to look. When I finally did, I must have looked like a poker player, resigned as I slowly peeked down to reveal what was in my hand.
Now, I know mental lapses like these happen to everyone, it’s Murphy’s Law after all, and Forrest Gump’s Sh_t Happens. These Kodak moments are usually accompanied with a silent and self-berating ‘Arrrgh’ and a fist at the skies. For most people however, this kind of self-reproach is just temporary, as their overly DIY-oriented gray matter between the ears usually follows it up with ‘I got this’ and a victorious ‘Eureka’.
Still, for lame brains like myself, there will always be that manna from heaven which in today’s lingo would be translated as support services. I call our son immediately, who’s downtown somewhere with his Dungeons & Dragon buddies and ask him to take a cab home as soon as possible. He is, after all our most reliable ‘call-a-friend” and spare key.
In this fast-paced world where presence of mind is like one huge life support, oldies with dream-state brains like mine better need a back-up of some kind; much like a spare tire of sorts. After some discussion, my mate and I thought that at least, we should consider hiding some spare keys in the bushes somewhere, or in some flower pots in the garden next time. We thought about it for a while and then just left it that; reminding ourselves to just be fully aware at all times next time and try to adopt that “look before you leap” mentality. Even then, that attitude may prove to be tough sometimes and be not totally full proof. On many occasions, I have tried to be pro-active, anticipating scenarios and what-ifs, and just trying hard to be Sherlock, but just as many times, I have been more than less unsuccessful. For example, because of the demands of this computer world on a fading memory, I wrote down the list of all my passwords for the different applications I use on a piece of paper: email, social media, Skype, and others, and then inserted it in a paperback, put it back on the shelf in the library, meaning to have it as my personal backup or spare key of sorts in case my PC and phone file versions got lost. Problem was, until now, I still have to find that darn book.
Despite this, and having been locked out of one’s home, having extra is still always a good thing.
Consider the present hoarding frenzy going around. In the house, where we are always into bulk buying to save on travel time for groceries, our replenishment of small items have become a common practice, doing it for years. With the present situation however, where people have started to hoard such items as antiseptic and bathroom tissue, our practice of buying two or three of one item at a time might have to be stopped for the moment.
Going with the flow might seem like the common thing in this pandemic epidemic, but we are not about to over-stock our little house with so much goods that we would not consume in the near future, and deprive others who will need it the most. We are also not planning to build a nuclear bunker or prepare one for a zombie apocalypse. If at all, we may just be letting that old childhood Boy Scouts training kick in automatically. Be Prepared.
A neighbor had asked me if I had already stocked up on spares of paper towels and alcohol, as these were fast disappearing of the shelves. I had just said ‘will do’ and walked past her with a smile, my mind busy with the thing foremost in my list, “where can I find a professional locksmith who can make spare copies or duplicates of these house keys?”
On second thought, I should have answered, spare me.
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