I Lost My Car Keys, Now What Do I Do?

Life’s Little Pains List no. 27: Losing Your Car Keys

Making lists is often said to be a male thing, and it’s probably mainly a British thing too. It doesn’t sound like the kind of habit you’d find an Inuit woman having, documenting her thoughts in impeccable rounded script with a seagull feather and some squid ink., but who knows?

Be that as it may, losing your car key is something that can happen to anyone.

Should it be higher up the list than 27? That depends on two things: whose list it is and whether it is arranged by seriousness or frequency. What are 26 things worse than losing your car keys? Having your winning lottery ticket thrown out by someone who didn’t know it was worth several million quid? That may be unlikely but it’s possible, and it would be quite a few replacement car keys in the bin, because with that sort of money, if you lost the key, you could just buy a Ferrari, plus a Lamborghini as a spare in case it was the start of a streak of bad luck and was going to happen again.

Losing your car keys is an inconvenience, to say the least. But if you’re committed to doing something very important that involves getting somewhere in your car, it can be more than inconvenient. It can be disastrous. In extreme cases, it might even be life-threatening, although fortunately the odds of that happening are extremely long.

When it happens, though, it takes us by surprise. We have had no training for this, and our brain goes, “I’ve lost my car keys. What do I do?”

The answer to this also depends on what sort of character you are. The first thing you do might be a) panic, or b) call your significant other, not because they can help but because a problem shared is a problem halved and this person always gets half of your issues. And then there is c): call a car key locksmith and set about getting a new one. This is the logical thing to do, but, again, it’s something you probably haven’t done very often, if ever.

Hope for the Best, Prepare for the Worst

Here’s an idea for future reference: find a good car key specialist and put their number in your phone. You’ve probably got all sorts of random numbers in there anyway, so what’s one more? You don’t have to call a plumber every week, but you may well have a number for one, from that time when the pipes froze, broke and started leaking. Maybe you still don’t understand the science of this, but it happened, and you got help.

Same with an electrician: you may have one of them in your contacts. Your doctor, dentist, and maybe – in this enlightened age – your psychiatrist. In other words, you’ve got useful numbers in there, along with your friends and family and a few people whose names you don’t recognise, plus the pizza place in a town you don’t live in anymore. Whether you were a Boy Scout or not, you could be the greatest living exponent of the motto: “Be prepared”.

Perhaps you could spend an evening thinking of things that might go wrong and getting phone numbers to call, just in case they do. Just don’t tell anyone that’s what you’re doing, because they’re not going to understand and you’re going to end up with a reputation as an oddball, albeit an oddball with access to their car when all around are losing theirs. That’s a kind of quote from Rudyard Kipling’s poem If. The fact that it doesn’t mention car keys is probably due to the fact that Kipling wrote it in 1895 when most people didn’t even have a car and were therefore not exposed to such traumas.

All this flippancy, though, shouldn’t distract us from the fact that losing your car key can ruin your day and drive you to distraction. You’ll have well-meaning people telling you to try to remember where you saw it last, which is not a very Sherlock Holmesian line of thought.

Seriously, if you lose your car key, what are you going to do? If you believe in Murphy’s Law, you might suppose it’s going to happen when you’ve got a job interview or a date with someone you’ve fancied for ages and finally managed to get them to agree to meet you. “I’ve lost my car keys” doesn’t sound like a plausible excuse, partly because it is a relatively infrequent occurrence, but the point is, it does happen, and when it does, it’s best to have a plan up your sleeve. Or an internet link, such as https://www.carkeyssolutions.co.uk (note the double ‘s’ in the middle). Check out the website, see how it could solve your problems and just hope you never have to use it.