Monday, April 02, 2007

Been Locked Out

Having now owned it for 12 weeks or so, I find I still really love my Mp3 player, the Creative Zen Vision-M which I have dubbed Juice's Vision. It has, however, required something of an adjustment to my life that has not been without problems.

I take my Vision practically everywhere I go—cause you never know when you're really going to need to listen to an episode of This American Life—so I almost always listen to it during my 15 minute comute. Remembering to take it in the house with me when I return home, though, is a newly added step to the usual steps I have to take in parking my car. It's actually even more complicated than that.

By now in my driving career, the steps of parking my car—putting it in park, turning it off, taking the keys out of the ignition, remembering to lock the doors, etc.—are so ingrained that I don't have to think about them to perform them. Adding the Vision into the mix, though, adds quite a few more steps than simply remembering to take it into the house. I have to first bookmark the Podcast I was listening to (making sure to bookmark it over it's previous bookmarked position and not start a new position to clog up my list of other bookmarks), then turn the player off, disconnect it from its audio cable and cram it in a pocket, then make sure I've done all the other steps for parking before heading into the house. These additional steps sometimes prove too much for my feeble brain, which only seems interested in counting how many steps I've done, not whether or not they were the correct steps. As a result, I've occasionally found myself forgetting to put my car in park first before attempting to turn it off, or forgetting my keys in the ignition, or forgetting to turn the car off at all. Granted, I've gotten better about that over the weeks of Vision ownership, but it still plays havoc once in a while, particularly if I add even more steps to the process.

Take Friday.

Before work I popped down to the courthouse to renew my license plate. No problem there. On the way home, after work, I talked to my wife via cell phone. She said she had about an hour's more work. I figured I'd go home, start dinner and have it ready by the time she got there. I pulled into my driveway, put the car in park, took my keys out of the ignition, bookmarked my podcast, disconnected the player from its audio cable, made sure to put both the player and headphones into my shirt pockets, put my cell phone into its pocket, put away my new registration and proof of insurance, gathered up my new license plate sticker, fished out my container of Wet Ones with which to wipe the old sticker before applying the new one, opened the driver's side door being sure to lock it with the Lock-All-Doors thingy, climbed out, closed the door, headed back to the license plate and I was just pulling a Wet One from its container when I realized I'd left my keys in the car. Oh, sure, I'd remembered to take them out of the ignition, but I'd not kept them in my hand because of all the other steps I needed my hands for. They were left lying on the passenger seat.

Because we've not gotten around to hiding a spare key outside again and because we've long since fixed our security oversight that allowed us to break into our own house nearly 2 years back, I was well and truly screwed.

"I locked my damn self out of the car and the house," I said after phoning my wife back. I figured I might as well fess up, as she would find out sooner or later. She laughed at my dumbassity and offered to drop her work and come home early, but I declined. After all, it was a very nice day, the sun was shining, the air was warm, we had only just reinstalled the cushions into the patio furniture, and I had my Vision and headphones at hand. What more could I need to while away an hour than the crisp nasal voice of Ira Glass?

1 comment:

Lisa said...

Ira Glass rules. You may be selling me an MP3 player just with the lure of listening to more This Life. (The extra steps in getting out of the car: not so appealing.) If one of their occassional road tours ever hits your neck of the woods: Go.

An employee of a small town "liberry" chronicles his quest to remain sane while dealing with patrons who could star in a short-lived David Lynch television series.