My Camry brings all the boys to the yard

You win, Universe. This is the last time I will ditch a workout in favor of takeout from Zoe’s Kitchen and a two-hour episode of Dance Moms.

I guess it’s one of those life-defining moments, the first time you lock your keys in your car. How you react can say a lot about who you are as a person. I, having locked my keys AND my dog in the car, morphed into something resembling a lion tamer, poking and prodding at a caged beast. I was determined to coax my indifferent Boston Terrier into pushing the car’s unlock button from the other side of the glass. I’m not certain what that says about me, but I’m sure it isn’t flattering.


When that plan failed, I did what any 4-year-old trapped in a 22-year-old’s body would do; I called my momma. We decided to engineer the race of the century–AAA roadside assistance versus the Northport Police Department–to see who would be the first to come to my aid. It’s no surprise who won.

Officer J. McKenny pulled up, blue lights flashing, 20 minutes later.

“This isn’t really a real emergency,” I said. “I’m sorry to keep you from fighting crime.”

“It’s no problem,” he replied. “I don’t mind.”

After he spent an hour and a half fighting with Toyota’s Japanese-engineered ninja locks, I believed him. He even let me hold the flashlight.


Courtesy of

“Some of these younger guys kind of forget about the service part of ‘protect and serve,'” he told me. I liked that.

Tuck, the dog, was oblivious.

After 90 grueling minutes of what sounded like car-door shuffleboard, Officer McKenny threw in the towel. He drove off only after making sure that the locksmith was on his way and promising to return if I needed him. I’m pretty sure he has a daughter.

One of my neighbors sent his son out, dressed for a little league baseball game, with a piece of pizza. I didn’t take it, but it made me thankful for southern hospitality and the sound of tiny cleats scraping pavement.

Finally, up drove a charismatic man in a dirty van, a combination we are taught to avoid as children. My Camry had brought yet another boy to the yard, this time the locksmith, who would prove to be victorious over my seemingly unconquerable ninja locks. I will forever take pride in his assessment that my locks were the toughest his bent clothes hanger wrapped in masking tape had ever defeated.

Here’s to you, knights of Northport. Thank you for your unyielding service and determination to outsmart my stupidity.


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