Posted by: Anna Webb | July 11, 2009

Late Afternoon Rescue

I had the “pleasure” of locking my keys in my car yesterday at Malama Market in Pahoa. Pleasure, you say? Well, it wasn’t a bad experience. It was simply a 10 minute delay.

You know the routine, as soon as the door is swinging shut you spy your keys lying in the passenger seat alongside your cell phone! Ok, maybe you don’t know. But someday whether a resident or visitor to the Big Island, you might. Naturally, the spare key was still nestled in the car and not in my wallet.

I just purchased this car used a few weeks ago so I’m still getting accustomed to its nuances. The back door locks do not lock automatically as do the front door locks and have to be manually locked from inside before exiting the car. In addition, unlike the other car I’m used to driving you can lock it from the inside before leaving the car whereas the other car requires you to lock it from the outside – a definite deterrent to accidentally locking the keys inside.

Regardless, I stood outside my car looking in with that blank “What now?” expression. I checked all the locks to make sure I didn’t leave one of the backdoors open, but I didn’t. Luckily the driver side window was down about an inch. Uneffected emotionally, I saw a truck pull in next to me. As soon as the driver emerged I asked him if he had a coat hanger or something in his truck I could use to retrieve my keys from the locked car. He searched for a while and couldn’t find anything inside his truck to assist me. However, he was nice enough to share with me, on our walk into the grocery store, the method he’d used the last time he locked his keys in the car. He’d taken duct tape and put the sticky side out on the end of a coat hanger to grab the lock to pull it up. Good tip for the future!

I immediately thought of going to Pahoa Hardware but decided I’d ask inside the grocery store first. The girl at the service center said she didn’t have a hanger but that Lex Brodie could help me. Yes! Of course, IF they were still open – and they were; I was in luck!

I walked across the parking lot to Lex Brodie where I sheepishly told the woman behind the counter about my woes. She told me “no worries!” and went in the back to get someone. Within minutes a “knight in shining armor” (ok, in an aloha shirt) stood outside with tools in hand to unlock my door. Walking back across the parking lot he said, “You’re the third person today that’s locked their keys inside the car!”. I suppose that made me feel better and I replied, “Well, it must be that kind of day then!”.

It took him a few tries with a few different tools to open it up but before long I was thanking him profusely and jumping inside to retrieve my keys AND my cell phone. About that time the guy from the truck emerged from the store and I held my keys up in the air like a trophy. We smiled and I went on into the store to do my shopping before returning home after a long day at work.

Thanks to those who helped me through this experience. The fact is it was the first time something like this happened to me that I wasn’t crippled by a fear reaction. Yes! Keeping a cool head in times like this is the best way to figure out a quick resolution.

I’m posting a link for Lex Brodie only because I feel it’s the least I can do for such a speedy late afternoon rescue!


  1. I’m telling you now… I have my car and two other cars I use on a regular basis.

    The first month I moved back to the BI from Oahu… I seriously must have locked my ohana out of a few cars just for not realizing I don’t have to lock my car doors on the Big Island the way I used to on Oahu and many of my family members simply leave keys in ignition.

  2. I agree, Damon. Most times I don’t. But this time I had my laptop in the car and went ahead to lock.

    I pretty much leave my car unlocked most of the time to run in somewhere. First, my car is old! Second, it has a tape deck instead of a CD player. LOL
    Nobody’s going to want my stuff!

  3. Anna, I’m so glad you had the Lex Brodie ‘knight in shining armor” close by to help you….. Someday I will tell you about the time I left my son after being admitted to Hilo Memorial Hospital after almost 7 hours in the ER determining what the problem was…..and on my way home at 9 PM, stopped to get milk and bread……and coming back out my keys would not open the car doors….ended up having to call the towing company to open the car at $85 cash for the trip and 2 seconds to open the car…..with only $20 plus in my wallet and my ATM card would not work in the store’s ATM machine….. The event still remains in my mind as “nightmares we don’t forget #3” LOL


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