Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Sea Stories From A Submariner

  You know, for a submariner I ain't never told you none of my sea stories about being on a submarine.  Well, one day after a hard shift of painting the sub, I went to my car at the waterfront parking lot.  Now, the electrical door locking mechanism had been acting up so I tried pushing the door unlocking button on the keys to no avail.  No problem, just use the actual key in the locks.  Problem: the electrical mechanism keeps the manual locks from raising even with the key.  What to do now?
  Aha, the trunk.  If I would be able to push the back seats down, I could get into the car and unlock it from the inside.  Brilliant!  Sometimes I even amaze myself!  Of course, this being a 1999 Dodge Intrepid, the back seats don't go down.  In my mind, it's just because I haven't pushed hard enough yet.  If you've ever seen the trunk of an Intrepid, you know it's quite deep.  I decided to use my legs, braced against the rear-most part of the trunk to add the necessary leverage to propel my arms into the back of the seats to push them forward.  This would require me to climbing entirely into the trunk.  No problem.
  Problem: the momentum I gained while ramming into the back of the seat rocked the entire car forward with just enough of a jerk to cause the trunk door to slam down.  Just to let you know, this was in the middle of summer.  I knew it was gonna get hot in there really quickly.  In the darkness, I groped around to feel if there was an emergency release latch.  Apparently, those didn't become popular until some time after 1999.  Good thing I had my cell phone with me.  I called my sea dad, who is the seasoned sailor assigned to help the inexperienced "sea pup" around while he gets acclimated to the sailing life.  I had the car keys in the trunk with me, but there was a spare set in a special magnetic key box attached to the underside of the chassis.  No problem, I'll just have him come get it and let me out.
  Problem: he can't find it.  Perhaps while driving, I hit a pothole or something which jarred the key box off the bottom of the car.  It was beginning to get hot in the trunk so I took off my outer shirt, leaving only my undershirt on.  I told my sea dad that Kayla has a set of car keys at home.  He drove off to retrieve them.  While I was waiting, it occurred to me that getting out of the trunk was only half the problem.  I would still need to get into the car.  Luckily I had a locksmith's number stored in my cell phone's memory.  I called and told him that I couldn't get into the car.  I described the car to him and gave him the license plate number.  No problem, all I have to do is stand by the car so he can find it easily in the huge ass parking lot.
  Problem: I can't stand by the car if I'm stuck, locked inside the trunk.  I took a deep breath and told him that I couldn't stand by the car.  He asked me if I was with the car.  I said yes.  He asked why then can't I stand by it?  I told him I was in the trunk.  Finally, he understood.  I had been hoping my sea dad would get there before the locksmith showed up, but I didn't realize I'd have to clue in the locksmith as to my predicament.  It was beginning to get stuffy in the trunk as I was running out of air.
  Several minutes later I heard a vehicle pull up beside the car.  It was the locksmith.  He called out to me, "Paul are you there?"  I heard another vehicle pull up.  I thought it would be my sea dad.  Instead, an unfamiliar voice asked, "Mr. Loh, are you alright?"  Apparently, the locksmith had called the police because he thought I might suffer from dehydration, heat stroke or some other malady.  I told them I was okay.  Finally, my sea dad showed up with the spare key.  He let me out of the trunk, much to my relief.  The police man checked my pupils for responsiveness and asked if I knew the year.  Once he was satisfied that I was not in need of an ambulance trip to the Emergency Room, he left.  The locksmith was then able to do his thang with the locks.  Boom boom, I was in my car and ready to drive home.  I guess this hasn't so much been a story of me being a submariner as it has been a story of me being an idiot, but hey.  As the old saying says, "You can lead the horse to the water, but you can't make him think," or something like that.

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