An Inconveniance In The Night

The other day I was driving through the outback, somewhere in New South Wales, in the middle of the night. I was listening to some calm opera music to cool down my impatience on the straight, flat, seemingly unending road. I had been driving for about two hours when I came to a certain country town. Hungry, I looked for a place that sold food — and one with a toilet. Unfortunately the first place I came upon was a McDonald’s. McDonald’s does not sell food, but it does have a toilet. (They hide the toilet behind an area where they trick people into thinking that they’re buying food.) This Is valuable information: every McDonald’s has a toilet in it.

After using the toilet, I walked out and made my way back to my ute. I found that I had locked it. No problem. I reached into my pocket for my keys, and found … emptiness. Now there was a problem. The key was, I could see now, still in the ignition of the ute. I pulled the handle of the door repeatedly, hoping it would open but knowing it would not. After kicking, punching, and clawing at the outside of the cab for several minutes, I finally managed to prize enough space open at the top of the window to fit my fingers in.

Now what? The keys were still well out of reach, and I had no wire to hook them with. If only I could find some fencing wire … or a coat hanger … or something long with a handy grabbing thing designed to pull keys out of ignitions and return them to their owner who was locked outside. But I had none of these, so I went for a walk.

Walking up and down a street in a country town in the outback in the middle of the night near a McDonald’s is a most unrewarding experience. The smell coming out of the McDonald’s smelled almost like food — It reminded me that I was hungry and this made me angry. I wanted to throw bricks through their window and yell illogical insults at them. Instead I went back to my ute and started punching the cab window. The window didn’t break and let me in. It didn’t even cry and beg for mercy. It just hurt my hand; so I stopped and tried to think of a better idea. ‘Forget it,’ I said to myself, ‘I’ll just spend the night on the tray.’ So I climbed up onto the tray and unrolled my swag and lay down.

Trying to sleep on the tray of a ute parked outside a McDonald’s in the middle of the night is more unrewarding than walking up and down a street in a country town in the outback in the middle of the night near a McDonald’s. For some reason, youths from around the town were coming to the McDonald’s. They were buying products. More strangely, they were eating said products. And they were making lots of noise in the process. This annoyed me exceedingly for a while, but eventually I thought of something else to think about. Something Else proved to be quite interesting, for Something Else was a means of breaking into my cab and escaping from this food-forsaken place.

There is a toolbox on my tray, and it is to this I turned my attention. I rolled up my swag and opened the toolbox. In the toolbox were a few odd things: a roll of cotton and a suture needle, a pair of long-nosed pliers, some blue hay-baling twine, and a coat hanger. The coat hanger would have been ideal had it been the wire kind that you can bend into special key-hooking shapes, but it was the plastic kind. Then I had an idea. I tied the coat hanger to the baling twine. Then I dangled the coat hanger through the gap in the top of the window and swung it back and forth. I was trying to hook the window handle. I swung it back … I swung it forth … I swung it to … I swung it fro. And for nearly and hour I stood next to the cab, holding the baling-twine, peering through the window, swinging the coat hanger, and praying to God that it would catch on the window handle.

‘That’s it,’ I mumbled to myself. ‘I’m not going to be able to hook this. Obviously God just wants me to spend the night outside this infernal McDonald’s.’ I decided to pull the coat hanger out and retire for the night. But as I pulled, the coat hanger refused to come. It was almost like … it had caught on … yes! It was caught on the window handle! I stood frozen, not wanting to move and break the spell. Then slowly I pulled. And lo! The window came down two inches! I pushed the window down another inch, and was able to reach in up to half way up my forearm. Then I used the hook of the coat hanger to hook the keys. I will never forget the joy and satisfaction I got when I held they keys in my hands once more.

Soon I was listening to my Opera music again and driving home. Where there is a will and a God, there is a way.

Ab imo pectore, Oves Tondente.