Frabjous Times

Can someone call up the Keymaker?

We took advantage of the lovely day today to drive up the Palisade Parkway to Applewood Winery in Warwick NY for a tasting. No trouble there, and we found the offerings delicious. Perhapps they were a little too delicious, because when it came time for me to load the box of the three bottles we bought into the trunk of our Prius, I somehow managed to drop the car keys in after them. And we'd locked the doors to the vehicle previously, out of habit.
Okay, no panic, we'll stop inside the winery (no cell phone coverage out in the country) and just try calling our dealer, maybe 45 minutes away. Recorded message. Plan B: call the local police. That worked better, and a uniformed officer in a cruiser came up, Slim Jim in hand. No luck on jimmying the lock, neither with Jim nor with a bent piece of coathanger wire. The officer says there's really no way to get more aggressive with our break-in measures, as the theft system will cut off the ignition if the doorlock senses glass breakage anyway. Fortunately, he came up with the number for a local locksmith who was willing to to come out and help us out.
An hour and a half passes with no sign of locksmith guy anywhere. Pam took a long walk up the lane to see the road up to the rest of the orchard. We took turns strolling down to the farm pond to see the frogs jump, and back by the herb garden to see the ripening clusters of grapes hanging on the vines. I sat on the split-rail fence in the not-over-warm sun and watch a crow circle overhead lazily. People came and left the winery, sometimes for surprisingly short lengths of time (my theory is that some didn't much care for the folky guitarist-singer set up outside where they had little tables). Really, a nice way spend part of an afternoon, if it hadn't been for the anxious waiting part.
In the end, there was no mistaking the big white van with the York Locksmith number stencilled on the back. The locksmith had had a busy day, having come down from Ulster with a similar call. He was a loquacious type, telling of the perils of forcing the lock on the driver's side, of different rental company's key replacement policies, of the mortal perils of side impact airbags when opening with a Slim Jim (a hoax), and of the arcana of cutting new high-tech replacement keys with properly compatible computer codes. He slipped a wire tool down the passenger side door to pull the lock release button and was in in a trice. All in all, an entertaining way to spend $70 on a pristine afternoon.
Applewood is a member of the Shawangunk Wine Trail. Maybe we'll look at some of the other eight wineries if we feel lucky sometime.
Originally published: 2003/08/31 18:44:02