Key Sera Sera
When I was very little, a friend of mine had an older brother called John (I’ve changed his name for obvious reasons) who was really handy with "useful" aspects of life. If you wanted to know which part of a radio did what, John knew the answer. If you wanted to know stuff about electricity, John knew the answer.
Then came the day he decided to push the boundaries a little but further than he should have. He reckoned he knew how to drive. That was a dangerous assumption, and it was also (as you’ll see) an erroneous assumption.
Back then, his father had a company car with manual transmission (stick shift, as they’re commonly called) and John reckoned it was fair game. He had watched it being driven and figured he had the accelerator-clutch-gear equation sorted out.
There were three problems. He was too young to drive. He had never actually been given permission to drive. And finally, he knew he would never be given permission to take the car keys.
So, being the handy teenager that he was, he decided to circumvent the last problem. He announced he was going to make a skeleton key. And make a skeleton key he did. I’m not sure how he did it, but it must have been an amazing feat because he didn’t exactly have access to a whole tool shed.
Then at dusk one evening his youngest brother and I heard a frightful impact. John had put the skeleton key in the ignition, started up the car but reversed it too far and slammed into broad steps. The steps, alas, were made of concrete and the back of the car now resembled a concertina.
John sprinted away from the scene and locked himself in the bathroom but his father didn’t take long to work out what had happened.
Fast forward many years …. John’s wife emailed me from England to ask if I could give her any embarrassing stories about her husband, so she could shared them at his impending 50th birthday. I sat down and wrote a long and detailed reply, telling her about The Evening Of The Skeleton Key.
No point keeping skeletons in John’s closet.
For the home of ABC Wednesday, go to Mrs Nesbitt's Place.