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Key to Success: A Slim Jim

September 17, 2012 - Karin Elton
Yesterday my son drove my daughter and I to Walmart. My daughter and I shopped and apparently my son did too — I saw he had acquired some strawberry Twizzlers — but he probably wishes he had stayed in the car — along with his keys.

When my daughter and I came out of the store we found Jacob trying to work a newly bought plastic-coated wire hanger into the passenger door.

A man also noticed and stopped to help saying that it just happened to him not too long ago and he knew how frustrating it was. He took over the hanger manuevering and tried to get the hanger to push down the unlock button. The hanger was too soft, so it would almost do it but not quite. When it looked like it was going to be awhile, the guy’s patient wife got out of their car to stand and watch.

Soon an old gentleman from the car that was parked next to ours stopped to give advice. He said he always keeps an extra key behind the license plate. The Good Samaritan man grinned and said, “Which one is your car?”

Next a woman strolled by with a cart full of groceries and jovially stopped to tell of the times she has locked her keys in the car. Once she was in Canby and the Canby Police helped her and she thought they would charge her but they didn’t. Another time she was in Cottonwood and she called Lockwood Motors to come and give her the master key. She said that she complained to Lockwood Motors that it was definitely the car’s fault.

Then Bruce Shover, the owner of the Marshall Bowling Alley, walked to his nearby vehicle. I said hi to him. His daughter went to school with my son. Shover said he had a Slim Jim car opener back at the bowling alley. He keeps it for all the people that leave their keys locked in their cars. The old gentleman told him his tip of putting a key behind his license plate and Shover said that’s a good one, but his tip is just don’t lock your car. I said yes, I’ve never heard of a car being stolen report on the police scanner but I hear almost every day that an officer is needed for a lockout. He said he would go to the bowling alley and get the Slim Jim and bring it back.

My son and the nice young man were still trying to manuever the overly-malleable hanger when Shover arrived. He said he has never operated a Slim Jim, he just hands it to customers. Good Sam worked the Slim Jim into the door frame and we were all gratified to hear the pop of the door lock. I clapped and thanked him and thanked his wife for being so patient and willing to share her husband for about a half hour or probably more. And of course we thanked Bruce Shover for driving back to the bowling alley to get his Slim Jim and bringing it to the Walmart parking lot.

All in all a good time had by all, except my daughter who was bored and my son who was chagrined. He vowed to get many keys made as soon as possible and distribute them to various family members and maybe place one somewhere by his license plate.


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