Just A Little Bit Longer

Don’t ever lock yourself out of a Lexus. But if you do, make sure you have Internet access.
I was tearing out of the studio this evening to drive down for a Jackson Brown/Tom Petty concert at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View – about 45 minutes south of here.

Yes here. I never got there. I was in such a hurry I opened the car trunk, threw everything into it, including my keys, and slammed the trunk shut. Imagine if you will, the comical look of a guy standing in the street next to a car that’s shut up as tight as a gin mill on Sunday.

I called triple A and eventually Sam came and pried the door open to loud screams from the startled car alarm. But I couldn’t open the trunk. Seems the car knows it’s been broken into and won’t let me into the trunk. In fact, it won’t let me do anything. The entire engine is shut down. Even if I had a key I’d have to reset the security to start the car. (There’s a super secret sequence involving the key, symmetrical twisting, and something that sounds a lot like the hokey pokey.)

There’s nothing more depressing than a luxury leather interior with burl wood accents that is totally immobilized.

The horn stopped honking and I stopped sobbing after a while. I called Lexus Roadside Assistance. The nice lady said I’d have to get my dealer to make a new key – there’s no magic way to get into the trunk. The car is just too damn smart. At this point I forgot the Tom Petty concert and started worrying that I’d miss my plane to Louisville tomorrow morning.

My wife, Jennifer, one hour north of here, has the only other key. Uh-oh. I called. She and the kids were carving pumpkins. How could I ask her to pack the kids in the car and drive for an hour to let me into my own car then drive back home another hour and her with a dozen cupcakes to make for school tomorrow? I asked. Fortunately, she got the bright idea of sending a cab down with the key. Dan is on his way now. It’s going to cost me $100 but what’s a guy to do?

The concert is starting right about now. I guess I might make it for the encore.

96 Replies to “Just A Little Bit Longer”

  1. that really sucks… its the same feeling you get when you leave your lights on… i did that one time i was at college, 30 minutes away from my house… boy oh boy i dont remember that day fondly… hehe

  2. also.. isn’t it strange how an item like a car can emit emotion like that? My brother got his car broken into at college and they took even the wheels… and just seeing the pictures of it was so depressing, one really nice automobile that now looked like it was hit by a bomb… luckily he had a spare set of wheels (he had the designer set on) and i had to go drive to wisconsin (i live in minneapolis) to help put the new set on so the police could take their spare tire back…
    Look on the bright side, at least that didnt happen to you… haha.
    -Dan from MN

  3. I know the pain. One time, when I was packing up the van after family camp, someone tossed the keys in it. I unknowingly shut and locked the door, and ended up waiting about 4 hours for the AAA guy in the remote wilderness, outside, in 100 degree weather (Without deoderant or bug spray!). Fun, fun, fun. Good times.

  4. That sucks man! At least you had internet to keep you busy! I hope you get to see Tom Petty!

  5. Three words…. magnetic key box.
    Seen TP 7 times…. my first time (his first show too) at the Winterland in SF, what a show.
    He will be back…
    Good Luck next time,

  6. wow Leo…and I thought my day sucked. Hugs to you..especially having to miss most or all of Tom Petty.
    It pays to have a junker car for backup.
    Have a safe and fun trip..
    And Happy Halloween

  7. I know the feeling. I lost the key to my laptop security cable a while back, and the only way to order a replacement key is to have the code off of they key. As this was a hand-me-down, I only had the one key, so I was sunk. Luckily one of co-workers had a jeweler’s saw, and was able to saw off the lock, and free my TiBook from my desk.

  8. Oh boy Leo, I think this happens to everyone at least once in their life. Granted not with a Lexus however. Me, Christmas Eve 1969, using my aunt’s borrowed Toyta goes to pick up my Dad at his company Christmas party. Dad, greets me at the door with a come in a see this. Me, pops out of car, slams door, no key. Now it really gets interesting. Call aunt, she only has one set of keys! Have you ever in your life known anyone who only has one set of keys to their car?! That was my Dad’s twin sister for you! Me, no AAA at the time, I’ve had it ever since. Any idea how hard it is to find a locksmith on Christmas Eve? Cost Dad half his Christmas bonus that year (that bonus was the only reason he went to the party in the first place.) He never did let me live that one down!
    In your case Leo, all I can say. Behind every good man there is a smart woman! Sorry you’re out the cash and the concert.

  9. I have a ‘friend’ that locked his keys in his car at least six or seven times during the school year in high-school. The funny part was when his sister walked out to the car at the end of the day and leaned on the fender only to find the engine was running and had been all day with the keys locked in it. I still can’t believe it didn’t run out of fuel as the gauge was always on ‘E’. Luckily, he didn’t have to pay for a locksmith, as the school cop was always unlocking doors for students. Personally, I only lock myself out of my house, because I feel that is more of a challenge to break into. Of course, I don’t own a Lexus . . .

  10. AAA will make you a free wallet key for your car if you are a member. You have to go in person to one of their offices to get it.

  11. Awe man! So sorry to hear that Leo! What a day! Well, one bright side. At least you didn’t lock one of the kids in the car. I know, I did that. Not once, but twice. Both times, I was in a big hurry. Both times, it was when the youngest child at the time was still in diapers and strapped in her car seat, and in the middle of a hot summer day. It broke my heart to stand outside of the van talking to my baby, telling her not to cry, as I am fighting my own tears. Thank goodness the local locksmith has a free service when you lock the kids in the car. It took them about 25 minutes to get to us. By the time we got her out, we were both soaking wet from tears and sweat.
    I hope your day is better tomorrow. Have a safe trip!

  12. See, this is what happens when you’re mean to Megan. It’s always best to make that candy payment on time!

  13. Aw, Leo, damn. Did you get to see ANY of the concert? Maybe got there just in time to hear Jackson Brown do “Stay”? (I always thought that was a great song to close a show with, and he covered it well the one time I saw it.)
    What a pain in the nether region for you to have to go through. Smart lady you married, to think of sending the spare key in a cab.
    My AAA card goes wherever I go. It’s like the cell phone — I can’t imagine traveling without it.
    Have a safe trip and a good time!

  14. After I got locked out of our car with my mom and my grandfather a few years ago (my fault), I memorized the Key ID that Ford had given us; if we had known that, we could’ve just called the dealership right down the street to get it made in a few minutes instead of waiting for AAA and doing that whole thing. And of course, it was snowing, around 25 degrees outside, middle of January, and we had to walk 15 miles through 2 feet of snow… well, I made that last part up.
    Key boxes are good, but hey, I don’t think as many people would be as interested in a 6-year-old Ford as a Lexus.

  15. I did the exact same thing a year ago. My car has a different key for the trunk and door and I diden’t have a extra trunk key but did for the door so once I got the door open I had to remove the back seat t get into the trunk to get my keys

  16. Ya know if you had a car with On Star you could have called up via cell phone and they can unlock it remotely. It’s not too late to trade ‘er in. 😉
    p.s. No folding back seats for inside trunk entry?

  17. I saw Petty in NC in July. I was in the 15th row and it was the most amazing concert I’ve been to. Sorry you missed it.

  18. Hi Leo!
    I also did the exact same thing a couple months ago in the parking lot of the Band Shell in Golden Gate Park! I even took pictures!
    I did the same thing you did except that I was parking in a no parking zone. If left the car there it would eventually get towed! So what did I do…. well a person never goes anywhere without his trusty tools!
    I whipped out my socket wrench and started to take apart my back seat to get to the key…. and let me tell you it wasn’t easy….
    here’s the link to the images. Excuse the large file sizes but it’s 5:53am and I too tired to make efficient thumbnails.
    I’m the one in the yellow pants.
    David Chen

  19. I forgot to mention that I too had to go through the “Lexus smart alarm thing”
    That bugged me the most…. at least the hood release wasn’t controlled by the ECU….
    It’s amazing what you can fix and mod yourself when your car is acting up. At least you can find out how to take APART your car.
    David Chen

  20. Poor baby! That is my worst nightmare! Since I am leaving town Saturday to go to a concert in Illinois, I will make sure my keys are in my pocket before I shut the trunk!
    So sorry you missed the show—sounds like a good one.
    You were so brave to call your wife for assistance–way to go Jennifer! Smart idea!

  21. OMG! You are not gonna believe this, but I just remembered–in the car this a.m. on the way to work, guess what was playing on the radio!
    Running on Empty!!! Oh, no! Wonder what that means, lol!!!!

  22. I did that years ago. Called my wife to come get me, which was more than an hours drive.
    While I was waiting for her, I started fooling around with a coat hanger I found in the lot. I had no luck, so I gave up, but every once in a while I’d pick it up, twist it a different way, and try it again. It passed the time.
    Suddenly, it worked! I opened the door, and just then looked up and saw my wife’s car coming into the far end of the lot.
    I quickly dropped the coat hanger, pushed the lock down, and slammed the door shut. Moments later my wife pulled up with the spare key which I gratefully used to open the car.
    Since then, I carry a spare in my wallet. BTW, I didn’t tell this story to my wife for almost 20 years 🙂

    Poor Leo….. so, um, how long did it take Daddy to clean the kitchen last night after the baking extravagannza?
    Wow, that was some story, I just hope that your trip goes smoothly now that you got all that bad karma out of your system! (Carol is right!)
    Signed, EB, member of the spare key in wallet club, AAA, and the “make copies of the car keys to give to your friends club.”

  24. I locked myself out of my house once… I wasn’t about to stay outside in the midle of the day during summer, I kicked the door in :-). (It’s hot in AL… ya know)

  25. And as Tom Petty was probably singing at the time… “The Waiting is the hardest part…”

  26. What a great example to use the next time you have to explain what Type 1 and Type 2 security failures are.
    A Type 1 failure is the kind we think of, somebody who doesn’t belong getting access. Type 2 is the kind of failure Leo just experienced… the security system was so tight, not even the authorized user was getting access to the car.

  27. Where’d you get your Lexus?
    My dealer gave me a “Lexus Flat Key” that you can keep in your wallet. It will open the doors and trunk, etc., and that’s all you needed. Go SCREAM at your dealer!!!

  28. Sorry to hear about your bad luck Leo. You ought to trade that baby in on a new Mercedes that uses your hand to identify you. Just walk up to the car, place your hand on the door handle and watch as the door unlocks for you.
    Also, just a note to others who have suggested getting extra keys made, while that works with most ordinary cars, the luxury ones like Lexus, Mercedes, BMW, Cadillac, etc., use keys that contain microchips and even small computers in some cases. You can’t just go down to your local hardware store and ask for a copy. You’ve got to go to the dealer and buy each copy (usually not cheap). Hopefully as technology gets better, we can eliminate keys altogether 🙂

  29. been there also
    spouse very unhappy to bring the key
    few weeks later he was locked out of his car and just got police to get him in
    sure did not want to ask me for help and i was just around corner from where he was

  30. GLad u got in leo and all whats 100$ if u got to make it to the encore and make u plane to go see tha fans dint know leo pushing a lexas must pay u pretty well or the goats and all making money for u as grass eaters lol j/k well take care have a safe trip leo and i know how important it was to vist u fans i was one of them fans in baltimore and iam so glad u make it out there u have to come back maybe with marty or one of the girls that be cool take care safe plane trip u and megan and tell her i said happy baby days good luck on the baby a eastcoast fan kevin

  31. My dad did that to his Q45 more than once and I did it once to my Audi… what a pain, dealer wanted $200 for a “special master flip key”… 2 weeks after spending the $200 I found the spare master key- and the new key was non-refundable… now I have 3 master keys- ARGH!

  32. If you had been on your way home to help with the cupcakes, it never would have happened! hehehe…

  33. hehehe Leo Reading All these stories makes me tired, but you must be one rich sucker when on one of the episodes you call Pat rich and you poor you drive a lexus and he drives a ranger but he has sat. radio 🙂 hehe

  34. Dear Leo,
    I am so sorry for your lock out…I had the same thing go wrong with my 1992 Daytona.It has a anti theft device, and nothing works when it kicks in. It just cost me $360.00 to get my car to work again. Where is a car thief, when you need one. My hubby has one of the electronic keys, and his truck does the same thing your car did. So what he did is have a key made at home depot.The copy will just allow you to get into the car, and the trunk. He keeps this key in his wallet.Hope this info helps.
    Take care and have a safe and wonderful trip to Louisvile.Will miss you and Megan. Do not ever miss The screen savers. I got Dish network when I moved to the country just so I could have Tech TV.
    I am a Granny Geek. Didn’t know what I was missing before I got my computer. I read alot and taught myself computers, and with the help from you at screensavers. And yes I do have both of your books. Went right to Amazon as soon as you started talking about it on the air.
    I make and sell jewelry on ebay, and have done so for approx. 3 1/2 years now. So all of the little tips and tricks I learn really helps me to make more money and saves me a mess of time.
    Thanks, all of you so much, and I love each and everyone of you.
    Blessed Be,
    Margaret Ferguson

  35. D’oh! That sucks, and is one of my biggest fears. But when I picked up my car, they gave me a special wallet key for such an instance.
    And remember, if you have a valet key, don’t keep it in the glove compartment, because then a thief can drive off with your car.

  36. Know exactly how you felt. Several years ago at midnight I had just gotten off work, took my coveralls off, opened trunk, threw them in, slamed trunk lid, then remembered keys were in the coveralls. This was on a road building site out in the boonies and everyone else had left. No computer, no cellphone,and no alarms going off, at that time no one knew what they were. As luck would have it the doors were not locked and I took out the back seat and could reach though a small hole and get the coveralls.

  37. Yikes, Leo! Hope everything turned out just dandy.
    I remember when I was about three years old (my sister was two) my mom managed to lock herself out of the car. In the car at the time were me and Emily, who did not understand what she wanted when she kept knocking on the window and pointing at the lock on the door. After an hour we got bored and fell asleep. Six hours later my father comes home from work and unlocks the door.
    Ahh, memories…my mom carried a spare key with her at all times until Emily was about nine. Then she figured we could probably unlock things on our own. 🙂

  38. I was looking forward to the new Leoville icons that got showed on TSS tonight.
    Maybe in a few days, when the curfew is lifted.

  39. Almost all newer mid to high range cars have the microchip enabled ignition key. They are a good safety feature but can be a pain too with the reprogramming.
    Here’s a good tip for new car buyers. When you are buying a new car make sure you check to see how many of these special keys are included in your purchase. There should be 2. Absolutely make sure you get both keys as extra enabled keys can cost between 70-100 dollars each! OUCH.
    Also you are buying a big ticket item from them. Most dealers no longer haggle on the sticker price. Your main options should be the finance rate and accessories. Getting that rate down if you aren’t coming in already with a loan is always the number one priortiy but if you feel they are motivated to sell definitely hit them them up for accessories within reason! Extra microchip keys as one of them. Heck I have THREE of the keys as well as a 150 dollar alloy gas cap assembly, upgraded interior carpets and expensive moonroof, and I know I am not the best of hagglers 🙂

  40. My wife called me at work…
    Honey, I locked the keys in the car (she was at home at the time)….
    I told her I couldn’t leave work and I would take care of it when I got home….
    She then said the car was still running….
    I told her no big deal, just let it run out of gas if need be and I would take care of it when I got home….
    She then paused…. and said….
    Our baby was still in the car….
    I said, no big deal, I’ll be right home!!!

  41. Aside from being a guru of computers..have you evey considered learning how to break and enter into a car….been there..lol leo

  42. My friend locked himself out of his Lexus ES300, and we were able to get in with a coat hanger. I guess being bored teenagers really helped too..

  43. Leo you should have bought a Cadillac with the north star system on it. You could have made one phone call and they would have popped the trunk or append the door via Satellite.
    Moral of the story
    By American

  44. Came to Best Buy Sunday to see you guys, I knew you were popular , but I didn’t realize how popular. I was going to wait in line(btw that went all the way around the store) I was with other folks that didn’t didn’t know who you were
    so I didn’t makem wait with me,hopefully I see ya next time.
    You might want to bring some books next time…

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