All in the Name of Research.

June 5, 2010

As luck would have it, we’d parked the truck and its padlocked trailer right by the “No Overnight Parking” sign, safe and out of the way.  The accident happened at that marina, three hours from home after we’d spent the day Waverunning through the bayous and channels of Spring Lake Michigan — research for Webbed, my Badass Novel.  Car burglary? Nah. Fender bender?  Nope. 

The accident was far worse than either of those:  You see, I dropped our keys in the lake.  It’s a murky lake with zero visibility, but that wasn’t the bad part.  The missing key ring, wedged somewhere in the muck and mire at the bottom of Mill Point launch, included two keys — the ski trailer’s padlock keys, and our truck keys.  Yes, the truck that would drive us out of the marina and back to our room promising warm towels.  Back to dry clothes.  Out to a nice dinner.  

The Black Keys, the band (not to be confused with my keys in a black lake) under a very cool neon sign.

Did I mention GMC emergency lock-out service doesn’t stay open past five o’clock anywhere in this world?

With nary a word other than, “I can’t believe you dropped the keys in the water,” which he repeated over and over, Sparkly Hubby searched for almost two hours, treading water and diving for stainless.  In the meantime, I pled with GMC on my cell to please find a dealership, locksmith, Harry Potter, anyone who could make our two keys magically appear.  I’d have settled for a time traveler even, a shape-shifter to help me backspace to the moment right before I lost my grip on the wet metal — sunk in half a second with a sad kerplunk.  But alas, there was not a car dealer or time traveler available, perhaps because it was past closing time:  time traveler’s must be nine to fiver’s too.

Finally, as dark threatened, my friend Blackberry, not GMC, helped us locate a locksmith who could carve a truck key for just under a couple of hundred dollars. A key which he would personally deliver . . .  in the morning!

A frantic call to the harbormaster at our hotel secured a rare available boat slip for the night — the Holiday Inn housed a marina.  In the dim light, we bid farewell to our truck and trailer, but first, we left a note under the windshield wiper, on paper bummed from a Good Samaritan, penned for the Spring Lake police, pleading to please not tow our stuff. 

We loaded up shivering and bemused, yet in amazingly good spirits onto the Waverunner and idled up inky Grand River to the hotel.  Maybe this was how Ernest Hemingway felt coming in from the beach.

In the morning we climbed back on the Waverunner and met the locksmith at Mill Point launch.  Two hundred dollars lighter, we opened the door to the GMC.

The moral of this novella?  Every writer needs a terrific support system, and I am glad to say that my support system is unparalleled.  You may think you have a super Sparkly Hubby, but mine is the bestie-best.  Because he didn’t kill, or even yell at me when I dropped the keys.  And he still thinks I am a good writer.  And today’s his birthday.  Oh, and we found the perfect location for my story. 

I need to find a way to write-off that two hundred dollar key as a research cost.  I’ll reimburse him, just as soon as I sell my book.

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