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Chuck Hinman. IJMA No. 185: Predicament in Tulsa

It's Just Me Again No. 185: Predicament in Tulsa: Door Locks in a Heavy Snow
The next earlier Chuck Hinman story: Winter Is Coming Reader comments to CM are appreciated, as are emails directly to Mr. Hinman at:

By Chuck Hinman

Predicament in Tulsa: Door locks in a heavy snow

I have lived with the "heartache of psoriasis" most of my adult life. It's the primary reason no one remembers seeing me in a swimming suit.

When I was a young business man, I drove to Tulsa every Saturday morning for a treatment with Dr. Shackelford, a skin-disorder specialist. On one Saturday morning it was snowing heavily when I started home.

I was driving a sporty 1958 Vauxhall, a General Motors product manufactured in Germany. It had one engineering problem. When you engaged the door locks in the window sills, the doors remained locked when you exited the car unless you manually pulled the door lock up to disengage it.

On American cars, merely opening the door disengages the lock and you avoid being locked out of your car.

On this Saturday morning I decided to heed my wife Connie's long standing advice to lock all doors when driving -- especially in a raging snow-storm.

This I did and was cruising along when I realized I couldn't see out the rear window because of excessive snow build up. No big deal I reasoned. I'll just slip out of the car at the next traffic light and whisk the snow off the back window and be on my way!

Oh you are way ahead of me! I'm hopelessly locked out of my car with the engine running. How dumb! Dumb Germans! No wonder they lost the war!

By now the traffic was backed up as far as I could see, people honking their horns at this idiot in his shirtsleeves, outside his car trying various doors which he has already tried.

Finally the police arrived and after learning the problem from me, redirected the traffic and eased the problem.

I called the lock people from a nearby service station and they said it would be several hours before they could help me.

About that time a stranger appeared with a coat hanger, opened the door and I was finally on my way home.

I rarely touch a door lock that my mind doesn't go back to that unfriendly experience with Tulsa motorists fifty years ago! Yssh!
Chuck Hinman, former Nebraska farm boy, spent his working days with Phillips Petroleum Company in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, and Houston, Texas. He lives at Tallgrass Estates in Bartlesville where he keeps busy writing his memories.

This story was posted on 2010-01-10 08:09:55
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