Printed from:

Welcome to Columbia Magazine  

Chuck Hinman: IJMA. Predicament in Tulsa

Chuck Hinman: Predicament in Tulsa Chuck heeds wife's advice to lock all doors when driving and finds himself locked out with the engine running when he steps out to clear away snow on the rear window.
Next earlier Chuck Hinman column - Reflections On A Happy Birthday

By Chuck Hinman

Predicament in Tulsa

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.

German versus American automobile door locks

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!

Locked out with the engine running

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.

Solving the problem -- stranger with coat hanger

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!

Written by Chuck Hinman and emailed Monday, 4 January 2010.

This story was posted on 2013-01-27 03:46:56
Printable: this page is now automatically formatted for printing.
Have comments or corrections for this story? Use our contact form and let us know.

To sponsor news and features on ColumbiaMagazine, please use our contact form.


Quick Links to Popular Features content is available as an RSS/XML feed for your RSS reader or other news aggregator.
Use the following link:

Contact us: Columbia Magazine and are published by D'Zine, Ltd., PO Box 906, Columbia, KY 42728.
Phone: 270-250-2730 Fax: 270-751-0401

Please use our contact page, or send questions about technical issues with this site to All logos and trademarks used on this site are property of their respective owners. All comments remain the property and responsibility of their posters, all articles and photos remain the property of their creators, and all the rest is copyright 1995-Present by Columbia! Magazine and D'Zine, Ltd. Privacy policy: use of this site requires no sharing of information. Voluntarily shared information may be published and made available to the public on this site and/or stored electronically. Anonymous submissions will be subject to additional verification. Cookies are not required to use our site. However, if you have cookies enabled in your web browser, some of our advertisers may use cookies for interest-based advertising across multiple domains. For more information about third-party advertising, visit the NAI web privacy site.