What are those mystery keys | Column | The Press and Standard

by | August 12, 2017 5:00 pm

Last Updated: August 9, 2017 at 11:26 am

If Heaven sounds like wind chimes softly tinkling, or the soothing murmur of a stream, then **** must also have a sound. My money is on jangling keys.
The devil’s laughter may be the first thing new arrivals hear, but I’ll bet the background noise sounds like a key ring full of noisy, rattling keys, jangling like coins in a tin can.
(BTW, coins in a sealed can make an excellent dog training tool. Instead of spanking or screaming at Phideux, rattle the can to get his attention.)
Back to my latest obsession: Keys. Specifically, mystery keys. We all have them–at least I hope we all do. Otherwise it would be just me, and that’s scary.
Widdle has eight keys on his key ring, and he knows what each of them unlocks. One is for work, one is for the river cabin, one is for his tractor… you get the picture. He owns the keys, they don’t own him.
My keys not only own me, they mock me. “Hahaha, you don’t know what I unlock! Hahaha!”
I have more keys than anybody I know, and no idea what most of them are for.
Last week I made a sweep of the house, my purse, my backpack, the junk drawer and a glass bowl that was intended for potpourri but somehow wound up as a key graveyard.
I wound up with 17 keys. SEVENTEEN KEYS. That’s a lot for someone who’s not a locksmith or janitor. The frustrating part is that I have no idea what a dozen of them are for.
There’s an old, and I mean old, post office box key with no number on it. We’ve tried it at two post offices and a mail kiosk at my Summerville condo, and it doesn’t work anywhere. I lose sleep imagining the unclaimed mail that must be piled up at whatever box the key does fit.
Some of my mystery keys are marked with nail polish, an ID trick that obviously failed. Some sport little rubber key covers—red, yellow, green. At one time I knew what each color meant, but no longer.
There are plenty of options: My mother’s house, my ex-mother-in-law’s house, my late MIL’s house, my brother’s house… I haven’t been in my mother’s house in at least three years. In fact, I think she demanded her key back a couple of years before that. (Mom had her cranky days.)
None of the keys fit the lock on the river shack. If my husband’s not there, I’m out of luck. I could ride around in the golf cart waiting for him, but I can’t find the golf cart key.
Here’s a thought: I’ve lived in three houses since moving here 27 years ago, but there was a three-month, in-between period when I crashed with friends. A couple of the keys could be to their homes. Wouldn’t that be a funny phone call? “Hey, remember when I lived in your attic? Well, I’ve got this key… wanna see if it still works?”
By now you can see how frustrating this is—and it completely floors my husband.
“How can you have all these keys and not know what they fit?” he asks, incredulously. “Doesn’t it drive you crazy?”
Why yes, it does drive me crazy. So crazy that I started to snivel in front of him, which I hate.
Widdle gave me a long hug. “It’s okay,” he said. “You still have the most important key.”
“Wha’?” I sniffled.
“The key to my heart,” he said.
I definitely need to put nail polish on that one.
Julie R. Smith, who needs a money key, can be reached at widdleswife@aol.com.


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