…. it will!
Nanny nanny boo boo.
Then the tailor incident happened.
It was nothing to do with photos but the concepts – redundancy, failsafes, backups – are identical. You see, this one involved starting the car ….
I have owned my car, bought used as I always let some sucker pay for the depreciation, for almost a decade. I thought I was pretty smart about redundancy and access. If I left the key at home and lost the house keys I had this little marvel:
The Lexus wallet key. “Not for ignition”.
I kept this little hummer in my wallet and thought no more of it. Lose the regular key and, hey presto!, you are up and running so long as you do not lose your wallet. Even if you lose your car keys.
And lose the car keys I did. My boy and I dropped off a jacket at the tailor’s and proceeded home with the house Border Terrier, as good an egg as ever put four sets of pads to the sidewalk, looking forward to a nice lunch. But there was just one snag. I had left the house keys in the jacket at the tailor’s. Bah! says I to Winston, the fruit of my loins, no problemo chum. The Old Man is always prepared as, with a flourish of sheer insouciance D’Artagnan would have envied, I whipped out my 25 year old Hartmann leather wallet (OK, credit card holder) and procured the Magic Key. Yup, Lexus’s best.
Swagger was definitely present in my demeanor.
“Watch this”, quoth I, as I proceeded to pop the key from the little holder thingy to the boy’s all around astonishment at his dad’s evident genius in all things mechanical and logical. I inserted same in the door and invited the child to rest his behind in the passenger seat. Stand back, Winston, says I, we will be back at the tailor’s in a trice as dad floors it and we hit 0-60 in under 6 seconds on residential streets and hang the cops.
So confident was I that I handed the poncy wallet key to the child and instructed him to start the beast, as he always does. (He’s my Voice Activated Remote. Not cheap.) The starter fired up with that resolute commitment to all things efficient and Oriental, churned away merrily for a good twenty seconds and …. nothing happened. No burning rubber, no 0-60 in under 6, no nothing. Truth to tell, the boy’s demeanor was not a happy one, his confidence in his father severly shaken, questions about birth certificates and DNA preying on his mind and the OM sitting there wondering where he had erred in his grand plan of life. ‘Crestfallen’ does not begin to decribe my greatest fan. Indeed, his crest was somewhere around his ankles, ready to join mine in the gutter.
Not a happy moment.
The car maker, in its infinite wisdom, had determined that the wallet key would get you in out of the cold and damp, but that was the extent of its function. Start the car? Please. They do that now with microchips in the holder, but we are talking a Frugality Special here, a Y2K. No, no.
I had made a huge, inexcusable error of logic. I had failed to test my assumptions.
So we get on the iPhone, call the tailor and plead that he extend his closing time by 10 minutes while we beat the world and Olympic record for the 800 meters to retrieve the car key.
Just one small nicety. The house key is attached to the car key. Without the car key we are doomed to a weekend in the back yard, shooting rabbits and squirrels for sustenance and drinking from the garden hose while feasting on bloody dandelions for dessert.
The tailor, a nice warm man from wonderful, warm Greece, hears our pleas, delays for 10 minutes as asked, and after a massive coronary (mine) we have car and house keys in hand.
Which brings us back to backing up.
If it can go wrong it will. Study those diagrams in my second link above and think hard. Really hard. Because there has to be some combination of circumstance which will destroy my work of a lifetime, the thing that means so much to me. My pictures. And when you find the holes in the schema, please email me. I can always put in more failsafes, and would rather not depend on the home times of the tailor.
Meanwhile, I keep a real car key, the one with the chip inside, in the trunk. I can open the latter with the wallet key once inside the car. Of course, knowing the Law of Sod, the battery in the trunk key will have died and it’s back to dandelion dessert. Gee, I miss the days you could hot wire cars.