The Strange Road of Inspiration


A few weeks ago my family and I took a vacation out-of-state to visit family. We rented a car for the trip after a short flight and drove for three or four hours before taking an exit to a small town to get some dinner. It was a rural area with not much to the town itself. In fact that town was actually about a mile and a half away from the 24-hour McDonald’s/gas station we stopped at. Everything seemed fine, and after we ate dinner I went out to the car with the intention of putting gas in the rental car while my wife finished feeding our one year old child.

Sounds simple, right?

Yeah … right. Turns out when I went to the rental car the remote would not unlock any of the doors. Not a big deal, just use the key, right? That would make logical sense, but unfortunately Chevrolet isn’t big on common sense. Turns out there was no exterior keyhole on any of the doors. Not even the trunk. Genius, eh? So I went back to my wife and told her what happened. Long story short the rental agency said ‘tough luck’ and I ended walking over a mile one way to a local store that luckily was open and had the battery we needed for the remote.

Problem solved, right? Yeah … not so much.

Despite walking over a mile in the dark down some country two lane highway, with only the flash light app to aid me, I did get the batteries but they did no good. The remote still wouldn’t work. At this point my wife and I were plenty pissed. The only good thing was that the gas station/McDonald’s was open 24 hours. At least my wife and kid had some place warm to stay since it was rather cold and windy out that night.

I knew there had to be SOME way to get into the car without the remote. I mean the engineers at GM couldn’t be that fucking stupid, could they?

Turns out they couldn’t. For whatever reason I knelt down and looked under the door handle on the driver’s side and spotted a small slot on the underside of the handle. It looked about big enough to stick the key in. When I did so part of the door handle popped off and revealed a traditional keyhole.

Problem resolved? Kinda. Yeah, the door unlocked but the car alarm was now blaring and I couldn’t turn it off. Cause you know the stupid fucking remote didn’t work – despite new batteries. Fortunately, I was able to start the car and alarm turned off. We ended up leaving the car unlocked after arriving at a relatives house later that night. The whole incident set us back a few hours and ended up cutting into our overall vacation.

I realize its not the worst thing in the world, but considering I have a young child the last thing I needed is to be locked out in some remote rural town in the middle of the night. And the attitude of the renal agency didn’t help at all at the time, even if they did refund the majority of our rental.

That all being said I will say that now that the whole ordeal is over and we’re back home I have found that the situation has inspired me to write a short story. Of course the incident won’t be nearly as banal. There’ll be some supernatural horror added to it and etc. But at its core the events of the actual event are my inspiration. It’s not the way I’d prefer to get inspired to write but at least some good has become of it.


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