Last night we went to Patricia's annual birthday party blood drive. She gets the folks in the blood bank to drive the bus to her house, park in her driveway, and then she invites everyone she knows and we give blood, and then drink afterwards. It's a hoot. Dan came, and as he parked at our house, he accidentally locked his keys in his car.

In case of an emergency like this, he keeps TWO sets of spare keys in his glove box. Ok, maybe not for an emergency, but he really did have spare keys in there. (It's a long story.) I suggested that he keep a coat hanger in the back seat as backup in case this ever happened again.

He told us that it was no big deal, that he could jimmy the door with no trouble. "Three minutes!" he boasted. And with that, the camera came out, and the documentation of the "Three minute car entry" began.

Here he is armed with the only tools he requires to break into his car in three minutes. A head lamp, and a couple of coat hangers. Note the time on the clock above his head. 10:59.

There are one of the three sets of keys currently inside the vehicle.

Here Dan gets his headlamp adjusted. This car has a rich history for all of us. In college, it used to be his older brother Mike's car. Mike is currently living in Chicago, and to the best of my knowledge, is one of the last remaining COBOL programmers left on earth. Mike got the car back around 1990 I think. In 1992, Mike took me out in this car for my 21st birthday night of drinking in Rochester. We went to the Bug Jar and drank too much then went to Nick Tahou's for a plate. I think this was also the same night that my roommate, KC Bevins (who is in Austin I think) sat down with a homeless guy at a recently vacated table and began eating leftovers off of other people's plates. (There are many fond memories and fun stories from these times in college, and I get them all mixed up.) Anyway, after Mike took a job in Chicago, having a car was a hassle, so it sat at his parents' house in Endicott for something like seven years. Dan decided to take it, and now it's here in Austin.

Dan begins to fashion the coat hanger into a precise lock-picking tool.

He's going in!

Looks like a pro, eh? I know what you're thinking - a guy this good doesn't even NEED keys!

Much like Houdini drew large crowds to witness his feats of skill, soon Lorin and the cats made their way to the car.

Mysteriously unsuccessful, Dan made a few expert adjustments to the hanger.

And went back in.

Here Lorin helps by prying back the rubber gasket to allow the hanger to go in more easily. Hey, even Houdini had an assistant!

Homey came over to see how things were progressing.

Dan made a few more adjustments.

I was getting a little skeptical of Dan's abilities and was caught on camera making my, "Get a load of this guy!" face.

Perhaps he was boasting when he claimed he could do it in three minutes?

Lorin took over at this point. She went into the house and got a big long piece of aluminum that she uses for her stained glass projects. She then duct taped a bent up cot hanger to the end. Dan's rear window was pried open a bit, and the new tool was inserted. Is she the best woman in the world, or what? She used DUCT TAPE. I fell in love with her all over again.

The new plan was to use this tool to just hook the door lock and pull it back. The conversation as we attempted this sounded like teenagers trying to have sex for the first time:

"Where is it? I can't see anything. Is it close? It's really hard to tell what I am doing. Higher? Lower? Should I pull on it now? This is awkward. I don't know how long I can keep this up." It was hilarious.

So close!

Eventually we gave up because the hanger was too flexible to pull the lock back. Then someone had the idea to turn the long pole around and just push on the window knob to make it roll down.

It worked! The window rolled down enough to put the tool in and push the window handle further.


And here is the final shot - Dan in front of the clock, just a few minutes over 3...

Thanks for looking.