Thursday, March 25, 2010


I don't like keys, and I am pretty sure that the feeling is mutual. While it smacks of Big Brother watching over my shoulder, I would much prefer fingerprint or retina recognition instead of keys, whether the keys be metal, plastic, or electronic.

You see, I've been locked out of my new house not once, but twice over the last two weeks. I was rescued each time by my wonderful neighbor across the street,who jimmied the backdoor lock (great security, no?) and who must wonder how on earth I ever held a job. I now have several "spare" keys hidden in various places in the backyard lest this unfortunate incident happen again. I have also lost the keys to my rental car, which they tell me will cost me $400 to replace. For keys? Yes, for keys, the electronic type that open your car door with the push of a button. Never mind that I actually have a metal key that not only starts the engine but also opens the door and trunk, I have to pay for losing the fancy electronic gadget, unless I can find that gadget in the next 24 hours.

Thirty years ago, when I came to the California Bay Area, my husband at the time and I never locked our doors. I don't think we even owned a key to the front or back door. We might have been a little unusual, even thirty years ago, but those are innocent bygone times. My brother-in-law, who lives in a very nice neighborhood in a suburb of New York City, in Westchester County, has had tools and other items stolen from his yard in broad daylight, including most of the house shutters he was in the process of painting. He should have locked them up in his garage while he went down the street to the hardware store for more paint. It is a sad commentary on our society when you can't turn your back for five minutes lest your shutters disappear.

Unfortunately, there is a need for locks in today's world. That being said, due to my recent and costly habit of losing of keys, I would be happy to use a fingerprint or retinal key system. I am pretty sure I cannot lose my fingers or my eyeballs, but lately, anything seems possible.

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