perhaps caused by recent shifts in power, or the loud whooshing sound of defense secretaries resigning, dunno...but one thing I do know is that one minute I pulled up to the gas pump, turned off the engine, thinking I'd just keep listening to the song on my iPod playing through the stereo while I pumped the gas, and the next minute I was standing outside my locked truck.
Not just any gas pump, but the Texaco Food Mart on Grand Ave & 3rd in Oroville. Where I was treated kindly and granted use of the store phone after one of the last remaining payphones in the western U.S. ate my $0.50 (cellphone in the truck), where I was on hold with Better World roadside assistance for 10 minutes while the lady tried to figure out whether Oroville, CA was actually a town with paved roads as well as tow trucks, where about 20 minutes later the tow truck guy came and I confessed my sordid history in the sentence "Last time this happened the guy had to use one of those inflatable things to pry the door open." He replied, "Really? Didn't he have a magic such-and-such?" (or maybe it was a "wonder tool") holding up a benign looking variation on a slim jim, and I said, "well, I guess not," though it looked identical to whatever the guy had tried to use 6 months ago when we were at Donner Memorial State Park. I guess in Oroville they really know how to handle a slim jim or whatever this particular tool was called. I only wish that when you call, say every 6 months or so, for roadside assistance to get you back into your vehicle, they could drive something slightly more discrete than a bright yellow flatbed tow truck with flashing orange lights to help you.