Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The "Mystery" Keys

Let's try a little experiment. Take out your key ring. Count how many keys are on it. Do you know what all of those keys are for? Do you even know what half of those keys are for?

There are eleven keys on my key ring. Of those eleven, I know for sure what three of those keys are. That leaves eight keys that are "mystery" keys. I have no idea what they are for. I have no idea what they go to. I have no idea why I am carrying them with me everywhere I go.

My key ring is not very full, and yet I have no idea what most of the keys on it are for.

Let's break that down. I know what three of my eleven keys are. One key is for my mailbox. One key is for our local church building. (In the Mormon church you get to "volunteer" to do some church jobs. When I was asked to be the secretary for one of the men's groups, I was given a key to the building so I could have access to the computer to do my reports.)

The third key is for my Dad's old pickup truck. When my Dad died nine years ago, he left his old farm pickup truck to his three kids. My brother kept the truck at his house. I had a key and used it two or three times. But, the truck was getting old and expensive to maintain, so my brother sold it several years ago. I still have the key. It is of absolutely no use to me, except as a sentimental keepsake to remember my Dad.

That leaves eight keys that are total mysteries. Well, almost total mysteries. I know that one of those eight keys is the key to my house. I just have no idea which one it is. I never use it. Don't get me wrong, I lock the house all the time. I just never unlock it from the outside. We always enter our house through the garage door, so there's not a need to use the key to unlock the door. So, I honestly don't know which one of the mystery eight keys is the key to my house.

Of my eight mystery keys, five of them look like they are probably house keys. One of those five belongs to my current house. The other four? I don't know. They might be for former houses/apartments where I lived in the past. One of them might be for my brother's house. Or it might be for his old house that he moved from over ten years ago. One of them might be for my friend's house. I honestly don't know.

The three other keys? One looks like an old mailbox key. One is a key to a padlock, though I have no idea what or where that padlock is. And the last one is the broken off key to a tiny suitcase lock which I no longer have. I used to use this little key as a tool to take the plastic wrap off of things I purchased, like music cds and the like, until one day part of it broke off. I don't know why I left it on my key ring.

And yet, I'm hesitant to get rid of my mystery keys. Why? For one thing, if I have a key ring with only four keys on it, I'm afraid I'll feel a little inconsequential. (A person of my age and standing in the community should have more than four things he has command of, right?)

Also, I'm afraid that as soon as I get rid of one of the mystery keys, I'll actually have need for it. Maybe one of those keys goes to my late grandfather's safety deposit box, where his collection of eighteenth century gold coins awaits me! (Not likely.)

Or maybe I just want to be sure I can still break into my brother's house and "borrow" his copy of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan whenever I want.

Whatever the case, it's probably time for me to finally ditch some of those useless keys so that maybe my pants won't sag quite as much.

So, what about you? Do you know what the keys on your key ring are for? I'd be willing to bet that the majority of people aren't sure what can be unlocked by half of the keys on their key ring. Go ahead, pull those keys out and look at them.

And then, let me know, because I'm curious. Go to the comment section here, or on my Slow Joe 40 Facebook page, and tell me how many keys are on your key ring, and how many of those keys you actually know.

I have this sneaky suspicion that most of us are carrying around the "mystery" keys.

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