You may have seen me using unconventional methods to deliver this newspaper the last few weeks.

About a month-and-a-half ago, I achieved a superhuman feat most comic-book raised males dream of before they even think of girls — I snapped metal in two.

Unfortunately, the piece of metal in question was the ignition part of my key fob for my vehicle, setting me on a rather bizarre quest to bring my relatively new vehicle back into regular service that could only happen in the North.

My bosses put me in touch with Yellowknife Motors, where the representative suggests I find a way to cope with the situation until winter, at which point I can drive my vehicle all the way to Yellowknife to get the new fob programmed for remote start, power locks and the alarm.

When I point out that driving to Yellowknife would require me to cross four separate borders and cover several thousand kilometres, he says I could just use the ice road. After a few confusing minutes of questioning, I finally realize he’s referring to the winter road between Wrigley and Fort Good Hope. I explain to him that that road does not go farther north than Fort Good Hope — nor did it ever, according to people who have lived here far longer than me — and we conclude the plan is not feasible, so plan ‘B’ is to find someone in town to program the fob locally.

After a bit of searching, I located someone who can do the job and order the replacement key. Defying the normal expectation of shipping to region, the fob arrives on time.

But in the interim, I managed to make my problem worse. Ironically, I was having a really good day and was far too enthusiastic in removing the broken key from the ignition, which picked up on my energy and fell between my seat and my gear shift.

Reaching down, I first had the small metal band secured between my middle finger and index fingernail. But the friction isn’t strong enough to secure it and the key falls farther onto the floor.

As it turns out, between the railing your power seating tracks over and the bottom of the vehicle cabin is a very tiny hole, far too small to be seen by human eyes or to access without removing the entire seat — but the perfect size for a recently detached key. All it took was one blind brush from my finger and the key was lost forever in the frame of my vehicle.

I suppose my ability to hit highly precise points without trying will serve me well if I’m ever in Star Wars or Top Gun, but under these circumstances this was not a very effective superpower either.

Naturally, to cut the new key you need the old one as a facsimile. So I was left with two useless fobs and a great big boat anchor of a car.

This melodrama’s latest act is again reaching out to Yellowknife Motors, who are able to cut a new key using my vehicle identification number and registration. Of course, they have to order it from Edmonton.

In theory, this should be the conclusion, but time will tell if I manage to use my superpower to make things worse.

Eric Bowling

Your source for all things happening in the Beaufort Delta. Eric jumped at the chance to write for the Inuvik Drum after cutting his teeth in Alberta. He enjoys long walks, loud music and strong coffee....

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