Monday, April 13, 2020

K is for Keys

My husband has worked in development for not-for-profit organizations for a number of years, and as such, he has often used our family to help him with special fundraising events. From the time our kids were little, they were skilled at filling "goody bags" to be given away at charity runs or walks or golf tournaments. I get assigned to registration tables and raffle tables and silent auction tables. We are indentured volunteers.

It was early summer, and my husband had a charity golf tournament scheduled at a local golf course. The kids had filled goody bags the night before, and I was scheduled to help at the registration table the morning of the tournament, followed by driving a cheer cart around the course. 

The only problem with my indentured volunteerism that morning was that both kids were enrolled in a two-week enrichment course at summer school, and they had to be there at 8 a.m. Since golfers start REALLY EARLY in the morning, my husband had been at the course since 5 a.m. to get everything set up, and the kids and I got there at 7:00. They entertained themselves (meaning they got in their dad's way and fought and argued with each other) while I checked off golfers as they came to the registration table. At 7:45, I turned my pen and list over to another volunteer, called to the kids that we needed to leave for summer school, and reached over to grab my car keys from the table next to me where I had left them, and there were no keys.

Panicked, I checked my pockets, looked on the ground, asked the other volunteers, and questioned the kids. No keys.

I had to leave AT THAT MOMENT in order to get the kids to school on time, so I told my husband about the missing keys (let's just say he was none to happy with me, even as I insisted they had been sitting RIGHT NEXT TO ME all morning) and got the keys to his car from him, took the kids to school, then got back right before the shotgun start of the golf tournament. Before the golfers took off for their holes, I announced to them that my keys were missing and would they all please check their golf bags. A few them looked, most of them ignored me, and still no keys.

My cheer cart was loaded with cold drinks and snacks, and I started driving around the course, offering my wares to the golfers and imploring EACH AND EVERY FOURSOME if they would check for my keys. That was over 100 golfers. I knew one of them HAD to have picked up my keys from the registration table, thinking they had their own keys, but every single golfer said they didn't have them (meaning none of them wanted to look). No keys.

The tournament ended with a picnic lunch, and as the golfers ate, the scores were added up so the prizes could be awarded as soon as they finished. As the golfers were filling their plates, my husband stood up in front and made an announcement:

"Someone here has accidentally picked up my wife's keys, and we're not awarding prizes today until someone turns those keys in." 

He really wasn't kidding, and they knew it.

A few minutes later, a gentleman came up to my husband, grinning, and handed him my keys, saying, "I'm not the one who HAD the keys, but the person who DID wishes to remain anonymous and asked me to give them to you." Glory be!

And the moral of the story? No one cared about my keys until it affected them personally.

Do with that information what you will.


  1. Ah darn! You owe me an article about the piano which I was expecting! Ha! Oh well. Just kid'n

    1. Hah! I could tell you about taking keyboarding class in college....

  2. Glad the ransom scenario worked but sad that it had to come to that before they helped find your keys. I love your indentured volunteers term although I suspect you don't mind helping out.Weekends In Maine

  3. That "not me" motivated behavior always makes me sad. It has led to so much misery.

  4. Sad, but glad you got your keys back.

  5. oh my!!! What a story...I'm glad it turned out well. Too bad though that the culprit couldn't pony up and come forward. What is it with people 'not' wanting to be accountable for actions these days?

    1. Right?! Maybe they all thought I was trying to blame someone for me losing my own keys, but I was right and one of them had them!