After yesterday’s unforgettable adventure in Louisiana, I had hoped that my trip to Texas – state #40 in 2014 – would be relatively mundane. Unfortunately, my visit to the Lone Star State proved to be far more eventful than I had hoped.
After my last meeting this afternoon, I drove into Dallas, hoping to photograph the iconic skyline at sunset. I parked on a dirt road near a bunch of abandoned warehouses, and I climbed up a grassy knoll – mind you, not THE grassy knoll – in a suit and tie. When I reached the top of the deceptively large hill, I realized that I brought my wide angle lens, which was of little use given that the city was a couple of miles away.
I scampered down the hill to my car and looked for the appropriate lens. Since I was changing my lens, I figured it could hurt to find a more comfortable change of clothes too – after all, I didn’t want to run back up the hill in my suit. With my camera lens and my jeans in hand, I promptly shut the trunk of the car, eager to climb back up the hill and take my shot. There was just one problem: my keys were now locked in the trunk.
Not sure what to do, I called the rental car company. The woman who answered the phone generously agreed to send someone to unlock the car. What she failed to tell me was that it would take an hour and a half for someone to come rescue me. As I waited, I realized that, not only was I in a bad part of town, but that I was ill-equipped for the long wait ahead of me – though I had two pairs of pants, I only had one shirt and no jacket. Like an urban Survivorman, I stuck my hands through the legs of my jeans, and waited for help.
When the representative from the rental car company finally arrived, I was surprised to learn that he intended to break into the car. That is, his tool of choice was a slim jim, as opposed to the spare key. We eventually opened the car door, only to learn two things: (1) the new Mazda 3 has a very sophisticated anti-theft system, which prevents people from using certain functions (i.e. the electronic trunk release button) without the key and (2) the back row of seats does not fold down, which makes it even more difficult to retrieve keys from the locked trunk.
As we scrambled to solve the puzzle I had created, the car rental guy became very nervous. He kept saying, “What are you doing in this part of Dallas? You shouldn’t be here.” In fact, he became so nervous that he made me call the police. The irony was funny; we were breaking into a car – albeit my rental car – and at the same time, we were calling the police, asking for their help.
Despite our best efforts, we ultimately had to drive back to the rental car facility to find the spare key. By the time we found the key, I had missed my flight back to Chicago, thus requiring that I had to spend another night in Dallas.
Though I missed my flight, I ultimately got a shot from a grassy knoll. Only this time the shot was from THE grassy knoll in downtown Dallas.