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Keys are a pain

July 17, 2012 - Art Smith

I have had it.

I’m sick and tired of having to carry around all the crap we need to function in a modern society.

Let's start with my keys. We have three cars in my family, which means I have lots of keys.

Way back in the day when I drove a 1976 Chevy Vega I had a key the same size of a house key. No more.

Today's keys are gigantic. Loaded with electronics, they unlock the car, blow the horn, pop the trunk and even start the car. Just don't get them wet; most are not waterproof. Whatever you do, don't lose them because you will pay dearly to replace them. A friend of mine had a Mercedes and to replace the key for it was $1,000. She sold the car instead.

Even on a basic VW it is close to $200. The Ford we own breaks it into a giant key and a giant fob. So I assume I would have to buy both if they got lost. My Honda has one giant key, which I think is around $100.

That giant collection of plastic and medal weighs me down a bit. In fact it tops the scale at 8.5 ounces. So sometimes I carry a backup key for the car, which means I don't always have my “collection" with me.

That leads me to the other collection I am forced to carry around; Those store loyalty tags that help make high prices a little less high and allow stores to keep track of every item that I purchase. I have around a half dozen of them on my key chain. Home Depot, Lowe’s, Kroger, Giant Eagle, CVS, Speedway, a card that gets me a free Junior Frosty and two library cards. If I leave the "collection" at home, I am out of luck.

There is also USB drive on my key chain, and yes a couple of standard metal keys that go into old-fashioned key holes and unlock old fashion doors.

Ugh, enough already. I really don't care if stores track what I buy, but can’t everyone get together and have one card? Websites do it by allowing people to login with their Facebook accounts. Stores could do it by adopting a standard card. They could still track what I buy, I just wouldn’t have to carry their logo around with me.

Car companies need to get their acts together too. Keys need to be cheaper and smaller, just like the cars, and they need to be waterproof.

Libraries need to get together as well. I have three different library cards, but sometimes that isn’t even enough. I walked into the Washington County Public Library the other day to pick up a book for my daughter. I had her email her card number so I could pick up the book she had put on hold. No deal, I was told by the person at the desk that I must have the card to check out the book. “If you didn't need the card, we wouldn’t issue cards,” I was told.

I think I will buy a tent and a bike and move to the wilderness, because neither one would require a key or a card. Then again, I doubt I could get the Internet very well from the woods.


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