I got a call late yesterday, a referral from one of my regular customers, to make a set of keys for a 1985 Buick Regal. The car business has been slow and it would be nice to have a job lined up early. This morning I drove over and gave it a quick look while one of the employees explained how they wanted to make a total restoration from the base layer of paint on up; but first they needed a key.
The seats had been unbolted and formed a heap in the center of what used to be a car, the rest was discarded lumber, drywall material, straw and spider webs. I explained that he should have told me over the phone that I’d be making a key to a dumpster and saved us both a wasted trip, “I don’t make keys to trash cans or dumpsters.”
“What do we do now; we still need a set of keys?” I pointed out where the steering column had been broken by thieves at one time, patched over with a piece of aluminum covering material and the after market quick release steering wheel that had been slightly crumpled in some long forgotten traffic accident from years ago.
I went over their dream of a total restoration and suggested they toss out the damaged steering column in favor of one in better shape from a junk yard, one that would come with a set of keys to the ignition switch and in that way avoid having to make keys. They’d already expressed how the total transformation would include getting rid of door locks and handles; sleek and activated electrically by a remote keypad.
As I got in my truck to drive away I made a final suggestion, one which flew past their ability to digest. “Why don’t you get some gasoline and a box of matches, set it on fire and from the ashes it will be reborn and you can call it a Phoenix.” I know; that was a waste of time; but it seemed like a good fit.