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Have you ever dodged a bullet?  Maybe not.  How about coming this close to doing something so ridiculously stupid that you'd kick yourself for months?  That's what happened when I almost accidentally threw away my keys yesterday.

Too Many Changes In Routine

Getting ready and leaving for work is a pretty standard process.  I generally leave around the same time, have the same things, and can be fairly predictable.  Yesterday, there were a bunch of differences in my routine.

  • I had a loaner car. My truck was kept overnight so the dealer could complete a repair that they couldn't get done in a day.  As such, I had my keys plus a set of keys for the loaner truck.
  • I was carrying out some recycling.  Yesterday was garbage day.  The cans were at the curb but I had a couple of things to add to the bucket for pick up.
  • I had more stuff than normal to carry.  Usually I just have my lunch to bring out.  I'd brought home my work laptop, so I was carrying that out, in addition to also adding the recycling.
  • I left a bit earlier.  I woke up early so I ended up leaving around 15 minutes earlier than normal.

When I walked out, I was confused at first why the truck wouldn't unlock.  It turned out that I was trying to use my clicker, and not the clicker for the rental car.

Spotting My Lucky Pennies

When I pulled up to work, I pulled into my normal spot.  As I was looking out the side window, I saw a penny lying on the ground.  I figured maybe it was my lucky day.

I got out and picked it up.  It became an even luckier day when I spotted a second penny just a couple of feet away.  Double bonus!

Oh No! I Might Have Accidentally Threw Away My Keys!

When I got into work, I emptied out my pockets.  I don't like carrying a lot of stuff in my pockets so I always put my keys and wallet in my desk drawer.  When I did that, I instantly noticed that I only had the keys to the rental truck.

Uh oh.

I checked my pockets again.  Nope.  I checked inside my lunch bag in case they'd slipped in there.  No dice.  I went back out to the truck and looked around.  I figured maybe they were in the console or on the seat.  Neither one.  I made sure they hadn't slipped between the seat and console or onto the floor.  No.  They were nowhere to be found.

At this point, I figured maybe I'd either gone back into the house and set them down, or that they'd fallen out of my hands and were laying on the driveway.  I was pretty sure they weren't in the house, because I didn't remember going back in, plus I wouldn't want to be without a housekey.  Still, I knew I'd done enough things differently that it was possible.

I called my wife, who I knew was still home and awake.  I asked her to go check for my keys downstairs.  They weren't there.  I then asked her to go outside and take a look in the driveway.  They weren't there either.

At this point, I started to get a little worried. Then, it hit me.

The recycling.  I told her to go look in the recycling bin.

Sure enough, they were right there sitting in the box that I'd placed on top.

Counting My Lucky Pennies

I couldn't imagine the hassle and cost involved had I not realized where they were.  If I had accidentally threw away my keys, I would have really had a bad, bad day!  The thing was is that it was that failed attempt at unlocking the car that imprinted in my mind that I'd brought them out of the house.  Without having done that, I probably would have just assumed that I'd forgotten to grab them.

Thank goodness for those lucky pennies.  It really did turn out to be my lucky day!

Readers, have you ever almost thrown something away accidentally?  Or did you actually throw it away and not realize it in time?  Let me know your experiences in the comments below.