Don't cross the Ridgeline. Or at least carry a spare set of keys.
Sunday was the last full day Automobile Magazine's 4seasons Honda Ridgeline would be Automobile Magazine's 4seasons Honda Ridgeline; Monday morning I was to drop it off at the airport, from whence it would be picked up by Honda's press fleet agency and then the chunky, steel gray pickup would soon become Someone Else's Honda Ridgeline, probably after a brief turn on the wholesale auction block and a stint in some dealer's used car row. Perhaps that prospect troubled the square-eyed truck. I don't often think that cars have feelings, but how else to explain the Ridgeline's obstinate behavior?
I'd gone out Sunday morning to get bagels and the paper. I unlocked the truck and started it up. I gave the windshield a nice long squirt of washer fluid and ran the front windows down and up. The lazy man attempts to get the ice off the windows were, predictably, fruitless, so I grabbed the scraper and got out to chip and scratch and scrape the ice off. After successfully wielding the scraper, I yanked up on the wet, frozen door handle and-nothing. Tried again and-nothing. Tried the back door and-yeah. Nothing. I stood locked out of the idling truck while a great cloud of exhaust vapor wafted up in my driveway and drifted down the mercifully empty sidewalk.
Minutes later, I again was glad that my street was empty, as I backed my wife's car out of the garage, onto the lawn, and around the idling Ridgeline. Fortified with an everything bagel, I searched the internet in vain for Honda's Roadside Assistance phone number. Directory assistance was, predictably, no help either. Although roadside assistance is no longer a novel concept, some auto makers still don't provided it. Honda, for instance. So a quick trip to the Yellow Pages brought Stu, from Pop-A-Lock, to my driveway. And after about five minutes working with a slender wooden wedge and a sort-of J-shaped metal rod, he was able to unlock the Ridgeline, for the bargain price of $39.99 (credit cards accepted).
On Monday the Ridgeline went away as scheduled, but the eventual new owner might be advised: don't cross the Ridgeline. Or at least carry a spare set of keys.