The Mass Key
by Will Bailey
Where are my keys? Yes, I realize I am holding them in my hand, but they seem to embedded in a twisted mass of chains, discount cards, toys, whistles and something that resembles a flotation device. It’s a good thing I’m not being chased by an assailant, or worse, a dinosaur, and have to struggle to unlock my car door while dramatic music builds to a fever pitch, because I’d be a total goner. The weird thing is that I don’t remember adding all these accessories to my key chain. They just sort of…accumulated. Do key chains possess some sort of magnetic power that attracts small, mostly useless objects? Of course, the advantage of having a set of keys the size of a softball is that they are easier to locate. But is that worth feeling like the Head Janitor of Folsom Prison every time you need to unlock a door? Maybe we need to rethink our locking methods entirely. Instead of keys and key holes, why not key flutes that unlock doors and windows when you play the right tune? Is anybody working on this? You could wear the flute around your neck as a fashion accessory, which is not much of a lifestyle adjustment if you already fancy yourself a woodsman or woodswoman. The only snafu is that playing your key flute at parties might inadvertently unlock other peoples’ doors. This could be especially problematic for households with only one bathroom, as you could be entertaining guests in the living room with a lively rendition of Greensleeves and accidentally unlock the bathroom door as someone is just settling in. But I guess we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.