When Digging Through Garbage Pays Off

It started out like any other Monday.  Well, not really.  I mean, the sun came up, I had my “Max 10” list of intended accomplishments for the day, but . . . I awoke in the home of my ex-wife and her husband.  Odd?  Maybe, but there’s an explanation.  Amy and Tom went to Cancun for the weekend.  My daughter shares her time between her Mom and I, so when her Mom and step-dad leave town on “my” weekend, I stay with my daughter at their house.  That way the cats get fed without having to rely on the kid who lives next store and the barn where my daughter rides is right down the street.

You see?  Not so odd.  Sure most ex-wives and husbands are in eternal battle, but we aren’t.  We love each other, created an amazing kid, and realized we weren’t meant to be together, in that way, for life.  We divorced but stayed very connected and while that may be rare, I believe that’s the way it should be.

So, I awoke in Amy and Tom’s home, but on the tail end of Spring Break was a “teacher’s workday.”  That meant my daughter had the day off and we would have fun, swimming, or beaching, or . . . going to a movie.  I arranged my day so I’d be free to conduct my Added Bonus Week #12 of ALIVE Across America webinar at 7 PM.

At 2:10, we walked into the Wellington 8 Theater and braced ourselves in Theater #8 for 90 minutes of the Sponge Bob Movie (you may not be a Sponge Bob fan, but I must admit, both Sponge Bob and Patrick are really good actors).  We left the theater, went back to the car . . . and that’s when the simple plan for the day unraveled.  I didn’t have my car key.  It’s a key fob that opens the door electronically, and it was nowhere on my being (isn’t it weird how we keep looking in the same place hoping it’ll magically appear?  I checked my right pants pocket at least 50 times).  We went back to the theater but they had already swept the floor.  No key was found.

I concluded that I left the key in the house.  It has quite a range and I’ve been able to start the car with the key in the house in the past (not a good thing but a reality).  I didn’t want my daughter to see me upset, so we laughed, went across the street to Tijuana Flats, just beat the rain storm, and ordered Burritos (cheat day).  I broke out my Uber app and within 12 minutes Charles showed up in a black Dodge Charger to drive us back to the house to get the key.  It should have been simple.  Charles drops us at the house, I get my key, and later in the day someone simply drives me back to my car.  At 7 PM I hang out with my ALIVE Across America group sharing insights for Week #12, and all is well with the world.

Here’s the kicker.  The key wasn’t in the house!  Now what?  I called my friend Gabe who works at Fort Lauderdale BMW (call him if you’re looking for a new car) and asked him what I could do.  I could summarize his kind, caring, but helpless response as, “Phil, you’re f*cked.”

I called the BMW service center.  A very nice empathetic lady answered.  She understood the dilemma, clearly this wasn’t the first time she heard of such a challenge, but she sort of echoed Gabe’s response.

“Here’s what you have to do.  Bring your registration and license to Braman BMW so they know you’re really the owner of the car, and order a key.  They can rush it to you and you can have it by Thursday afternoon.”

“Whaaaaaaaat?”  That wasn’t going to work.  Plus . . . my registration was locked in the car, with my house keys!

“OK, Phil, then you have to go to the Department of Motor Vehicles, get a copy of your registration, then go to Braman . . . “

I was pretty sure I did NOT have a spare key, but something said “go to your house and check,” so I left Brooke with Zach, the kid across the street who has very responsible parents, and drove my ex-wife’s car to my house.  Now remember, my keys were in the car, so I had to ring my neighbor’s bell to get a key (thankfully I gave them a key in the event of a situation precisely like this).  My neighbor, although very sweet, wasn’t happy because the doorbell woke her 4 year old son who is sick with a fever.  Ugh.

I thanked her, apologized, went into my home, and I turned the house upside down.  I found myself looking in ridiculous places and finally had to come to terms with the facts.  No spare key.  It was now about 6 PM.  I had to get back to my daughter before my ex-wife got home, and I was all set up for the webinar in their house.

I sat and thought.

I was going to have to tow my car, rent a car, go to Motor Vehicles, and on and on and on.  It’s amazing how far-reaching losing the key proved to be.  I called my friend Jessica and asked her if she could start the webinar for me, just by opening up the virtual room and welcoming people as they arrived.  Jessica said, “if it were me, I’d get some industrial gloves that come up past my elbows and dig through the garbage in the movie theater.”

“Jess, that’s crazy.”

“Well, that’s what I would do.”

I thought it through.  The only place it could be was swept up in the mess of popcorn and sticky candy and soda that fills a movie theater floor.  I called the movie theater and spoke to Tyler.  Nice kid, but not prepared for this call.

“Tyler, I’m going to Home Depot, getting industrial gloves, and coming there to dig through your trash because someone swept up my car key in Theater #8 after the 2:10 Sponge Bob movie.”

I can’t let you do that.  I’ll have to get my manager.

“Get your manager.”

“Hello, how can I help you?”

“I’m on my way to Home Depot to get industrial gloves and then I’m coming to find my keys in one of your trash bags.”

He clearly thought I was crazy, but at this point I was determined.

My phone chirped.  A text.  Amy had landed.  “We’re on the ground.”

Yikes, Amy coming home, my daughter with a friend, my key in the trash, the need to call a tow truck and rent a car . . . . and a 7 PM webinar?  Something had to give.

On the way to Home Depot I called Jessica again.  “As much as I hate to do it, please let the ALIVErs know, I have to cancel tonight’s webinar.  They can continue with the Week #11 routine (there are only  a few slight options I was going to present for Week #12). “

As Jessica sat at her computer, my phone chirped again.  Another text.

“Getting on the Turnpike, be home soon.”

It was 6:50 PM, I was in the Home Depot parking lot, and my cell phone rang with a 561 number I didn’t recognize.


“Mr. Kaplan, I had my janitor go through the trash and he found your key!”

I screamed.  I didn’t have to get my car towed.  Didn’t have to go to the Department of Motor Vehicles.  Didn’t have to pay $400 plus rush charges for a replacement key.  Didn’t have to go to Braman and order a key that would arrive on Thursday.  What a relief.  What I did, however, was cancel the webinar, and I hate that.

I will add one more session next week and urge everyone in the program to simply repeat Week #11.  Next week I’ll be in L.A., and will in a very relaxed manner, begin the webinar at 7 PM Eastern, 4:00 my time.

I counted.  I have done well over 750 seminar appearances, well over 450 webinars, and until yesterday had only had to cancel four times.  I wish I could say I never had to cancel.  I know this was a lame excuse, but in the moment, I felt stuck, and . . . I needed to get home before Amy arrived to find an empty house.

I got my key, zipped back to Amy’s house, grabbed my daughter from the neighbor, and as Amy and Tom came in all tanned and tired, all was in fact well in the world.  Except . . . I missed the webinar.  Did I say I hate that?  I do.  What makes it even worse is, two weeks ago my Dad, who’s in a wheelchair after a bad fall, needed some additional assistance in getting to my daughter’s birthday party and that chain of events led to another uncharacteristic webinar cancellation.

So here’s my promise.  Since I’ve only cancelled, now 5, out of over 1200 seminars / webinars, I feel safe saying, it won’t happen again for quite some time (never say never).  I apologize to the members of the group and thank all of you for your understanding.  It wasn’t an emergency as much as a chain of events that threw a wrinkle into my well-planned day.

Next Monday, at 7 PM Eastern, I’ll present, live, interactively, what will now be Week #13.

The next ALIVE Across America program begins April 6 and I invite all of the current participants to come on through it again.

I’m also conducting my 75-minute Better and Better webinar on Tuesday, March 31, and you can register now at http://yourhealthbeginsnow.com/75minutes

If you haven’t yet gone through ALIVE, register for the webinar.  Also, invite anyone you know who’s struggling with declining health, weight loss resistance, or a body that isn’t as it should be.

Is there a moral here?  I’m not sure.  I am glad Jessica prompted me to consider Digging Through Trash.  I’m thankful, once I had the willingness, I didn’t have to do it, but had I not considered getting into the muck, I’d likely be at the Department of Motor Vehicles right now.

All in all, I’m thankful and appreciate the forgiving nature of those who find positive physical change with the ALIVE program!

One thought on “When Digging Through Garbage Pays Off

  1. Hey Phil,
    Rob here from MicroFit and, as you know, I read all of your posts. At 70, I could really relate to your “key” dilemma and the way that you characteristically handled your cancellation: like the real Pro that you are! BTW, I will be in the Fort Lauderdale area April 18-21 for another install at Florida International University. Any chance we can hook up on April 19th or morning of April 21st before I head out to D.C.? We have some serious catching up to do!
    Regards, Rob@microfit.com (m) 650-208-22224

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