?`s and ANNEswers

Ten minutes to write. Less time to read.


Forgetting your membership card for the local health club isn’t a problem; the person at the front desk can look up your name and photo and see that it’s you.

But obtaining a key for a locker is another story. It’s not because the lockers are so valuable; it’s because members tend to not return their keys when they’re finished working out. So the front desk asks for collateral, usually one’s own car keys.

The system works well, except when I ride with someone else and leave my purse in her parked car rather than bring it in.  So what do I have that’s valuable enough to get a locker key? Something I would never dream of leaving behind?

“The only thing I have is my lip balm,” I told the desk clerk. “And I assure you, I’m addicted to that. I’ll trade you one Chapstick® for one key.”

The desk clerk smiled and launched into her own story of lip balm and what it means to her. The other clerk chimed in too. And the key to locker 130 was mine. You never know how connections and collateral will come together.

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