You say tomato. I say scrunchie. You say wrist coil key holder. I say whatever, you know what I mean. I used to ride a bike a lot and I used to lock and unlock my bike a lot. A lot a lot. So much so that I suffered from phantom ass pocket U lock syndrome for many months after I turned back into a plain old bike commuter. As a messenger I tried many tricky tricks and strings and things to keep track of my key. After messing around with a bunch of silly contraptions I finally settled on the 89 cent wrist coil and stuck with it. These colorful coils were often available free in a big cookie jar at Perkins Coie reception or they could be purchased at a huge mark-up from a locksmith on Capitol Hill. These coils vary in quality and elasticity. Some would never spring back when the temperature dropped below 40. Some lasted two weeks. Some lasted two months. But the one I had until yesterday lasted over 7 years. Seven fucking years for 89 cents.
It seems silly to trust a cheap ass piece of plastic with the key to your ride. But it works. It worked for me and it still does until it doesn’t. Yesterday when I was drinking a cup of coffee and I heard a clang when some keys hit the floor and I thought somebody chucked their keys at me until I realized they were my keys and my scrunchie broke.
One day yesteryear I was standing in line at the Broadway post office when Art KnR handed me my scrunchie and key. He found it on the ground next to my locked up bike where I dropped it when I took off my gloves. Thanks Art.
Another day in the late 90s I rode up and down Second Avenue retracing all my stops looking for my scrunchie. After about 30 minutes of zigzagging around I reached in my bag and there was my scrunchie still on the right sleeve of the shirt I took off 30 minutes earlier.
The scrunchie lived most of its life in the crook of my right elbow with trips to the wrist to take care of business. It was an essential part of the pat down preparedness check performed each morning and countless times a day. Especially after passing through courthouse security. The pat down covered key elements like U-lock, scrunchie, pen, wallet, phone and to the untrained eye it looked kind of like a third base coach sending signals to the runner on first.
Yesterday my scrunchie broke and now I need a new one.