Now, the single-bay roll-up door to my two-car-wide garage is on the right side, so when I need to change wheels, I pull the car in and angle it left so there's room on the right side. I begin jacking up the right rear of the car (and you do the right side first because the car will slide slightly when you jack up one side; if it's close to a wall, you want to jack up that side first because if you do the other side first it may get too close to the wall).
And then I remembered: Because the Fit has alloy wheels that are an incredible theft target (and I've never understood why; they're only 15x6, but apparently they can be used on a ton of cars), it has a set of those bloody keyed anti-theft lug nuts. You know the ones -- instead of being hexagonal as the Flying Spaghetti Monster intended, they are cylindrical but have an embossed curved slot on the face, into which fits a key whose outside is hexagonal. You buy them for high-theft wheels, and you use them until the wheels are no longer a target, or they strip when you're trying to change a flat and they've been on there for eight years and the corrosion is stronger than that thin curved embossed slot. Whichever comes second. Then you take them off by hook or by crook and throw them as far as you possibly can, not only hoping never to see them again, but swearing never to use locking lug nuts on any -- any -- car, no matter now pretty the wheels are.
The problem is, if the wheels are a theft target, you can't leave the lug nut key in the car, or at least you shouldn't, or at least if you do, it shouldn't be in an easy place like the glove box. I looked in the glove box, and sure enough, it wasn't there.
Now, at times like this, the mind plays tricks. I remember once being about to walk out the door on vacation for two weeks, looking at the spare set of keys to every car I own hanging in the hallway, and thought "this is dumb. If someone breaks into the house, they can steal every car. Don't leave them there." So I hid them. And I remember thinking "don't be too smart about this; just get them out out of the hallway." I have equal memories of hiding the keys in a pair of socks, above a book on a top shelf, and under a rock in the backyard.
Never found them. Ever.
So, similarly, when the lug nut key wasn't in the glove box, I conjured up images of it under one of the seats, in the spare tire well, wedged behind one of the speaker covers. I checked all of these places. No lug nut key.
I asked Maire Anne if she'd taken it from the glove box. No dice. Ever rational and helpful, she said "maybe it's in the garage." Well, I said, it's unlikely I'd do that, since it needs to be in the car if you get a flat, but I suppose it's not impossible.
So I looked in the obvious places in the garage. With the other lug nuts. With the socket sets. Next to the radio where I put other useful things like trashed Swiss Army Knifes, tire inflation chucks, and White-Out. Nope.
Damn it, all I wanted to do was get the snows on my wife's car, and I'm stopped by these stupid lug nut keys.
Somewhat dejected, I walked over to the beat-up notebook computer in the garage, turned it on, and started to google "Honda lug nut key."
And I looked down, and the key, in its little Honda-logo'd pouch, was right next to my foot, about 2" away from a big pile of junk immediately to the left of the garage door opening.
And then I thought about it.
Because of the situation of having to pull a car in toward the left to deal with the door being near the right wall, and having to jack up the right side of the car first, I always change tires in the following order: right rear, right front, left front, left rear. The lug nut key was 18" away from the left rear tire. It would've been the last tire I did when I took the snows off and put the alloys on this past spring. That would've been the last time I used it, when I had to put the alloy wheels and thus the keyed lug nuts back on. I clearly forgot to put it back in the car, but there it was, right where I'd left it. The fact that it hadn't gotten kicked clear across the garage was nothing short of miraculous.
I love it when the universe makes sense.