Today was a great locals' summer day, filled with sunny skies and temperatures in the 70s. Some chose to take advantage of the weather with a trip to do some apple or pumpkin picking. Others hit a local park park to take pictures, hit the trails, and enjoy fun with family. But for one Bayville family Sunday afternoon became a nightmare.

It was quite the site in the parking lot just outside of the Cooper Environmental Center at Cattus Island County Park this afternoon. The parking lot was filled with activity, people coming and going, couples holding hands, others walking their dogs, and families setting off to enjoy 530 acres, 7 miles of trails, and beautiful views of Barnegat Bay. What they may not have noticed was a family of 4, standing by a Honda, with the most awful body language accompanied by colorful language and vocabulary. But, why?

A quick investigation found that the while the father was putting a stroller into the trunk, he had locked the only set of car keys, house keys, and wallet inside a bag that was now locked inside of it. Idiot. The family argued, pointed blame at each other, and often raised their voice. With no way to retrieve, the father called AAA. But, that presented more problems.

The father waited on hold, increasing the family's anxiety. When the operator answered, the family discovered that their membership had never been transferred to their new home and had since expired. And, there was no credit card around since it was still locked in the trunk. Frustrated, the father hung up. What next? Maybe Uber?

A quick tap of the Uber app found that the couple's credit card on file had expired. Clearly, the couple was not an avid ride-share user. With their closest family members 120 miles away, the next thing to do was phone a friend. But, it wasn't quite that easy.

The couple could only think of one friend that lived nearby in Toms River. The father reached out and luckily the friend answered. They discussed a strategy of driving to Bayville, hoping one of the doors were accidentally left unlocked, or one of the windows unlatched. Waiting for his friend, the father paced. Little did he know that it was about to get worse.

After 20 minutes and 2,000 steps, the father's amazing friend arrived to save the day. The father abandoned the mother and 2 small children.  Another 25 minutes later and the father and friend were walking around the perimeter of the house. Front door, locked. Garage door, locked, Laundry room door, locked. Sun room door, locked. It wasn't good. The next step involved a little ingenuity.

The amazing friend took out a set of keys and started popping screens out of the windows in hopes that one of the windows were left unlatched. The friend and the father tried to open every window. One by one they found them all to be latched. Supremely frustrated, the father walked to a neighbor's house. "Any chance you know how to pick a lock?" After 5 minutes of discussion, it was clear that wasn't something he was familiar with. The next idea provided perhaps the most frustrating moment of the day.

The father searched locksmiths and started making calls. A few no answers and a few voice mails came next. Then, an answer! "We don't have a rate card for that zip code and it's a Sunday so we'll have to call a local contractor and get back to you." An automated text arrived letting him know they were working to resolve the problem. The father told the amazing friend to head home, the problem was soon to be solved. But, oh no. It wasn't.

After 30 minutes of pacing, the locksmith company texted back. "We are unable to complete your service. Thank you for your consideration." Thanks. For. Nothing!!!

The family's last chance at getting into their home and car was gone. Frustrated, the father grabbed a hoe from the shed. What he was about to do wasn't going to be easy or inexpensive.

He went to the back door and beat the crap out of the 9-panes of glass, bashing it repeatedly with one end of the hoe. Within moments, the door was destroyed and entry was gained. A wave of relief hit the father. He called the mother, grabbed the set of keys to car 2, and headed to Cattus Island County Park. Within 30-minutes, the family was re-united. Their long-delayed picnic got underway, filled with Uncrustables (pre-made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches). The new door will surely cost hundreds. Its a big price to pay and an important lesson learned for the family. And in case you haven't figured it out yet, I'm the Bayville idiot. Yes, yes I am. Don't be an idiot, always bring a 2nd set of keys.

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