Keys, the unassuming pain in my ass ... er, thigh
This is an inauspicious start. I'm writing about keys. But keys are annoying, and if you're a journalist on the go with limited pocket space and a bunch of things that lock, they can be a real pain in the ass. So here goes. Let's talk about keys. My hideous snarl jabs my thighs like a randy pocket hydra and leaves me with one less usable pocket, to boot. Since I ride a motorcycle, I get to hear the world's most cacophonous wind chime every time I hit the road. There has to be a better way. Some web sleuthing turned up a few solutions.
Here's an elegant one from a company called Keyport.
The keyport is clever, but it didn't make my heart sing. If you're willing to do some light metal work, you can make a similar device yourself by following this Instructable.
I didn't want a big hunk of metal flapping around on my motorcycle. It would have been easy enough to coat this in rubber or use a plastic body, but I decided to see what else was out there.
Turns out the 'key storage' space is still pretty wide open for you entrepreneurial types. But this horsehide keyholder from Hickoree's did catch my eye.
I liked the design a lot, though I wasn't ready to part with $49 for a keychain (half a bottle of red wine later and I would have pulled the trigger; life's all about timing). I was also a little concerned about capacity. I have a clunky motorcycle key wrapped in plastic, plus some irregular lock keys, so my solution needs to be flexible.
But the leather pouch got me thinking. What about a key wallet? Do those exist? A quick Etsy search turned up this beauty on offer from ANewDayVintage.
It was $29 and I was well into my bottle, so I pressed BUY. Endorphins rushed to my brain. Online shopping is like mainlining capitalism.
The pouch arrived quickly and in great condition. Since my beloved 1997 4Runner (stick shift w/150K miles, love it, ready for 150K more) has a goofy remote dongle, I cut a slit in the pouch and threaded some ribbon through.
The metal loops that hold the keys look like hooked nails. They're held in place by a spring-loaded captive locking mechanism that allows them to spin freely.
There are two rows that hold six keys each. The bottom row is concealed under a leather flap. I'm only using the top row, since my keys are bulky, so I didn't gain much space over the Hickoree's model.
I ended up axing my bulky motorcycle lock keys from the mix. They're too big and they're better stored in my riding jacket, which hardly ever leaves my side when I'm commuting. Removing those keys would have lightened my previous setup, but this pouch makes things considerably cleaner. The keys slide easily into my pocket with no pokes or prods. There's no jingling when I ride, and the key pouch adds a touch of class to the journomobile, no?