You know how 60 minutes runs those awful stories about babies and children being locked inside a hot car?
You know how Oprah interviewed that poor woman who accidentally left her baby in the car and only had the realisation at lunch time?
And you know that meat video?
Matt Moran illustrates how a car in the sun quickly becomes an oven.
Last Friday, I was that meat.
It was the Christmas party for a school where I worked for most of this year. I worked with my mum, which probably indicates some kind of attachment issues. It’s a Catholic school so we were to first attend a Mass and then go to another venue for lunch.
I slept in, because, I always sleep in. And probably also because I was subconsciously trying to get out of Mass, but that’s another story.
I was running late, so once we got to the school in Western Sydney (which is approximately 15 degrees hotter than anywhere else in Sydney at any given time) all the undercover parking was taken.
As a result we had to park on an asphalt basketball court right in the middle of the playground. At this point, it was nearing 30 degrees.
I still had some mascara to apply so mum jumped out of the car because she was so excited about Mass, and I told her I’d be 30 seconds behind her. Or so I thought.
Instinctively mum clicked the ‘lock’ button on the keys as she walked away. Ordinarily this wouldn’t be an issue.
I spent a minute putting on some mascara, and then as sweat trickled down my back, realised it was time to beat the heat and get out of the car. I attempted to open the door. It was locked. I attempted to unlock it. But it was jammed.
I should disclose that I am extremely claustrophobic and also susceptible to the odd panic attack, two qualities that make it an uncomfortable experience to be locked in a hot car.
I took a deep breath and tried to relax. I tried the driver’s seat door and then the passenger seat doors. All the locks were jammed.
My phone also happened to be out of battery. There were cars on either side of me, and I had virtually no visibility to the street.
I am 25 years old and my mother had just locked me in a car.
My first thought was obviously: “I am going to die in a car. What an unheroic, pathetic death.” I actually thought that. Then I wondered how one actually dies in a car. Will I suffocate? Burn to death? Will my skin melt off? Will I cook just like the meat?