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Monday, March 21, 2005

hmmm...that's a new idea

I found this while looking for something else, as is often the case:

Baby swallows hard and gets behind the wheel to drive Mum home
By David Derbyshire in London, December 4 2002

A mother who was stranded when her teething baby ate a vital part of the car key managed to start the engine by pressing the child to the steering wheel.
One-year-old Oscar Webster swallowed a pill-sized radio transponder - a coded electronic chip security device - while playing with her keys in the back of the car.

His mother, Amanda, 34, thought her car had broken down, so she called the motoring organisation, the RAC.
When patrolman Keith Scott turned up to help in the west London street, he thought that the battery was flat. "Then I noticed that part of the key was missing. So we looked around the car. Oscar's mother had let him play with the keys ...
"All of a sudden it dawned on me. Mrs Webster told me that he had been sucking the key and we realised he might have swallowed part of it."

Assuming that the transponder would still operate, Mr Scott suggested placing Oscar close to the steering column as his mother inserted the key. "She sat him on her lap and made sure that his tummy was pressed up against the wheel. She turned the key and the car started."

Transponders were first inserted in car keys in the mid-1990s. Usually the device is hidden in the plastic handle. But in some models it takes the form of a cylinder under a detachable cap.
Oscar was none the worse for the experience and, when nature took its course, the chip was recovered still in working order.

Mr Scott, 37, a patrolman for six years, said: "This was the oddest breakdown I have been to. I don't know how I came up with the idea.
"Oscar was still playing with the keys when I got there and seemed to think it was funny. I guess this was the ultimate in car security."

The Telegraph, London

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