Shaking the Money Tree

By: T F Stern
T F Stern’s Rantings

A call from a Ford/Lincoln/Mercury dealership came in the other day to make keys for a 1998 Mercury Mountaineer. Their service department was no longer able to access the key code, it having been dumped, so they needed a locksmith. You have to wonder why the folks who manage their database consider it needful to purge valuable information, such as key codes for older vehicles, as if modern computers couldn’t handle the extra information.

I could understand if this were twenty years ago when computer hard drives had limited storage; but the space taken up by one year’s worth of vehicle information couldn’t justify throwing it away, could it? Don’t get me wrong; I make quite a few calls to car dealership service departments to make keys for vehicles they could easily have done had the database supplied them with a key code.

On the way to the call I phoned my mom, a regular conversation to let her know how things are going, what’s on the list today or the weather. I mentioned how the service department was handcuffed by a database which had tossed key codes in the trash. She started reciting lines from an old fairy tale by the brothers Grimm.

“Rustle and shake yourself, dear tree,
And silver and gold throw down to me!”

I pulled off into a parking lot to jot the lines down, not wishing to drive and play secretary at the same time. I knew if I didn’t put it down in writing I’d forget; morsels too good not to share.

I found a website dedicated to the study of fairy tales, an explanation of how childhood verses weave intricate memories, memories which explain imagination, emotions and the world around us in terms more suitable for young minds. I spent half the afternoon enjoying images created by random verses, short tales I’d heard many years ago, rhyming couplets and poems; each painted a memory of my youth. It would have been a shame not to include this as part of my locksmith experience.

“Jacob (1785-1863) and William (1786-1859) Grimm, both fine scholars, incapable of any but good work, did not undertake to put the tale into literary form suited to children. They were interested in preserving folk-lore records for scientific purposes. And we must distinguish between the tale as a means of reflecting the ideals of social and religious life, of displaying all the genius of primitive man for science to interpret, and the tale as a means of pleasing and educating the child…”

Now for the translation of the brothers Grimm couplet:

“Big car manufacturers toss out your stuff
May it fall down to me, I can never get enough”

This article has been cross-posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government & The American Constitution.”

This will also appear as a feature article on Fiercely Independent Locksmiths of America’s website.