There's a kind of humor where something happens "off stage" and the audience laughs at the image brought to mind. I come from a family of key-losers in which "have you seen my keys?" is a familiar and pitiful cry for help. But it is always "keys" (in the plural). Because Mr.Shuldig is looking for a "key" (singular ) would the reader understand that he's looking for the key to wind up his off screen windup car? Did you?