Just before dark. Going for a walk in the nature preserve behind Catawba.
The full moon is way bigger than it looks in this iPhone pic.
The streetlights seemed way smaller than they look here.
Without exploring the sequence or kinesiology of the event itself, suffice it to say that I dropped my iPhone in the toilet.
For the record: the water was clean.
Thanks to a superhuman adrenalin rush; (similar to lifting a car in order to save a life) my hand seized it from the bowl in a flash.
I immediately dried it with a towel and hit it hard with the hair dryer. Yet, despite the fact that it was only immersed for a split second, water continued to ooze through its pores.
The iPhone did not work, but it clung to life. It produced a blank white screen. It had a mind of its own. Turning it on or off had no effect. It turned itself on – blank and white for a few seconds – and then turned itself off.
If you were to frantically call Applecare, or the AT&T store, or search Google – all of which I did – you would learn that dropping the iPhone in the toilet is not uncommon. People do it every day.
What is uncommon is that the iPhone survives the trauma and lives to serve another day. Mine did, and the guys at the store were surprised. In fact, they said it was the first non-fatal iToilet story they had heard.
If you talk to anybody who knows anything about dropping cell phones in water, they’ll tell you to take out the battery, immediately, and put the phone in a bowl of rice. With iPhone, you can’t remove the battery – which is why the iRecovery is so rare.
So – I put the phone in a dish and covered it with brown rice (much healthier than white).
Periodically, the iPhone turned itself on and the rice dish produced a soft glow. At first, each time this happened, I seized the phone and took a look. White and blank. The sick device was clearly fighting for it’s life.
After a couple of hours, the normal iPhone screen appeared. I got pretty happy, thinking it had recovered – but it had not. It acted funny, did not respond to my fingered instructions. Would not turn on or off according to my schedule. And there was so sound. No phone. No music.
My iPhone had a rough night. Every few hours, lying there in the dark bedroom, it awoke and stirred, shining a sickly white cloud of light upon the ceiling, filling the room with its feverish, sporadic glow. After a few seconds, it would go back to sleep.
The next morning, it felt better. It began to work. It allowed me to make a few phone calls. Except that it would turn itself on. Every few minutes. On its own schedule. Throughout the day. The next night, it was sick again. It tossed and turned, coughed and slept.
After two days of fits and seizures, it normalized. Now, it’s fine. That was about a month ago. I have four months to go before I’m eligible for an upgrade — if I want to spend a lot more money (which I don’t).
My children have all destroyed cell phones in a variety of ways. Dropping them in the yard, in rain. Losing them in snow. Dropping them on the hardwood floor, repeatedly. My wife’s phone slipped from her pocket into the dishwasher. It came out clean, but never worked again. I’ve never had a lot of patience with this carelessness. I never lost or dropped mine. Now I have.
While waiting at a red light, on the corner of Innes and Mahaley – here in Salisbury, NC – I noticed my odometer was almost all 2’s. Even with the dangling 7 – the outlier – how often does that happen? In any case, I was just sitting there. So I took a picture.
This was October 17, 2008, just a few weeks before that historic election.
So much has changed in 162 days.
I took another picture today. March 28, 2009. The odometer shows 228,750.
I’ve driven 6,523 miles. That’s a bit more than 40 miles per day.
Feels like more.
I made one trip to Columbia, South Carolina. Other than that, all of my driving was in Salisbury, Concord, Mooresville, Kannapolis, or Huntersville.
I got two tickets. Both in Huntersville. I left the car running and delivered Coffee News to a salon. I got in a conversation with the stylist. It’s against the law to leave your keys in the car, much less leave it running. I was also parked on the wrong side of the street. The cop was quite angry. It turns out my insurance had lapsed – sixth months earlier – for a few days. So he took my plate. He felt a lot better after that. I drove 45 minutes back to Salisbury without a license plate. This was an honest mistake that the state has found in its heart – after some paperwork, a temporary tag, and a hearing – to forgive.
What’s the lesson here? Always pay Geico on time. Never park funny and then pause to chat with a hair stylist. Appreciate how remarkable this car is. It needs the exhaust manifold replaced. The AC only works part of the time. But overall it does an amazing job.
My hat is green. It’s wool. Very sturdy. It keeps my head warm in the winter. It keeps my head dry in the rain (like today).
I’ve had this hat for about twenty-five years. The leather band inside is held in by a couple of threads. I sewed these threads some years ago. The originals are long gone.
I had another hat, exactly like this one, that I bought in Austria in 1976. I was with my father and my mother when I bought that hat (my father certainly paid for it). We had a good laugh over that hat. I wore it. In the early ‘80’s, I lost it. Luckily, Tapi — my former exchange student/brother/roommate — was living and working in Austria. One day he called and I asked him to please send me a Tyrolean hat. He did. The feather is long gone (probably the first year).
In our early years together – my hat and me – it was a novelty. Perhaps a fashion statement. I was younger then, more concerned about my image – and did not wear my hat that much.
Once, the school at which I taught celebrated “hat day.“ My hat won high praise from the seventh and eighth graders (kids have always loved my hat). However, I had worn the hat because it was a cold morning. I didn’t know it was “hat day.”
The fashion and novelty wore off years ago. Now, it’s purely a hat. And a damn good one. I have other hats – and I’ve worn them from time to time – including a cap from Britain and a toboggan that proclaims my alma mater (for cold ears on long walks in winter – but only when it’s on the bitter side). Mostly, though, I only wear one hat. This one. It’s the best.