Thursday, February 19, 2009

Slipping on bad karma

"It could happen to anyone: you dropped your cellphone in the toilet." So begins a little discussion by Paul Boutin in today's NY Times on how to dry out your phone.

Interesting as that is, I found myself sidetracked on the various ramifications. It began with, "No, it couldn't happen to me. I never take my cellphone into the bathroom." But then I realized that it really isn't Wun who drops the phone in the toilet; it is the dog or the three-year-old or the drunk, and it is not necessarily by conscious choice that we have these beings in our house. Anyway, I probably could drop the phone in a puddle or the kitchen sink. So I had to admit, much as I don't like to, something like this could happen to me.

But suppose I actually dropped the phone in the toilet. The instructions are, take out the battery, wipe the phone off, and shove it into a jar of uncooked rice, which will act like silica gel to absorb the remaining moisture. This is all well and good - but let's not forget that the phone was in the toilet. Am I now really going to hold that same phone to my head, an inch from my nose and mouth? I don't think so.

So here I am, back at the Verizon store getting an upgrade, spending money I wanted to use for fun things like the electric bill. What am I going to do with the old phone, the one swarming with dangerous things like the things in your peanut butter cookie? It doesn't seem very nice to give it away without a warning - kind of like fooling someone into adopting the horrible cat that shreds couches.

Maybe I should have swabbed the phone with Listerine or vodka, the way the same article tells me to clean DVD's, but I wouldn't have really believed that was adequate. If it were, surgeons wouldn't spend five minutes washing up and then put on gloves and open the door with their elbow.

No, this phone is permanently contaminated, in my book. I am going to have to render it useless. The best way I can think of is to put it on a post and shoot it. That could be fun. I don't own a gun, but I know someone who does. We could videotape the phone exploding. Should take out the battery first, since it probably contains some substance you don't want to unleash on the world. I know there are places to donate useless batteries. . . .

Is there a point here? I suppose I can come up with one. Okay. It's easier to avoid trouble than it is to clean up afterward. Though I will admit it is more exciting to tell people how you dropped your cellphone in the toilet (Don't ask, you say) and then decided to shoot it and weren't used to handling a gun and dropped it and it shot you in the foot. Ha ha. Or you could just hobble around in your cast and say Don't ask in the first place. A broken foot garners a lot of sympathy, though not enough to make up for the pain and inconvenience.

Now that I think this through, Paul Boutin's solution is better. I just hope people are careful to throw out that rice.


  1. I haven't had such a deep, rollicking laugh in a long time.

    Snowcat Susan

  2. Read this before you ditch that phone.