Saturday, April 4, 2015

Tell Me, Doctor, Where Are We Going This Time?

Take me away,
I don't mind.
You better promise me
I'll be back in time...
-Huey Lewis and the News

I may in fact know less about science and technology than any adult in the English-speaking world, alive or dead.  But that does not mean that I am unafraid to try new things.  To, if you will, experiment. 

On Tuesday evening, mere minutes before I was intending on shuffling off like the Buffalo that I am towards the homestead, I popped on into the men's bathroom.  As I tend to do, I was carrying my cell phone, my trusty, old Samsung S III, in the back right pocket of my pants.  Upon entering the bathroom, I removed it from my pocket to confirm that the volume was down on the phone so that it would not ring while I was in the bathroom.  On the list of things I hate very much is the sound of a cell phone - anyone's - ringing in a public (or even quasi-public) place.  Thus, among the countless behavioral tics that Suzanne assures me place me comfortably somewhere on "the Spectrum" is the incessant checking and rechecking to make sure that my phone's volume is turned all of the way down and it is set to vibrate.  It is reflexive, almost unconscious behavior.  

It is also something that I have done far too many times to count with absolutely zero drama.  Until Tuesday evening.  As I extracted my phone from my pocket, I launched it at the urinal.  This phone has served me faithfully for two-plus years.  As phones go, it is excellent.  As submersibles go, my experiment conclusively demonstrated that it is considerably less so.  At least the water into which it plunged was crystal clean - as well as really, really cold. 

I immediately retrieved it from Davy Jones's Locker and dried it off.  It did not even flicker or flinch. It remained powered up and continued to work. I put some Purell on a paper towel or two and disinfected it - just to be thorough.  I went to sleep Tuesday night secure in the knowledge that the bullet I had fired at myself was one that I had somehow managed to dodge.  

Not so much. 

Wednesday I noticed that while it still worked, I could not re-charge it.  Neither the car adapter nor the adapter I have in my office had any positive effect on it whatsoever.  Throughout the course of the day it simply continued to chew through its battery life.  Upon arriving home from work on Wednesday night, acting upon the advice of the most tech-savvy person at the Firm, I made my first-ever bag of Rice-a-Phoni in an admittedly belated effort to draw some of the moisture out of the phone and its battery.  

So, for the past few days I have been living life in the WABAC Machine, to an era in which when I was in my car I was out of touch with the rest of the world and in which if you want to talk to me, it turns out I am not necessarily easily found.   Clearly, the demands of my profession are such that I need to be able to communicate with people remotely so, presuming that my phone's visit to the Uncle Ben's Emergency Medical Center proves unsuccessful, I shall have to break down and buy a new one.  I would be lying, however, if I said that I have not enjoyed these past couple of days and the feeling of being just a bit more disconnected from the grid than the people all around me.

I fell off of the grid during the same week that Chris Mullin returned to his Alma mater.  Suddenly, it was as if quite a few things that were old were new again.

The thought of it, as I write this, makes me smile...  

...and somewhere, someplace, Warren Zevon is smiling too.  

-AK 

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