“This is to notify you that your Apple Cloud has been compromised. Call this number immediately to resolve the issue.” I do not own any Apple-related products (other than the fruit that never gets eaten), so I continuously delete the soothing computer-generated voice message. As a continuous user of one of the last phone landlines on the plant, I come home to that message on a fairly regular basis. My other guaranteed message is the alert of my delinquent IRS payments. I checked with my accountant and she recommended I wait them out—eventually they will move on to the next landline number. She also recommended I disconnect my landline and join the 21st century in sole use of a mobile device for communication.
I have debated that option for a while and am still hanging on to that monthly $9.99 landline payment. I was just about ready to pull the plug on the wire connection, when the plop, plop, fizz, fizz sound evolved from the guest bathroom. In a rush preparing for a party, I swung around to light a candle (another element I need to eliminate from my life) when my mobile phone sailed from my hand and landed in the commode. Fortunately, it was clean water in the royal flusher; unfortunately, no matter how fast I was at retrieving my brand, new phone, I was not fast enough to prevent the hydration of a significant computer chip in the phone.
Mobile phone CRP varies from android to android. I was not savvy enough to take the phone apart as I assumed it was sealed. Of course, if it was sealed, the water would not be an issue. The little face still lit up, but operations of the screen did not. As my first guest arrived, she immediately dismantled the phone with Grey’s Anatomy emergency speed and then called for a bowl of rice—STAT! In the party planning, rice was not on the menu and if it had been, it would have been cooked on its arrival. She looked at me like I was a monster not to have a bag of rice in my house. I offered coffee or salt, but that was it for uncooked food in my pantry.
As guests arrived, everyone had a suggestion for reviving the phone. The blow dryer was the equivalent of phone mouth-to-mouth. Disassembling every possible phone piece was the surgery equivalent of gallbladder removal. I was not sure how sterilized my guest bathroom needed to be, but I was pretty sure we had reached the guest limit as six people were squeezed in there attempting to save my two-month-old phone. When the landline rang, I felt a wave of relief realizing people could still contact me on the ‘other line’.
We gave the phone overnight to rest and resuscitate. That was just a pipe dream of wasted hope. The poor thing died while I was sleeping. At this point, I became the millennial I assumed I was too old to assimilate. My dead phone departed with all my virtual stuff . . . my photographs, my contacts, my memo notes with details of things I use to be able to remember but got lazy because I could put it on my phone for easy reference. I was nearly erased from current time. I gathered all my pieces and parts and went to my local phone temple to pray for a resurrection.
Just two months before this confessional, I was in the same store purchasing a new phone. Of course, my customer service representative was no longer there. He was promoted to a higher cell tower somewhere over the rainbow. My new guy, Estephan, was helpful. He pieced my parts back together and brought the poor thing back to connectivity. But there was a hiccup, and while there was phone function, it was mostly brain dead. If we acted quickly, he could possibly transfer some of the lost data to a new system. He was thrilled to note I had insurance and just as thrilled to announce my damage was not covered by the insurance. However, I could now purchase a water-resistant device. My current, dead, non-water-resistant device was half the price of his recommendation for a replacement, but as he noted, it would be water resistant. It was also VERY expensive.
I was now in the hostage zone of data ransom. My landline did not cause me this much grief, but it also is very limited in its capabilities of organizing my life. My best justification is in over 40 years of cell phone existence, I have yet to damage, lose or otherwise not have a working cell phone. My luck ran out and it was my turn to even the odds. Here’s to another 40 years of cell phone operations. Yes, I know the times will change and we will be dialling airwaves with our eyeballs, but you can take it to the bank I will still have a landline.