It was a Sunday morning and I was using my laptop computer and Android smartphone. All of a sudden the smartphone locked up and wouldn’t do a thing, like a cold mackerel. Hmmm.
I tried to take the battery out of the phone. That’s what I used to do in the old days when the phone went haywire—take the battery out and put it back in. To my dismay, I discovered that there was no way to take the phone apart. My chest began to tighten. How was I going to check Facebook posts, Tweets, or read my e-book? I was expecting some phone calls and texts. How were they going to get through?
I had Ginnie call my smartphone from her smartphone. We both have the same model. Maybe, being pals, they could help each other out. (Anthropomorphism?) She told me her call went directly into my voicemail. Dang.
I was panicking. I hate to admit it, but my whole life is tied up in this stupid phone—all my contact numbers, my calendar, my social life. I do have a little-used landline, mainly for faxes and business. A lot of good that was going to do me. How was I going to make and take phone calls from the car, how would I check radar, what was I going to use for an emergency flashlight? This was Sunday, the cell phone store was be closed. Would they be of any help anyway? There was a crack in the glass of my phone. I surmised that the crack had finally done its dirty deed and shut the phone down. The phone would have to be sent in, and that would take, what, a week? How was I going to survive?
With trepidation I went to church with the smartphone in my hip pocket. I missed the silent buzzing and hip tingling it gives me when messages come through. I could hardly pay attention to the sermon as my mind was on that stupid phone.
It was during silent meditation that I felt a phantom buzz and a thought came to me. It seemed like I vaguely remembered my cell phone store had started Sunday hours (for dummkopfs like me). Would it be possible that they would be open and, what’s more important, could they fix the problem?
With bated breath, I drove by the cellphone store after church. They were open! I crawled in on my hands and knees.
“What’s the matter?” the woman behind the counter asked. “Your smartphone lock up?”
“How did you know?” I asked.
“You’re the third person today. You all have that same crazed look, like your life is on the line.”
She took the phone, squeezed it, and it came back to life.
“How did you do that?” I asked.
“It’s called a hard reset. The new smartphones don’t have a battery that you can take out. So the company designed a hard reset.”
“Show me how to do that,” I pleaded.
“Oh, no. We’re not allowed to show the customer how to do a hard reset. If you don’t do it exactly right,” and she emphasized the word ‘exactly,’ “you can wipe out all your data.”
I kissed her feet and walked out. My life was back.
A week later, the phone locked up again. I didn’t panic and returned to the cellphone store. There was a man behind the counter this time. He showed me how to do the hard reset.
“Just don’t choose the ‘factory reset’ option,” he advised.
A couple days later, the phone locked up again. This time, I was able to perform my own hard reset, being careful to avoid the “factory reset.”
I’m still vexed about my whole life being tied up in a stupid phone and my world falling apart when it doesn’t work. Am I worshiping a false idol? Has my phone become God?
Have a good story? Call or text Curt Swarm in Mt. Pleasant at 319-217-0526, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.