Friday, May 29, 2009

Death of a Cell Phone

While in Hawaii I ran down to the beach to see a Ilio-holo-i-ka-uaua (that's a Hawaiian monk seal to all you mainlanders). The Hawaiian monk seals are one of the most endangered seals in the world, with less than 2,000 alive today. Anyway, one was hanging out at the beach and I wanted to see it.

The kids were not particularly impressed. Z said -- with the detachment of some delphic oracle -- "It looks dead to me." And she was right that it looked that way. Krista took some pictures in which the seal appears to have expired on the beach, and the yellow tape put up to keep people from harassing the seal makes it look like a crime scene.

It also meant that to get to the other side of the seal you had to wade through the surf to come up on the other side. Since I hadn't planned to run to the beach to see an endangered seal, I had carried my cell phone down with me. But, being a genius I knew to hold it in my hand so I could lift it up and over any waves that might crash upon me.

As I passed around the edge of the crime scene tape I noticed two giant turtles in the surf. Which of course I needed to see more closely. So I walked closer and was amazed. They are incredible creatures. And then, as if in slow motion, a wave gathered strength and slapped me five right in the cell-phone-carrying hand.

NOOOOOOOO! And it immediately shut down. It lost all signs of life. It looked, for all intents and purposes, precisely like a Hawaiian monk seal.

I took out the battery, of course, and dried it out, and kept plugging it in to see if it would work. But no luck. Lights come on, but the screen is just a glowing blankness. It can send and receive phone calls... if it's plugged in. So it's now a land line, I guess. I feel completely crippled having a phone that you just pick up and dial in a number and make a call. One other issue... the phone was on vibrate at the time of the incident, and it won't switch over to audio. So that means that it's like a land line that only jiggles instead of ringing.

I went to the Verizon cell phone people today and the guy asked me "Did you put it in a bowl of ice?"

Ice? What?

"A bowl of rice," he said. To pull the moisture out. Oh. Nope, didn't do that.

So now it's too late. Phone = dead. I'm a year into my contract with no insurance so I can buy a "cheap" phone on a one year contract (cheap meaning only a hundred dollars instead of $150 or whatever the sale is today) or switch over to an old phone.

So I switched back to my original phone. The one I had for four years. The one I dropped in a toilet and it still worked. The one that is so old it doesn't work with Bluetooth.

Which leads me to these questions:

1) Does anyone have an old Verizon compatible phone they're trying to get rid of? Not as old as the one I am using right now, preferably.

2) Anyone out there use some sort of phone resale/buying site? One where I won't get ripped off?

3) Do you think it would be weird for me to stand outside the Verizon wireless store with a sign that said I WILL BUY YOUR OLD PHONE FOR $20 IF IT WORKS!