The Death of a Cell Phone
Here’s something that is certain: If you own a cell phone…one day you will drop it in into the lake.
Most likely it will bounce off the dock—two, maybe three times, all in super-slow motion—before plopping into the still, deep waters.
Then you will stare at that spot, where the water ripples, thinking: “Maybe it floats.” But it won’t float, so you will do the best you can with the tools you have: you’ll ask your husband to go after it. “Come on,” you’ll tell him. “Think of it as a search and rescue mission.”
When my wife asked me to go after her phone (hot pink, so we should be able to spot it) she was quick to remind me that I’m a scuba diver, so this should be easy. With my ego stroked, I jumped in and then quickly popped right back up. “Forgot I didn’t have an air tank,” I told her, while spitting water.
I took a couple of deep breaths and dove to the bottom and started poking around, about 8 feet down. The next time I came up, Chonda was on my phone, making a call. “What are you doing?” I asked.
“Calling my phone,” she said. “Maybe it’ll ring and you kind find it. Like those dolphins do with those floating mines.”
I tried twice more and another time above the surface I heard Chonda on the phone, changing her voicemail: “I can’t talk to you right now because I’m at the bottom of the lake!”
While the mud settled, I went after my diver’s mask. It was pretty clear down there, just blurry. With the mask I could see everything—rock, stick, mud, more rocks, more sticks. I needed more air so I was about to turn up when I noticed a flash of pink. I turned and kicked hard, imagining that this is what a bass must do when it’s floating there, watching the mud and sticks when all of a sudden the flash of a RattleTrap slices through the water. He can’t help but attack. I pounced on the pink, my lungs aching for air. I turned up and pushed off the muddy bottom, breaking the surface first with the phone. I wanted Chonda to be cheering by the time my head broke through the water.
When you get your phone back from the bottom of the lake, first you will shake it like a salt shaker. Water will glug out. Then you will blow into all the cracks and seams and around the numbers. Water will spray you in the face. Then you’re going to push the “on” button and put it to your ear to see if you can hear anything. Then your husband, when he’s finished spitting and gasping for air, will say something like, “I’m going to get you one of those trucker chains for Christmas so you can hook it to that phone and not let this happen again.”
If you’re lucky you will just drop yours in the toilet. Messy, but easy to find.
Now I will go Christmas shopping for a trucker’s chain.