THE SONIC BOOMER
I dropped my cell phone in the dirt, which is never a good thing.
I didn’t notice any problem with it until I needed to charge it, and then the little charger prong wouldn’t go into the little charger slot — also not a good thing.
The fact that I was holding an online sale and had already published that particular cell number in nine different places was also, you know, not a good thing.
So I called the nearest Apple store, 30 minutes away, and told them my plight. Well, I voiced my plight into a recording, which proudly introduced itself as “able to understand complete sentences.”
I strongly doubted that the recording would understand my complete sentence, riddled as it was with curse words and a foreboding whine of imminent doom, so I tried to keep it short — something along the line of “phone don’t work.”
After six or eight follow-up questions, the recording got down to brass tacks: “What is your Apple ID? It is located on the back of your phone, under Settings, or tattooed onto the back of an African water buffalo 60 miles outside Kenya.”
In my world, knowing or even being able to find my Apple ID on a rapidly fading cell phone is simply not possible. I needed to be connected to a human! This was not on the recording’s mega-list of options.
While able to understand simple sentences, it was not able to understand complex words like “human,” “person,” “technician” or “if you don’t connect me to a person right now, I swear to you I will…”
Eventually, I magically reached a person who, while unsympathetic, was at least able to help me. He gave me another ID number to look up.
“It starts with 05,” he said.
“Mine starts with 01,” I replied.
“No, 05,” he repeated.
I read my 01 number to him and he looked it up. It was there. “Wow! I’ve never had an 01 before!” he exclaimed.
“Congratulations?” I replied.
As it turned out, 01 sort of means my cell phone is very out of date and, therefore, out of warranty.
“There is one appointment left for today at the Apple store near you. Your phone will cost $236 to repair,” he said.
“I have no choice. Sign me up,” I said.
“Can I try to fix it?” my husband asked.
I balked. I remember his childhood story of being disciplined for sticking a pocket comb into the classroom doorknob when the teacher locked herself out. The comb broke off.
This was no time for logic, however. “Sure. Go ahead,” I said.
Five minutes later, the phone was fixed. I called the Apple store to cancel my appointment.