Lame Adventure 445: iPhone, iPear, iForget

Last Thursday, on my way to The Grind I suffered one of the worst feelings in the world. Just as I was walking up West 73rd Street to cross Broadway en route to the 72nd Street subway station, I felt immense dread, if one were to rank worst feelings in this order (your personal preference may vary):

  1. Someone dear dying.
  1. Oneself dying.
  1. Death of a relationship.
  1. Death of one’s livelihood.
  1. Leaving one’s iPhone on one’s writing table: a feeling approaching death.

For a flash I considered dashing home to get my phone. But, due to a plumbing problem in my building, I was already running late. I had cleared out everything in my bathroom so building management could investigate a leak in my shower, not to imply that moving a trash can, a bath mat and a scale requires tremendous effort, but it requires aforethought, something I sorely lack before noon. The reason I had forgotten my iPhone was because my narrow sliver of morning memory, normally reserved to recall taking my phone and wearing my watch, was invested in remembering to strap on the watch and to bring a pear. As soon as I packed the pear into my satchel, my allotment of middle age morning memory was maximized. I raced out the door iPhone-less.

The pear that started my agony.

The pear that started my agony.

Dropping the f-bomb in my head, I decided to forego returning home to get my phone. I crossed the street and entered the subway station. The express train was running with delays so I hopped onto a local where I got a seat. I thought:

Me (thinking): Sweet! I can read The New Yorker!

But I could not read The New Yorker. I download it onto my iPhone and my hard copy of the magazine was at home on my writing table, coincidentally next to my iPhone. In my satchel I only had an umbrella and that pear. The pear had an organic label sticker I could read, but for the duration of a thirteen stop, 4.76 mile subway ride, that story was going to get real old real fast. At West 23rd Street, seven stops into my journey, my local train is delayed. I thought:

Me (thinking): I better text Godsend [my colleague] about this.

But I recalled that I am iPhone-less. I make a mental note to contact my sister and friends not to text me. I don’t want to miss texts from kith and kin.

Recent text from my friend Milton.

Recent text from my friend Milton.

At The Grind, I email the news to my sister, Dovima. She emails me back:

Dovima: Might not be so bad after all. You might actually feel free.

My sister’s philosophical outlook makes me reflect:

Me: Are we related?

The Boss gives me a bubble wrapped package containing two dead light bulbs. These light bulbs are supposed to have a lifetime guarantee. She says:

The Boss: You know what to do about this.

Indeed I do! This has happened to us six times before. I photograph the dead light bulbs with my iPhone and forward the image to our supplier. He sends us replacements. That doesn’t get done that day.

I have to call building management to tell them about the leak in my shower, but I only have their number in my iPhone. Then, I recall that I also have it in hard copy in my Filofax. I think:

Me (thinking): Oh happy day for paper backup!

But I left my Filofax at home. It’s sitting on my writing table, on top of my New Yorker that is next to my iPhone. They’re probably having a three-way.

Sluts.

Sluts.

For good measure, I wonder if I remembered to wear a bra. I did.

I do a computer search, trying to trace my building management’s phone number. Last January, I emailed them! So, I email them again anticipating this missive will end up in their spam folder, but for the first time that day, something goes right. They email me back — with their phone number! They want me to call them! Just as quickly, my elation turns to worry. Do they have something terrible to report about the plumbing problem? I imagine:

Building Management: We’ve pinpointed the source of the problem. It’s your bathroom. We’re going to have to gut it so you won’t be able to use it again until January. And your iPhone keeps ringing.

Inside my head I drop another f-bomb. I make the call. What they actually want me to know is that both their daughters are pregnant and they’ll be grandparents next spring. They add that they fixed my leak. I am thrilled on many levels.

When I enter my sanctum sanctorum that evening and I’m reunited with my iPhone, I feel immense relief.

Together again!

Together again!

Only then do I recall that I forgot to eat the pear that I took in its place.

Grrrrrrrrrr.

Grrrrrrrrrr.

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54 responses to “Lame Adventure 445: iPhone, iPear, iForget

  1. Great Story!

    I lost transportation and phone and became lost in what appeared to be an old English Village, with unending dead ends, in a dream this morning, before I woke to read your entry.

    Cheers,

    R.

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  2. Wonderful. Been there!

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  3. What!!!! You forgot to eat the pear???!!!!!! That’s OK .. I’ve got you covered because outside of remembering to go to work and wear a bra, your entire day was out of whack.

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  4. Are we becoming too dependent on these devices? Perhaps.

    Did the pear taste good? It looks like it would.

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    • “Are we becoming too dependent on these devices? Perhaps.”

      You think the way intelligent people think, Jim. Milton predicted that I would be addicted once I got an iPhone. It’s definitely a tool that feeds This Tool.

      As for the pear … I still have yet to eat it, and I know the window for optimum tastiness is about to slam shut and give way to standard issue rot.

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      • Our car has a keyless ignition. As long as the key fob is in your pocket or purse, it is close enough and will allow the car to start with the push of a button. How could that go wrong?

        I was driving. Melanie had the key in her purse in the passenger seat. I let her out in front of a quilt store, drove off to get gas, and then return in no more than an hour. I wondered why a tiny green icon was flashing in the dash.

        I pulled into the gas station and turned off the car. Filled it up. Pushed start. Nothing! I had no key! Dammit!!! Good thing we only drove 6 blocks to get gas and not 6 miles. Son walked to the shop and got the key. She had no cell phone on her. And, if she had one, it was probably off.

        Now…eat the pear. The window is closing.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Melanie is like my brother-in-law, Herb! His cell phone is always off, too! Even when it’s on I don’t think Herb knows what to do should my sister try to call him. Good thing you could enforce child labor and make son walk the 6 blocks to get the key. No doubt your car was snickering and in the parking lot, it had a good time trading stories with other parked cars about confounding their owners. And if you don’t think mechanical objects talk, think again and hit this link.

          As for that pear, I took your advice. One day more and it would have been in the fast late to Rot-ville.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. I have that same brain sliver. I forgot my phone a few weeks ago when I had a GNO. I almost turned around to retrieve it, but I was running late. There were only a couple of times I would have used it to Google movie and book names, but other than that, I was fine. I noticed two of my friends checked theirs all night. I thought, “Come on. We’re at a restaurant. Give it a rest!”
    I left my phone at home when we traveled to LA for the weekend. That blew my mind. I wrote about that one. That’s when I lost my cross and it reappeared on the passenger seat of my car. Why don’t they make wristlets for phones? I need to strap that sucker on me like my grocery list.

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    • If I left my phone at home during a weekend getaway, I would need another getaway simply to recover from the trauma of leaving it behind, Susie. My friends and I sometimes check ours in restaurants, but that’s usually to look up something under discussion at that moment. Milton has said, “We don’t want to become those people who are always on their phones.” He has also said, “Even though we look like those people who are always on their phones.”

      You better patent your wristlet idea, soon. You’ll make a bundle, or at least enough to cover half the cost of your next smartphone case.

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  6. The pear: Bartlett, Bosc or Comice?
    Something I’ve wondered: Is Your co-worker God’s End (as in what Moses saw), or God Send (as in what people believed Moses to be)?

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    • The pear that launched my torture, Jeremy, was in point of fact a D’Anjou, but my personal favorite is the Bartlett. Gondsend is the latter when considering how often she saves the day for images that appear on this world class site. Considering that this is her third LA name, maybe her next one will be Moses?

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  7. Haha. Awesome story. 🙂

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  8. I hope not to jinx myself, but, have not yet forgotten my iphone and hope I never do. I have pretty much given up any hard copies of anything and would definitely be a lost soul without it.

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  9. May I be the first to say it? Nice pear.
    Next, you should be congratulated on your survival skills. Not many people at my Grind could make it through an eight hour day without their Smart phone. But I say, if the damn thing is so smart, why didn’t it start screaming at you when you walked out the door, “Hey, come back. You forgot me. Your life will be ruined. You can’t cope out there on your own.”
    All I can say is you’re lucky it didn’t fall down the plumbers crack. Things could have gotten real ugly. I guess you’ll be showering at the YMCA now?

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    • Ha and no, Russell. My plumbing problem was minor and it’s been fixed. But wow, you’ve got a great idea for an iPhone app, the iShout. “Never leave anywhere without your iPhone again!” Consumers will cheer; thieves will order a hit on us.

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  10. Some days I think to myself that I should try kick my iPhone habit. It’s an illness. I’m starting small, I leave it in a different room and walk away , trembling.

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  11. This is why I don’t own a phone. D But I often forget about my vita when it’s in my coat pocket. LOL

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  12. Horrifying experience. I’m glad you made it through. Several months ago, I thought I’d lost my phone in the park. I live close by and I ran home to get my laptop so I could “track” my phone using that iPhone finder app. I was in panic mode with a full-on anxiety attack brewing. Luckily I found it!

    Too bad that pear can’t send texts.

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    • I said the same thing to Godsend about that pear when I reached The Grind!

      You must have cashed in 40,000 good karma points if you were able to track your lost iPhone. That’s great! A woman in a theater noticed I had dropped mine when Milton and I were leaving. I was completely unaware that it had slipped out of my pocket. I could have kissed her on the lips. Instead, I said a sincere, “Thank you!”

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  13. Perhaps it taught you something that is yet to reveal itself until later on. You’ll know when you know. Do I sound vague or mysterious? I am glad you were reunited with your iPhone, but more importantly, how the hell are you going to survive without your bathroom until January?? Or, is there an app for that?

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    • My bathroom is fine. That was a hypothetical phone call, Brig! The real reason they wanted me to call was to share the news that their two daughters are both pregnant, much preferred news over something bad that negative natured me was anticipating.

      And yes, you do sound vague and mysterious, which I’ll take any day over sinister and threatening.

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  14. Yeah, well eff that pear–it started this whole nasty business.

    It’s amazing how addicted we become to our technology. Before I got a cell phone, I never needed one. Now I get antsy when I don’t have it. Dovima makes a good point, although it’s difficult to see that when you’re the one without a phone. Of course, it might have been of more benefit if you’d chosen to do it.

    Also, I like that you prioritize the death of a relationship as more devastating than the loss of livelihood. You have, I believe, your priorities straight.

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    • That pear was finally inhaled today, Smak, and good riddance! Unless it gifts me with botulism, we have parted ways forever.

      Before I was able to get my iPhone for what I was paying for my dumb phone, I thought there was a certain integrity in having a phone that could do little including offer clear reception. But, ever since I upgraded, I learned to embrace better technology at warp speed. Having lived so long with the worst, I can say with authority, “Better cannot be beat.”

      As someone who has been on the road to getting rich slow for a lifetime, who also has some pretty good relationships, it was a no brainer to hold my relationships in higher esteem over cleaning floors with a toothbrush for a potato and health insurance.

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  15. V, I know the feeling! I’ve been phone-less and computer-less both. Our cable gave out on my phone, because my child played with it too much. Without a computer, my phone was my backup. I was pretty lost today, I’ll tell you. I’m only here because I have a limited time on a computer. Something about feeling free. It never seems to happen to me either. I always try to have a book. If I did have thought, I would just have my thoughts! Oh, we don’t want that!

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  16. So laughing, V! Out loud. As I read this, I’m thinking: so much for my pep talk about using the calendar on your iPhone instead of the paper one that is rapidly being obsoleted. It does no good if you forget the phone (as you so hilariously and I’m sure angstfully figured out). It’s true, isn’t it? Except for Peter’s cell phone number, I no longer memorize or know anyone else’s number!

    Also, I’m very much relieved (!) that your bathroom had a minor leak instead of being unusable for a month – yikes! You definitely had me going, as I have no insight into the workings of the New York building repair business!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The blessing and the curse about having numbers programmed into one’s cell phone, Cathy, is that we never learn them anymore! To this day, I can still recall the phone number of Morag Scrum (name changed to protect her true identity), my first crush who allowed things to get physical, but do I have any recollection of any of the phone numbers of any of my companions, my friends or even my siblings since 1999, after I got my first cell phone? Short answer: no. I only knew my dad’s because it was the phone number because he had it since 1949 and that was also my number in my youth. It’s true, who memorizes phone numbers anymore? Its hard enough trying to recall all of our computer passwords.

      My bathroom is back in ship shape, but when I got home tonight, the heat was out in my building. My radiator felt like an icicle. I reported the problem and it was repaired, but my hovel almost turned into an igloo — and possibly the basis for another Lame Adventure, one I’m very glad I do not have to write. I’m glad you liked this one!

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      • That’s true. I guess memorizing passwords has replaced phone numbers. At least our brains get that challenge.

        And yikes! Coming home to the heat out is no fun! We had a similar problem several years ago when our furnace went out – on the coldest week in the last 20 years in Colorado! Now we have a new furnace – a very expensive new furnace – the joys of home ownership!

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        • But the problem in that my brain can only handle memorizing so many passwords, especially since they’re now supposed to be longer and more complicated Cathy. Back in the day, before we had to add area codes to phone numbers, they were fairly easy … or so I like to think.

          As soon as I entered my sanctum sanctorum, I felt arctic air. Not good. My sister, Dovima, has also experienced the joy of buying a replacement furnace. You’re in good company.

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  17. It’s never a dull moment in the life of LA! I couldn’t and wouldn’t last a day without my iPhone, so I know how you’d felt that day! I live by my cell phone which is a sad reality. What happened to the old days where you remember everything?! The only numbers I can remember are my own, my parent’s land line and parts of Kimball’s cell! Sigh. Glad to hear your bathroom leak was fix tho! =)

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    • Ling! Even if the moments are dull to others, that won’t stop me from writing about them here, old pal! That is so true, the old days of relying more on one’s memory are history. Our iPhones doing so much thinking for us frees up brain space for other things. In my case though, it seems to be filled with more forgetting. How impressive that you can still remember parts of Kimball’s cell! I hope you’re not just referring to the hyphens.

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  18. I’m with your sister on this one – forgetting the iphone = freedom. Nobody can bother me with calls for awhile!

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    • I don’t get many calls. Talking on the phone is less and less my thing. I get more texts and I like that I can read my email, the newspaper and my magazine on it. Plus, I love being able to take a quick picture with it. Milton knew I’d be all over the camera feature. Oh! And it also has a notepad feature. Sometimes on the train ride into and out of The Grind, I can get a jump on writing a blog post using that. But, that didn’t happen with this post.

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  19. I loved this post! It made me think of the not-too-distant past when we ALL were walking around cell phone-less because they hadn’t been invented yet. How did we survive? And if you can use potatoes to run a clock

    http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Potato-Clock

    then it shouldn’t be too much of a stretch to make a pear that sends text messages, don’t you think?

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    • I love that link! If only one could recharge one’s iPhone with potatoes during a power outage! But knowing Apple, the iPhone is configured in a way that won’t allow potato-based recharging.

      I stabbed my finger against my pear in a demonstration for Godsend about how frustrating it was to not be able to text her from my stalled train from my pear. We’re just not there yet with pear technology.

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  20. Love your blog from a fellow New Yorker!

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  21. Oh my God! I know this was probably a crazy frustrating day. But I got to tell you the fact that you forgot the pear at the end totally cracked me up. What a day…I bet if you had brought your phone none of the emergencies would have happened. They probably would have been postponed to a day where even more crazier things happened to you. Ahhhhh glad you were reunited though.

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  22. I feel as though I’ve left my arm if I leave my mobile, LA. I hardly ever use it (well, for calls anyway, but you never know when you need to take a quick photo…!), so you have my condolences; a pear is a poor substitute. Glad you’ve since been reunited!

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  23. good one, sweet pea! there’ve been times when we’ve pulled out of the garage, driven off, only to have the MITM aka the husband, remember that he didn’t have his phone. i always say the very same thing and ask (calmly) shall i go back? his reply is always the same, “do you have your phone?” sometimes, i lie. xoxoxox

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    • MITM — that’s great, Savannah! My bro-in-law, Herb, is my family’s MITM. He never remembers to turn on his phone, if he remembers to take it with him. For most of us, these phones are so vital. I suffered such separation anxiety without mine that day.

      Like

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