This story begins as many stories do: with the fact that all weather men are liars. I had a week of sunshine promised to me, no precipitation of any sort and I was hopeful that perhaps we were on our way to Spring.

So when I left work last night and stepped into falling snow, I was not best pleased. It started to fall more heavily and the wind from the north picked up during the train portion of my commute. By the time I reached my station, things were looking close to blizzard-like. I hustled to the back of the lot and slipped into my car to start it warming up, drop my purse on the passenger seat and grab the brush to clear the windows of snow.

I always, always, always check the door to make sure I don’t lock myself out in cases like this. Or I leave it partially ajar, even though I’ve checked to make sure it’s not locked. I’m oddly paranoid about some things and this is one of them.

But last night, I scoffed at my own paranoia and didn’t check and didn’t leave the door ajar because, after all, in all the years I’ve been driving I have never once locked myself out of my own car.

So of course this was the one time I somehow managed to do so. In the middle of a fucking snowstorm. I checked all the doors but they were all locked – because although I don’t keep anything of value in my car, there’s no sense in inviting people to rummage through it.

My immediate thought was: Oh shit, where’s my phone? 

A completely stupid thought since I was even then, at that moment, listening to music on my over-sized headphones that were plugged into my phone, which was in my jacket pocket. I was so relieved to recall that I had my phone, that I fumbled it out of my pocket and managed to drop it. I watched in horror as it hit the ground, the back popping off and the battery leaping out to land on the very wet asphalt with very wet snow spattering down on it.

Visions of having to walk home – while my car idled away in a parking lot – danced through my vision and I wondered how long it would take At to realize I hadn’t made it home and whether he would come looking for me if he called and I couldn’t answer because I’d just killed my phone by essentially dropping it in a puddle. I then briefly wondered if smashing a car window was a possibility.

Putting the phone back together, I tried to turn it on and waited in suspended terror while it took forever to come to life. Sighing in relief, I made for the bus shelter and called At, feeling more than a little sheepish as I did so. Because, you see, although I am also paranoid about making sure I turn my headlights off, I had managed to forget to do so a few weeks ago and had to call At to get him to come jumpstart me. I haven’t been doing well in the car department lately.

Fortunately, At answered and was able to come and rescue me. The minutes that I waited in the shelter were some of the longest of my whole day, shivering and freezing and slowly going numb in my extremities.

To further compound matters, I had had a last busy burst of work in the final minutes of my workday half an hour before and had foregone a much-needed bio break before leaving in favor of catching my train. You can imagine, I am sure, how much fun the extra wait in the blizzard proved to be with nature calling my name with some insistence.

When I finally got home, I was bedraggled and frozen and in a pretty big hurry. At was manfully trying to keep from laughing at me as I spilled my whole tale of woe and derp, but he couldn’t manage and frankly, neither could I.

My name is Alas and I am bad at commuting and am a terminal phone abuser (did I tell you all about the time a few weeks ago when I dropped it in a pot full of hot tomatillo sauce?). Keep your vehicles and phones away from me, for I am a menace.


Derp! — 20 Comments

  1. Someday I’ll have to tell the story of how I dropped my Blackberry phone down three flights of stairs. It takes skillz to line things up that well!

    That’s also the day I gave up belt holsters for phones.

      • Okay. A chance to talk about myself. How could I resist?

        I had one of the original Blackberries, the big fat ones, and they came with these clevery holsters that would turn the phone on whenever you whipped it out, and turn it back off when you holstered it. It might have been called a cradle, but holster sounds more cooler.

        We have to re-aim a satellite dish at the company and I’m called into service to go help since I’ve seen someone do it before.

        (Side note: the ‘pros’ use eyeballs and dead reckoning to aim the things. And I bet you thought they used Science. Not so much. These guys are mostly unemployed phone installers.)

        So we approach the door to the roof. It’s huge, like more bulk than anything else in the building. If Judgement Day happened today, the rest of the place would be destroyed, but that door would hang out there in space like a boss. It’s three stories up, made of heavy steel, and has a hydraulic lift system to turn it on its hinges.

        I get up there and yank the lever. And immediately feel a tightness around the crotch. After marveling at this for a moment I realize that one of the door latches grabbed onto one of my belt loops and is now dragging my ass along for the ride. Unfortunately, my ass does not have sufficient clearance to allow me to be dragged onto the roof by a hydraulic lift AND retain a huge phone in a huge phone holster. Something had to give, and, to my co-worker’s relief, it was not my pants. The phone POPPED off my belt, bounced off the stairs, bounced off the door ABOVE the stairs, and went flying through the three-inch slot between the door frame and the open area in the center of the stairwell.

        About halfway down it made solid contact with a two-inch handrail and bounced the opposite direction, where it came to rest on solid concrete at a high rate of speed.

        Technically the phone still worked, in that it worked but the LCD was cracked and slivered to the point that it was unreadable. But that’s okay since my voice worked in the same way that Robin Williams can do a Donald Duck impression while breathing Helium. (name that movie!)

        And that is the story of how Grimmtooth Actual acquired a Sidekick.

  2. If you cook your phone in tomatillo sauce, does it turn into phonesauce?

    I lost my first blackberry in the woods at a LARP. >< Not as derpy as yours but hella embarrassing nonetheless.

    • Perhaps if you cook it for an extended period of time! I am not willing to experiment, however. :P

      I’m with Grimm in that it might not be derpy but certainly nerdy (in the awesomest way, of course). Were you participating or observing?

  3. I’m very glad to hear your phone wasn’t locked inside the car and that you made it home safely with no dramatic stories of strangers or relieving yourself in public.

    In other news, I have the exact same paranoia about car doors and my apartment door. I’m not OCD to the point where I have to check the lock multiple times, but I do check the lock carefully before allowing the door to close and a lot of times, at the last minute, I will simply leave it ajar because I’m already doubting myself after just checking it. I feel ya there, sister.

    • Whatever. You would love a story where I accosted a stranger for their phone and then peed on them in thanks.

      Good to know I’m not the only paranoid one. Learn from my lesson and never let your guard down. ;)

  4. I’m glad that my car doesn’t lock itself without me actually sticking the key in the lock, because I’m sure I’d manage to lock myself outside.

    Whenever I’m stressed my brain literally stops working. I was in the grocery store recently and managed to forget my purse twice in the matter of minutes. I was at the cash register when I realised I’d left it in the car, but fortunately my little brother was with me and so I sent him out to get it.

    I then realised I’d forgotten to buy something, so I sent the kid into the store with a couple of bucks to get it while I paid for the other things and packed up and sit to wait in the car.

    Imagine my surprise when the kid comes out of the store a few minutes later with my purse! Apparently I’d left it at the cash register /facepalm

    I also dropped my phone recently and broke it. It fell out of my pocket while I was changing clothes and the screen cracked completely.

    Oh and today we had snow and my car got stuck. I guess I should be happy it was on my own driveway and not halfway to work.. but still.. it’s kind of derp to get stuck on your own driveway!

    • Snow is gross and evil. I’ve been stuck in my own neighborhood, so I can relate. There were also a few times (after ice storms) that I claimed to be suck in my own driveway so I could work from home instead of dragging myself in, but I guess I never really was stuck for sure.

      Sounds like you have the same sort of ill luck I do with phones, though at least one of the last times I dropped mine I just managed to really scuff up the screen and not actually crack it. You would think I would invest in a protective cover, but meh. At has one and I hate trying to get his touch screen to respond. I just can’t win either way.

      • Mine has the little plastic cover on the screen itself, it didn’t help – but I like to think it’s what’s keeping it together so that I can still use it *lol* It’s not pretty, but at least it still works!

        My workplace is only 15-20 minutes by walking, so sadly I didn’t get to work from home but had to make my way through the snow. *sniff*

        • I guess sometimes all you can ask is that your phone work.

          That’s a raw deal that you still had to go in to work. I mean, I lived only about two miles from my work at the time so I could have walked it easily enough. But enough people lived out in the country and worked from home, that I wasn’t going to go to any extra effort. Besides, I always seemed to get more work done from home than not, so they were really getting a better deal.

  5. The only time that really freaked me out when we got locked out of the car was when mini druid was a few months old and the other half almost locked her inside the car without us in a multi storey car park. Thankfully we hadn’t put her in when the door slammed shut :/

    I also ruined an old phone in the bizarre way of dropping it in a toilet full of vomit. That was fun to explain in the repair shop.

    • Oh, that would be terrifying to have a baby locked in the car. Glad you were spared that.

      I think you win the prize for strangest way to ruin a phone. I bet there’s a good story behind that. Not that I’m sure I want to hear it since it includes vomit, mind you. ;)

      • It’s not actually that disgusting!

        It was when I was back at uni and made the mistake of going out for drinks one lunchtime after having had a migraine and taken tablets for it.

        Vodka and tablets don’t mix so I was “unwell” when I suddenly got a text from an ex boyfriend who I hadn’t heard from in a long time. Being drunk, and shocked, I dropped my phone into the toilet.

        I think i used the old “dropped in some washing up” excuse and hope they didn’t smell the phone.

        • That is not so bad. I really need to work the line “Being drunk, and shocked,” into something, because that’s gold.

  6. My wife left her first cell phone on the roof of our car as we were driving through Cambridge, MA in moderate traffic. We heard it fall off onto the road, and I pulled the car over.

    She ran back to get it, and just as she got close, a box truck ran it over, shattering it into a thousand pieces. We were going out for drinks with a few friends, and everyone but her started laughing hysterically. I got punched.

  7. A few months back I dropped my iPhone in a glass of Fanta.

    For a solid fortnight afterwards every few minutes a message would flash up; “your iPhone is not compatible with this device”.

    I’m like…Yes, I know. I didn’t plan on integrating it with fizzy orange liquid, it was an accident.

    • Haha -this made me laugh out loud.

      My phone decided to randomly shut down on the train today, so I’m worried I may have caused it some lasting harm between the tomatillo sauce and the puddle. Still, it’s good to know I’m not the only person out there who is not so awesome with the phone protection and care aspect.