It happened all too suddenly and without warning. The unthinkable…happened! He was relieving himself of the last couple of beers he had earlier while checking his ex-girlfriend’s latest status updates – pretty standard procedure for a guilt-ridden Saturday night. Faster than you can say Facebook Stalker, his phone slipped through his fingers and began its lightning-fast descent into the toilet bowl. It made a loud echoing THWACK as it hit against the porcelain, only to splash into his yellow puddle of alcoholic waste. It took him a few moments to realize the gravity of the situation. It was both gravity AND his inebriated situation that led him to this hazard.
This wasn't in the manual.
He was too wasted and wasting too many precious moments trying to come to grips with WHAT had happened and HOW. He kept staring at his priceless possession now drowning in a sea of urine. The shocking sight had split his brainwaves in several different directions. One part of his mind denied this reality, another part was hatching up a cunning plan to turn back in time while the third was thinking about that last photo of his ex showing off HER phone in her bathroom mirror. Of course, none of this was helping. He needed to grasp that last part of his subconscious, that last percentage that was still sober, and he needed IT to take action.
And so he rolled up his shirtsleeve, kneeled by the toilet bowl and was going to make a serious effort to ignore that pungent smell of recent bodily secretions. He had to. He was going in. He squinted his eyes and bit his lip in a most revolting grimace. He dipped his right hand into the lukewarm liquid, grabbed the device and pulled it out whilst trying so hard NOT to get reacquainted with that handful of honey-roasted peanuts. He wrapped the phone in whatever toilet paper was left on the roll and busted out nearly knocking down the lavatory door. This was no time to wash his hands.
What followed was what felt as the longest taxi ride home. He couldn’t talk, he couldn’t breathe, he couldn’t even ask the driver if he was busy that night. He was holding his toilet wrapped smart-phone like a stillborn baby. Was there any life in it? Could any of it be saved? He needed to Google the 5 different ways to fix your phone from water damage, but this time, it wasn’t just expensive 3G data traffic holding him back. Dear God, what had he done?
He hunched forward to the edge of the passenger seat as his heart started pounding to the rattling sound of raindrops against the car’s bonnet. Rain? Now? He was being punished, he thought. He was being punished for writing in CAPS, “YOU’RE A CHEATING WHORE” on her Wall. And now God was smiting him with butter-fingers and torrential rain because God hates Caps-Lock. At last, he sighed, the final left turn to his street. He hastily paid his ride with the last few coins left in his Saturday night budget, leapt out of the car and ran home to the sound of the angry driver yelling that he was 2 euros short.
To Wikihow! he roared, as he started browsing the web for solutions. But these soon left him feeling helpless and frustrated. Packets of Silica Gel seemed to be the popular choice but by now, his agitation was getting in the way of his understanding of what Silica Gel was in the first place. And where in the name of Uncle Bens Boil-in-bag was he to get rice at 2AM? His left leg began to frantically shake and the gritting of his teeth quickly overwhelmed the logic of his thoughts. He found himself abusing the Space Bar whilst typing in the same question over and over again, hoping that extra question mark would bring up different results.
Some verbal abuse was also used.
Suddenly, he lifted his head above the laptop screen and saw his bed. His eyes widened: The Pillow, he said to himself. He would place his drenched friend under his pillow and leave it there over night. He would sleep ON this pillow to that IT would soak up all the… He would sleep on a different pillow. As he closed his eyes, he wished for the next day to turn all of today’s madness into a bad dream. First thing in the morning, he would reach for his favourite small screen as he always does. And everything would be all right. He would stroke his finger gently against its surface and it would light up in excitement. And everything would be all right. And they would both curl up under the sheets for a while, as he would read its AM Tweets. And oh how they would giggle when he would type in something silly with his half-opened eyes and IT would Autocorrect it into something even sillier! Everything would be all ……. Right.
But the following morning everything was NOT AT ALL right. He tucked his hand under the pillow next to him and there it was, damp cold lifeless his precious! When he attempted to turn it back on, the phone started flickering for a few seconds, and then a gurgling remnant of its start-up sound and then … nothing. That was it. He was gutted. He had killed his best friend He was a MURDERER! he despaired. He had lost what had become his most loved companion. No longer could he feel its gentle vibrations in his pocket as a sign that he was needed, he was wanted. No longer could he explore the streets with it in search of that perfect shot of the oddly shaped penis awkwardly spray-painted onto a large sexually charged poster. No longer could he share the toilet humour scribbled on the walls of public bathrooms, you know, like the mysterious adventures of the guy named Phil who had apparently invented Michael Jackson and who also didn’t believe in Germany or the true to heart confessions from the open-minded rocker whose life was Death Metal but who also loved Madonna.
No… that was now a thing of the past. The phone’s delicate insides now lay fried in the palm of his hand, and he felt as though all was lost. Nothing could bring the little guy back. His limbs felt numb and his stomach was in knots. His entire body was convulsing yet he was unable to move. He wanted to lie there and die right then. The loss of a loved one does that to you. Of course, the bottle of wine, three Jaegerbombs and nine beers might have also had something to do with it.
And suddenly, as his body was sinking deeper and deeper into the mattress of misery, a cathartic wave of calmness overcame his entire being: he remembered he was insured.