Vonnie dropped his Galaxy S4 in the toilet?
Yes, I’m serious.
Earlier this week I was in an engaging conversation with my little brother. My brother is so affable and easy to talk to that sometimes I loose track of my environment. We were talking about Mormonism, Islam and Christianity and the merits of each belief system.
It was intellectually bracing and I didn’t want to abbreviate my brother’s stream of thought by requesting that he call me back while I went to pee.
So to my folly, I made the irrevocable decision to carry the phone conversation into the men’s room.
I did my thing but like an idiot I flushed the toilet with the same hand that was holding the phone.
The act of flushing the urinal loosened my grip sending my svelte phone into free fall.
It plunked into the turbid waters of the adjacent urinal and I panicked.
I think I spontaneously yelled “Oh shit!” as I tried to decide if plunging my fist in some else’s piss was worth the phone.
Aghast and chagrined I quickly reached in and was surprised that it was still connected to the call.
Skittish and disoriented I told my brother that I toilet baptized my phone and couldn’t talk.
I’m Stupid, stupid stupid
After vigorously washing my hands, I dried off the phone with any napkins I could find and observed the damage.
What just happened?
I remember reasoning to myself:
This will make an entertaining anecdote at my next cocktail party…
No, just kidding I was actually thinking:
Oh, it wasn’t that bad. The phone still works? I guess it’s okay.
My specious rationale was tantamount to concluding that it’s okay to jump from the plane without a parachute because I survived the first fall with minor scrapes and bruises. Heck, jumping without a parachute worked the first time surely it’ll work the next right?
No no no. Bad logic bad logic. Fallacy fallacy fallacy…
I should have:
- Immediately turned the phone off to prevent the possibility of a short circuit.
- Yanked the battery and used a cloth or something to soak up the remaining water.
- Removed the SIM and Memory cards to expose every square centimeter of the phone to the air for drying
- Ran to the Duane Reade drugs store and purchased a box of Uncle Ben’s rice.
Why is it that I always feel wiser in retrospect? Why didn’t I think of this when it happened?
I know why.
– because I’m an incorrigible optimist and I often feel that I’m invulnerable. And guess what? This spurious sense of invulnerability teemed with my pride led to a major headache later that night.
Later that evening…
Like a true dolt I used my phone for the rest of day.
I remember sitting at my desk and smugly thinking to myself:
My phone is impervious to water! Everyone out there with water damaged phones should envy me because my phone still works even after being dunked in a urinal! I don’t need a silly protective case. Ahh, it feels good to be favored.
Sometime that afternoon, still reeling in my serendipity, I blithely plugged my phone into the USB port and was immediately greeted with the following error:
The connected charger is incompatible with this phone. To prevent damage to your phone, charging has been stopped. To continue charging, use the original charger and cable that were provided with this phone.
Uh oh. What the fu..?
Then I noticed to the battery icon showed an ominous red X where the friendly lightning bolt used to appear.
Shit shit shit
As soon as I got home I told my wife. After she finished screaming at me she found a bag of rice and buried it in the bag. It looked like it was being swallowed by quicksand.
You’re IT right? You fix computers? Why did you leave the phone on!?
Yeah, there’s no recovery from this one. I made a sophomoric, block-headed mistake that was only superseded in lunacy by that I time I drove from Atlanta to New York with zero cash, zero cards and zero sense…
Okay, let me stop confessing because you guys are really questioning my intelligence right now…
The Rice Trick Didn’t work
So I left the phone in the rice bag for about 24 hours; however, even though I could still turn it on the battery was virtually depleted and obstinately refused to charge.
I even completely dismantled the phone to dry it out quicker; however even my best efforts at fixing this were abortive.
I couldn’t focus on anything – at this point my mind was prepossessed with fixing the phone.
I was tired, pissed (no pun intended) but refused to acquiesce.
At my wits end: I made an ardent and honest prayer:
God, I made a major mistake and I can’t stop thinking about it. I really messed up and now I’m afraid that I’m going to need a new phone. But I can’t afford that and that’s going to unnerve my wife and I just wish… can you somehow just make my phone work again?
After sitting around for a few empty minutes my thinking suddenly became lucid.
I started to explore scenarios, and now galvanized by prayer, I decided to make a trip to the Verizon store and tell them what happened.
My Verizon Experience
I marched into the Time Square Verizon Store with my mind sent on being honest.
I figured the best thing to do is to just tell the truth and see if something good comes out of that.
I walked in and was immediately greeted by a trio of hip young technicians. Since I arrived at 10:30 in the morning the store was vacant and all attention was on my issue.
“Welcome to Verizon, how can we help you?”
“Hey guys, so … I dropped my phone in the toilet the other day and it has water damage. I also took it apart and tried the rice trick but that didn’t fix it. I know I’ve voided the warranty but is there anything you guys can do to help me? The phone still turns on and works fine I just can’t charge it”
“Uh, wow okay… … well maybe – does it work with a wireless charger?”
Flummoxed I squinted and asked:
“Yeah – here, give me your phone. Brian, can you get the wireless charger cover for this gentleman?”
Brian darted out of a view with my phone and quickly returned holding a handful of gadgets.
He adroitly removed the back cover and replaced it with another cover which looked identical to the first one. Then he plugged in a black charging base and placed my phone on it.
The charging base looked like a miniature scale for weighing things; however, the luminous red glow coming from the bottom of the base was a clue that this was a very cool piece of technology.
Soon he looked up, narrowed his eyes and knowingly said with a smirk: “Yep, it works”.
Surprised and relieved I asked him how much for that wireless charging thingy.
He said it’s $80 for the charging station and the special cell phone cover; however, as long as I returned it within two weeks I wouldn’t have to pay anything.
Life goes on
Today my phone is happily charging on the wireless base but what am I going to do when my two weeks of grace desists?
I checked online and noticed I could buy a USB charging port for my Galaxy S4 on Amazon for a mere $11 bucks.
Given the cost is so low and replacing the USB board on the Galaxy S4 is pretty easy – I’m going for it.
I’ll let you guys know if this fixes it; I checked the reviews and some guy said he fixed his water damaged phone by replacing this part so let’s see if it works for me.
The Bottom Line
Dropping your cell phone in a urinal is a bad thing but dropping it in the toilet would have been worse.
I think the shallowness of the bowl prevented the entire phone from going under. Only the bottom third hit the porcelain which means the upper portion was basically unscathed.
But I’ve learned my lesson. My phone fiasco vexed my wife and stretched my patience. It was extremely frustrating because I’m usually very cautious about the way I treat my phone. In fact, I pride myself on not need a phone case.
Ah! but God has a way of humbling me and this week is the consummate example of Him doing so.
Lesson learned: Don’t talk on the phone while peeing. It can wait.