1 Part Mindy + 1 Part Blackberry + 4 Parts Liquid = Soggy Disaster

Remember how I said technology hates me?  Well, it may be more like my technological instruments are severely depressed. How else can you explain the numerous times my blackberry has tried to kill itself? 

Once my blackberry just tried to run away while I was visiting my friend/sister, Angie, in San Diego. There are these moving sidewalk-type ramps at the local grocery store in downtown SD. Angie was demonstrating the springy-nature of said ramps by bouncing up and down on them like the Easter Bunny. It seemed like a great idea, so I joined in while onlookers shook their heads at the sight of 2 grown women behaving like…  PEOPLE HAVING A GOOD TIME!  Sheesh, lighten up, people!  Anyways, my phone took the opportunity to LEAP from my pocket while I was distracted. I might have noticed except the thunderous sound of my bouncing seemed to have covered the tiny thud of my blackberry hitting the rubber ramp. Luckily, a very kind couple found it and returned it after I sent 20+ frantic text messages.

My phone has tried to leap to its death no less than 50 times, with no cushy rubber ramp to break its fall.  It now has a crack across its back and the battery cover seems to fall off if you look at it funny.  The worst and most successful attempts, though, are death by drowning.  Last year, I was helping my bosses at an amazing event called Star Chefs (and having a little bit of a breakdown – maybe I’ll get into that another time). One of the dishes we were preparing involved infusing oysters with carrots and cardamom while still alive. Of course, the oysters needed to be cleaned before taking a dip in their carrot bath – all 100 of them and without a scrub brush. As I was hunched over a bucket of water (no sink – that would’ve been too easy), my phone leapt once again from my front pocket into the bucket of dirty oyster water… and I had never taught it to swim.  I resuscitated it (detailed steps below – the actual point of this diatribe) and should have signed it up for Intro to Swimming or at least purchased flood insurance on it.

Of course I didn’t, yet was somehow still shocked when it tried again to take its life by leaping into a milk bath that my feet were soaking in.  What’s funny is that I thought it was my lucky day because Angie had flown in to say goodbye before moving to Naples, Italy (some people have all the luck) and on top of that, was treating me to a swanky pedicure!  I sat with my feet soaking in a divine bath of milk, honey, and lavender oil and slipped into such a state of relaxation that I let down my guard enough for my blackberry to run from my lap and plunge into the opaque liquid below.  I couldn’t even see where it landed in that bath – just had to feel blindly in the liquid, discerning hard plastic from fleshy toe.  I managed to salvage it again, but now there’s this weird, crusty stain inside the screen from where a puddle of milk seeped in and dried.  Oh yeah, and my friend Angie finally does believe me when I tell her I’m a mess.

I have now successfully brought my phone back to life twice after it drowned, mostly through the use of things in my kitchen!   So finally to the point of the blog:

This is how you save your phone after it’s betrayed all the love you’ve given it and tried to drown itself…

1)   Quickly remove your cell phone from the liquid.  Duh.

2)   Immediately remove the back cover and the battery.

3)   Using a paper towel, quickly blot away any moisture around the keys, on the battery, and out from inside the battery housing.  Don’t use a terry towel that might leave lint.  Don’t use toilet paper either, even the kind that’s not supposed to leave lint on the backside of the cartoon bear from that commercial.

4)   Quickly place the open phone and its back cover (not attached to the phone) in a bowl of dry rice… very important that it’s not cooked here…  The rice will actually pull moisture out of the phone.  Unlike me, don’t check on it every 5 minutes.  Walk away for at least 2 hours.  A watched pot never boils and apparently a watched wet phone in rice never dries.

5)   After your phone has dried out in the rice, I recommend GENTLY vacuuming some of the rice dust out from and off of your phone.  GENTLY.  Use a DustBuster or something.  When I vacuumed it, I accidentally flipped some switch inside the batter chamber that locked my phone, then had to look around in there flipping random pieces back and forth until it worked again.

6)   If you don’t have access to dry rice right away, I did find that leaving it under a nail-dryer seemed to work well…   Not sure how helpful that little tidbit of advice is going to be normally.

7)   In the absence of rice (and a nail-dryer), you can also bake your phone at a super-low temperature.  As low as your oven goes, in fact.  If it doesn’t go under 100°F, turn it on briefly with the oven door open just to get it slightly heated, then turn it off and throw your phone on in.  This is how I saved my phone the first time, but please don’t hold me responsible if you accidentally melt your phone in the process.  I really recommend the rice, first.

Whatever you do, don’t put your phone on top of your apartment’s radiator…  This caused the water to evaporate out from the nooks and crannies of my phone and condense on the inside of my screen, creating little droplets of hanging water that I had to stare at while scouring the internet for other ways to save my phone and cursing loudly.  That’s how my screen ended up with a crusty milk stain on the inside of the glass where I can’t wipe it away.

Oh, and this doesn’t work for saving your husband’s Walkie Talkie after you accidentally drop it in the puddle at the bottom of his dingy sailboat that you were supposed to have been bailing out.  Yeah, that Walkie’s a goner – trust me on that one.


Filed under Fool proof recipes... fool-tested... fool-approved, This never would have happened in Finance

5 responses to “1 Part Mindy + 1 Part Blackberry + 4 Parts Liquid = Soggy Disaster

  1. Steven

    My wife drops her phone all the time, so a couple of years ago when I got her a new one I bought the insurance. She promptly broke the phone and I learned that, while the insurance does cover that, there was this $50 deductible I didn’t remember anybody mentioning at the point of sale. A couple of months later, she broke it again, and our total was up to $100. Then a letter came in the mail: we were being kicked out of the insurance plan for breaking too many phones.

    • mindylvoff

      I’m glad you let me know – I’m just going to pass on the insurance for now as I’m due for an upgrade in August so just need to make it until then. Of course, yesterday after my post went live, my phone stopped working. It magically came back to life after I took out the battery, shook it a bit, and then some little black, broken piece of plastic fell out…

  2. gastronomad

    You make me laugh so hard I have tears in my eyes! I adore you!!

  3. hungrysofia

    I’d hear about the rice thing but didn’t believe it. That’s good to know because my phone drinks coffee.

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