Saturday, December 12, 2009

First Aid

Last week I had an appointment and was running late. In my rush to get ready, I hadn't fastened my BlackBerry securely to my belt, and just before I left the office, it slipped off and fell into, um, some water. Never mind the details, okay? It was a small body of water. Use your imagination. And yes, I was tempted to walk away and leave it there.

Anyway, I fished it out, pulled the BlackBerry out of its holster and wiped it dry. It was blank. I removed the battery, dried it off, and put it back in. The device made a sizzling sound, flashed briefly, and died.

I was seriously worried; I knew that I would not be allowed to have a replacement. I depended on that little gadget to stay in touch with my virtual world, and now my carelessness had cost me my umbilical cord.

Then there was that appointment I still had to go to. I hopped into the car and hurried to the clinic. After checking in with the receptionist I was ushered into a small examining room, and soon a friendly technician came in and asked me how I was.

"Fine," I gave my standard response. Then I reconsidered. "No, I'm not fine at all. I just drowned my BlackBerry and I'm very upset." This was a medical office; no point in concealing the truth.

"Oh," said the technician, "that happened to my son's cellphone. I called the service provider's hotline and they told me to put it in a bag of raw rice. The next day, it was right as rain."

I could have kissed her! During the next half hour I was oblivious to whatever discomfort I might otherwise have experienced; all I could think about was the location of the nearest grocery store. As soon as I was dismissed, I drove there and bought a bag of regular, raw rice and some ziptop bags. Right there in the car, I poured some rice into a bag, added the BlackBerry, then the battery, and topped it up with more rice. Then I headed back to work. From time to time during the day I turned the bag and massaged it, kept my fingers crossed, and hoped for a miracle.

The next morning, I pulled my device out of its plastic sleeping bag, spanked the rice grains out of it, inserted the battery and held my breath. Then I heard the welcome beep and saw the message "initializing device". There was the menu! Those little icons had never looked so beautiful!

My BlackBerry still rattles when I shake it, but it works like a charm, and I never had to confess my carelessness. Except to you, but I know you won't tell and get me in trouble.

From Hermione's Heart


Anonymous said...

You should really be rewarded.

You see, you were truthful about your emotions with a medical person which shows honesty, humility and a deferance for authority.
You then followed instructions without a quibble and solved what may have been a problem with a thrify and simple soloution.

Your post here shows an openess to learn from the expirience. I say you shout it all from the rooftops- I cannot see how there could be any other comeuppance than flowers and maybe dinner out.

PK said...

It's great that that worked for you and thank you so much for sharing. There are so many ways our electronic umbilical cords can get wet. (Your accident high on the list!) LJ got caught in a down pour once that was so severe his phone was drowned in his pocket. I dropped mine in a cup once. I think maybe I'll keep a bag of rice on hand and tell the kids too.


B. Iddy said...

Rice solves everything. I had a job once upon a year that involved repairing cell phones and that bag of rice saved our asses more than once. Also helpful? A set of precision screwdrivers and a set of fine paintbrushes. Gets salt deposits off the sensitive bits a treat.

Fabsterrant said...

Great story Hermione. I broke one and got a new one and then broke that one two weeks later. I didn't want to spend the 5 bucks a month for extra insurance and had to buy them myself. I now have insurance after the last incident and nothing has gone wrong since. If I didn't get the insurance I probably would have broke it walking out of the store.

Hugs, Fab

Anonymous said...

Two wonderfully accurate visuals, umblilical cord to the world & spanked the rice grains - nice! I too justify my need to stay in touch with this world on my phone. Oh those bags of rice... my kids need to carry 'em around in their pockets! KayLynn

Sara said...

Wow...rice...who would have thought? Now I know that duct tape OR dry rice can fix anything!

Greenwoman said...

*smiles* I'll have to remember that little trick.

Didja know that raw rice is equally wonderful dumped in an old sock that's knotted at the open end. Just pop it in the microwave or the freezer and you've got a wonderful hot or cold pack.

Hermione said...

Poppy - I never thought about it that way. You're absolutely right, of course. Flowers, dinner, maybe breakfast in bed as well?

PK - Yes, I've heard it's quite common, and people rarely bother to resuscitate them.

Biddable - Thanks for the tip. Canned air is great too.

Fab - That's always the way with insurance. Hey, maybe if we buy life insurance, we won't die.

KayLynn - Thank you. Maybe put rice in your kids' Christmas stockings, for a laugh.

Sara - The two indispensables.

Greenwoman - Yes, I did know about the rice sock. It's very useful to keep sick or hairless animals warm in winter.


turiya said...

Wow... I've learned something new today... well lots of new things after reading some of the responses. Who knew? And I was about to spend nearly $40 on a new wheat pack... and I can just make my own with rice!


ronnie said...

Well, that's a new one to me, rice who would have thought that. I dropped mine down the loo, don't ask. Tried to dry it out but didn't work and had to buy a new one. Wished I'd known about rice then.

Thanks Hermione.


Hermione said...

Spirited One - It's amazing what you can learn on a spanking blog.

Ronnie - Too bad this advice was too late for you. But there's always a next time, unfortunately!


Jean said...

That's so great it worked. It has worked for me a couple times when I dried otehrs for them. I tried to do it with onethough, and it din;t work.

Hermione said...

Jean - It's possible the gadget was too far gone. Glad it worked for you a couple of times, though.

Anonymous said...

Great good fortune. I was on vacation once when I got soaked by a wave while taking a picture, and thus the camera was well watered. It stopped functioning, but worked a bit the next day. A tour guide we were with solved the problem, by holding the camera besides the exhaust of the tour bus for 30 seconds, Dried everything out inside perfectly,and the camera works well now.