Last winter I dropped my phone. In the toilet. In the ladies room at work. Upon retrieval, the little LG was speaking in tongues and displaying scenes from 2001 Space Odessey. I turned it off, I turned it on, and it had a message: Service Required. So I called my provider (I won’t give away the name, but it sounds a lot like “Verizon Wireless”) and they told me the only thing they could do was sell me a new phone, at full price.
No. I took the phone home, removed the battery and put it in the oven for a good bake on the “warm” setting, followed by a half hour in front of the blow dryer. It sprang back to life. I thought that was pretty cool, although the first friend I called wanted to know if I’d washed the phone before dialing. I guess he was worried about getting toilet germs in his ear.
I had six more months with my phone until May rolled around and it went dead again. I took it to the Verizon Wireless store for repair. The rep took the battery off the back and shot me an accusing stare: “This phone got wet!” It turns out there’s a little white dot on the inside of the phone that turns pink when submerged. The only thing he could do was sell me a new phone, at full price. So I took it home. Oven, blow dryer. Ta-da.
This time the effect didn’t last as long. Two or three weeks would go by and then the phone would need another treatment. My guess is that it collected moisture faster in the summer humidity. But we were making do until this past weekend when I put it in the oven with the battery on, and forgot about it. The phone came out blazing hot and made one final call before it died for good.
But there was some payoff. Apparently, those extra months put me far enough along in my contract to qualify for an early upgrade. Instead of paying the full suckers-only price for my new silver RAZR phone tonight (I know, the RAZR was hot two years ago, before they invented telepathy) I paid the new subscriber price, saving roughly $1 billion. Winnah!