Death of a Droid

Last night I drifted off to sleep next to an open window. The head of my bed, just below the window sill, afforded me the sight of a clear night’s sky under which to drift off. A gentle breeze kept the air moving in my room; I’d left the window wide open, because otherwise the hot temperatures would’ve made sleep impossible.

This morning (Saturday) I woke up to the sound of lawnmowers mowing, birds chirping and a window filled with the deep blue from a clear sky. The sun was already high in the sky and the world had been awake a few hours. I’d slept in; ah the joys of freelancing. I checked the morning news on phone and it promised a heatwave for the next few days. Brilliant.

I had just quit my job in favour of the pen. A decent night’s kip and good weather was exactly what I needed to get the creative juices flowing.

What I didn’t need was to find myself, only moments after this blissful awakening, on my knees cradling the remnants of my Android phone. I also didn’t need my dog Jessie and most likely (although I didn’t care to notice at the time) a few neighbours starring at me puzzled.

In Which an Android Phone Is No More…

Just a few seconds prior I had been checking emails at my desk while chatting on the phone. I must have been in a good mood because I was tilting back slightly on the chair without a care in the world.

The chair must have slipped a bit. Just enough to make me flinch and squirm forward violently to regain equilibrium (like I’d sat down on a thumb tack).This ‘forward flinch’ sent my phone flying through the air.

Time slowed down and I swear, she hovered for a split second, mere inches outside of my window. Long enough for me to register what had just happened and what was to come.

Then there was a sharp slap outside. Followed by the tinkle of my phone breaking apart. She came to rest in the shadow of a flowerpot.

Jessie certainly didn’t appreciate the sudden interruption to her afternoon of daydreaming in the sun. In retrospect I feel bad for disturbing her like that; it was like setting of a firecracker in a room full of peaceful snoozers.

Once I got outside, a quick examination of the phone found the screen to be spectacularly shattered and yet, ever the optimist,  my first thoughts were of Ebay and how much a replacement AMOLED screen would cost.

In Which Your Narrator Is Cut Off From the Outside World…

When I got inside the outlook became bleak. Upon closer inspection the innards of the uni-body HTC Legend had become dislodged. Nothing seemed to fit anymore. Bits of plastic were bent or missing and the bulk of the phone wouldn’t sit right in the case. Some components were loose enough to be removed from the base of the handset as you can see in the picture on the right.

Broken Screen and Dislodged Innards

Broken Screen and Dislodged Innards

A little over a year. We had a good run, I guess.

My mourning finished, and having explained to my girlfriend why I was disconnected so abruptly, I found myself in the uneasy situation of not owning a functioning phone in the year 2011. The practicalities are easy to understand but the feeling is less so. I imagine it’s what smokers trying to kick the habit feel like when they don’t know what to do with their hands. Mindlessly using Twitter and reading blogs on my phone keep my occupied during life’s little pauses.

The wait at the bus stop, on my way to pick up a new phone pronto, couldn’t have taken any longer. Everyone there was tapping away at their smartphones; probably tweeting about the creeper staring manically at their phones. A few elderly folk were there also. I suppose in their day waiting for a bus would be a perfect time to strike up a conversation. Savages.

There was also some dead guy, covered in blood (presumably) his own blood.

My thoughts exactly.

Several millennia later I arrived at CEX to pick up a second hand replacement. It’d have to do for now until I get some dough together for a shiny new phone. A HTC Wildfire, in pretty good condition for €155 caught my eye. It was quite similar to the Legend and it’d be perfect for reviewing apps and taking screenshots.

Five minutes later I found myself slumped in a doorway, possibly used as a toilet the night before, inserting my SIM card and powering up.

In Which Your Narrator Learns a Lesson or Two…

The bus ride home gave me plenty of time to think as I waited for some cornerstone apps to download.

I’ve read blogs and articles in the past about people who’ve gone weeks or months without technology in their lives and they seem to have enjoyed it. But I bet that’s because they systematically informed their family, friends, foes and followers of their scheme. Whereas my girlish flinching combined with gravity had robbed me of my smartphone comfort blanket in an instant!

I can take a few hard learned lessons from this. Firstly, always have a spare device lying around, both phone and computer. It dawned on me that if my laptop died right now I’d be damned when it came to getting work done. That’s going to change.

Also, insurance is a good idea. When offered in store I always decline with the mentality of “it’ll never happen to me”. Well now it has and boy is my face red. Although, on the plus side, my phone’s demise sure beats being dropped in the toilet or lost in a sand dune. They’re just a little too mainstream.

And what did I miss during my brief departure from the 21st century norm of owning a functioning phone? Not too much. A news blog informed me that Amy Winehouse had passed away.

Also, on Twitter, ‘Zombie Walk’ was trending for Ireland. This went some way to explain the countless living dead I encountered on my travels.