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Friday the 13th: Smartphone Meets Concrete

Wed Mar 18, 2009 - 5:42 PM EDT - By Jennifer Chappell

Unlucky Day?

I thought it was interesting that we've had a Friday the 13th fall on the last two months in a row. Guess what? We're going to have another one in November of this year. I'm not "Superstitious", (are ya hearing the song by Europe in your heads? I am!) but I've always gotten a kick out of reading about superstitions. I know a few people who are superstitious. They won't walk under a ladder, open an umbrella indoors, walk out a different door of the house other than one they used to walk in, or take an open pocketknife from someone who opened it (the knife has to be closed when handed back to them or they won't take it). A friend I used to work with thought that falling stars were bad luck. My Grandma thought it was bad luck for certain flowers to be blooming at a particular time of the year. I watched her pick them and throw them over the hedges when I was a kid.

I didn't even realize that last Friday was the 13th. I got up early that morning and picked up my Mom, and she and I went out to the cemetery where my Father's ashes are located in a niche in a memorial area. Our family had gone out there on the previous Sunday as it was my Father's birthday, and we wanted to plant some flowers and trim the Japanese maple growing there. We were surprised to see that many of the niches near my Father's that had been empty were now being used. I wanted to get a niche near my Father's for me and my husband for the future. Hopefully very very Far into the future. So my Mom and I drove back out there on Friday and I bought a niche. The lady in the office there mentioned it being Friday the 13th, and I thought, "Ugh, and here I am buying a niche." My Mom and I joked about it on the way home and how last month had also had a Friday the 13th.

When I got home, I started listening to the latest PalmCast by Dieter and Mike. About 25 minutes into the podcast, my phone rang. My Mom was on the line and she said, "Happy Friday 13th." I wondered why she would be saying that and was wondering if her memory was very short since we'd just been talking and joking about the date. Then she said, "I'm at the grocery store and I dropped my pocketbook and my keys and iPhone fell out on the concrete floor. My iPhone is broken." And she couldn't find her keys anywhere. She couldn't get in her car, much less drive home, and even if she could, she didn't have her house key. Anyway, I have a spare key to her car and house so I went over there and opened her car and followed her home. I had also gone back into the store and looked around for her keys in the area where she said that she'd dropped them. No luck. Now how could a set of jingly keys fall onto concrete and not be heard or seen? Who would be dumb or mean enough to come along and pick them up when you don't know what house they go to or what car they go to? There isn't a car lock/alarm on the keyring.

Well, I just couldn't figure that out and figured that the keys had to be in my Mom's purse or somewhere on her. She dumped the contents of her purse out on the table and the keys weren't there. She checked all her pockets. I asked if she'd checked her plastic bags from the store and she hadn't. I walked over to her counter and the second bag I picked up jingled. Mystery solved.

Next, I looked at her iPhone, which used to be my 4GB 1st generation iPhone. Unfortunately, the phone is pretty much toast. *BooHoo*!! It will turn on and will even let you swipe the bottom of the screen to unlock the device, but the screen looks horrible and you can't click on any apps. Well, you can click on them but nothing really happens. It looks like there's a crack on the screen when the phone is turned on. The bottom part of the screen is blue with horizontal and vertical lines. Funny that the time and date are still working and seem to be correct. Doesn't do her much good though, huh? Since the phone is useless, it would have been sort of cool if the date and time stopped working when the phone was dropped. Then we could see the exact time that the phone broke. My Mom always carries her iPhone in a case, but that one day, Friday the 13th, she decided at the last minute to drive to the store for just a few items and slipped the iPhone into her purse without the case on it. But I do wonder if a case would have mattered on that hard concrete floor. I guess we'll never know.

So I drove Mom out to the nearest AT&T store. Of course our store doesn't have any iPhones. Duh! I should have called ahead. The guy waiting on us was very nice but couldn't really help us. He was definitely wanting to make a sale though. He said, "Why don't you just look around in the store and buy one of the phones we have here?" Uh...... What? I just looked at him in shock for a moment. I didn't want to be rude. But I was thinking, "Helloooo? She has an "iPhone". Why would she want to look at your other phones? She has all her music and apps and videos and eBooks on her iPhone. The guy pulled out his BlackBerry Bold and showed it to us. You all know that I love the Bold! I was thinking that I'm "sure" if this guy dropped his Bold and broke it, he wouldn't look around and get a different phone, replacing the Bold. So why on earth would he expect my Mom to get a different phone? If I broke my Treo Pro or Centro, I would want a Treo Pro or Centro, not another type of phone. However, if the Pre were now available, I'd jump on a Pre in a heartbeat! I wouldn't have to think twice. I have an iPhone too, and I sure as heck wouldn't want to replace my iPhone with a different phone.

Before we left the store, I told my Mom that I'd get her a new iPhone as soon as I could. Also before we left the store, I asked the sales guy about the Palm Pre and he hadn't ever heard of it. I guess I was somehow hoping that he would know about it and would have some kind of juicy tidbit on it even though Sprint is the carrier that the Pre is headed for. It never hurts to ask.

On the way home, a black cat was walking along the side of the road in my Mom's neighborhood. Uh oh! At least it didn't cross the road in front of us! ;-)

I did get my Mom another iPhone. Actually, my husband gave her his 8GB iPhone and he upgraded to an 8GB iPhone 3G. We're all on the same plan so everything worked out great.

On Friday 13th I found a tiny area on my Centro where the paint had chipped off. That is no big deal, and certainly doesn't begin to compare with a busted smartphone, but it still bothered me.

So, was it unlucky for my Mom to have broken her iPhone? Yes and No. Yes, because she had to go for 2 days without her phone and she now knows how addicted she is to the phone. Yes, because it's a beautiful phone and it doesn't work anymore. But, it was lucky in a way because the iPhone was a first generation iPhone and only had 4GB. Who knows how much longer the battery was going to last. The iPhone that my husband gave to my Mom is practically brand new. It has double the memory on it too. I think my Mom came out pretty good in the end.

I bet she won't be going shopping on Friday, November the 13th though. ;-) And Hey, just think, we should have our Palm Pre's by then!

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