Saturday, March 03, 2012

For want of a cell phone battery....

I've seen it happen to lots of people over the years...but it had never happened to me, until last night. I dropped my cell phone on the floor, and the battery popped right off.

Problem is, this happened at Shea's our seats, in the balcony. The phone dropped to the painted concrete floor. I didn't even see the battery go off, but it did; I picked up the phone, and lo! no battery. This was before the show, and before the people with tickets in our area started really filling in, so I had an opportunity to look for it. The battery had fallen behind a seat in the row ahead of us...but since the seats up there are stair-stepped, it was hard to reach it. Worse, it was sitting halfway into a strange metal box underneath the seat.

This, we would figure out, was a heat register.

I figured I would just get down and try to fish the thing out after the show ended, so I ignored my missing battery while Les Mieserables went on. (Post on that forthcoming...suffice it, for now, to say that I gave my cell phone battery exactly zero thought for the next three hours.) But when the show ended, I let the people around us move out, and then I was down on hands and knees, trying to reach the thing. Trouble was, I couldn't get my hands down in there -- the squeeze was too tight. And my hands are by no means massive.

Meanwhile, a couple of nice people stopped by to ask if they could help me retrieve whatever it was that I dropped. I told them it was my cell phone battery, and one of these fellows -- a young man in a very nice suit and who, I must say, has the tiniest hands I've ever seen on a grown man -- gamely reached in to try and grab the wayward battery, which was balanced precariously on the brink of the heat register. I had high hopes...until I heard the telltale ker-chunk sound, and saw the expression on his face when he looked up at me. It was the look of someone whose next words are going to be bad news, such as, "Sorry, but your company is moving to Bangladesh", or "Sorry, but we've just had a recall on the steak you just ate", or "Sorry, but your battery just fell into the heating ductwork of Buffalo's biggest theater."

Oh well. I couldn't be mad at the guy; it was a tough thing, he gave it his best shot, and he got down on his knees in a nice suit. Those are all things he didn't have to do, and the damned thing was precariously balanced there in the first place. But now, my cell phone is a brick. We'll be looking into either a replacement battery at some point in the next couple of days, or just upgrading our phones, as our current ones are about two years old. Normally I like to keep these things going for longer than this. I'm not one of those folks who gets a newer, nicer phone every year; my approach on electronics is to buy the best thing I can afford when I need one, and then use it until it dies (or until performance becomes unacceptable). But sometimes necessity forces its hand more quickly than at other times, and this is one of those times.

I wouldn't mind just replacing the battery, but we'll see. I wouldn't mind a new phone, either!

(PS: not that any readers do, but don't call or text me for now. Because I will answer neither!)

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