nokia6210.png Sunday morning I was SMSing with a friend, hearing about his wild night out that involved seeing the band Blaq Mummy, getting punched by skinheads and ending up in some herna bar where the patrons were applying some kind of onguents [his word, not mine] to each other in the bathroom.

Then I heard a žbluňk! (One of the interesting things about living in the Czech Republic is that your onomatopeia is automatically replaced, so in my case I heard a žbluňk! and not a splash.)

I looked down to find my mobile phone had fallen into the bath. Quickly I tried to dry it off, to no avail. I thought of those cartoons where they pick up a drowning victim’s legs and water squirts out of his mouth.

The display blinked a couple of times, and then it was dead. A couple of hours later, as if to shake off the wet, it started vibrating, then slowly stopped as the battery went dead.

It’s been a good phone, one of the last vestiges of my previous existence as Corporate Bob. When it came out, it was considered state of the art. It was a phone you wanted to put out on the table to show your colleagues how high-tech you were. When you went to lunch with me and my colleagues, it looked like a damn mobile phone bazar.

Now you can barely read the manufacturer’s logo, which is so scratched it reads like a teenager’s challenge to his Czech parents: “No a … ?!?” A few of the keys work intermittently, so I frequently dial wrong numbers or send malformed SMSes. But it still worked, up until Sunday.

This morning, out of habit, I tried to see if it would work again.

It worked, sort of. It’s functional in the same way Brian Wilson is functional: moments of lucidity, then dormancy for long stretches. Now I have a tough choice: to look for a mobile phone Dr. Landy, or to bury it in the sandbox.

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