Friday, May 6, 2016

Life Happens - That One Time I Dropped My Phone in a Porta-Potty ... and Went in After It

The Facts:
  • I carry a purse pretty much everywhere I go.
  • I hate carrying said purse.
  • When at the dirt bike tracks, carrying a purse is impractical.
  • While at the track, I carry my phone in my back pocket.
  • My husband has told me a million times not to do this as it always looks on the verge of falling out.
  • I really, really should have listened to my husband.
My Story: It was opening day at our favorite SuperCross practice track so, naturally, I need a camera on hand as I didn’t want to miss out on any photo opportunities (I mean, like I said FIRST time out this year) so leaving my phone in the truck was not an option. Again, carrying a purse all over the track all day, also not really a feasible option. So, against the advice of my husband I crammed my phone in to my baby back pocket and vowed not to forget it was there.
No. Just No.
A time or two through-out the day as I sit down on the bleachers and remember my phone, I'm sure to tuck it under my butt just right to stop it from sneaking out of my pocket and falling to the ground. I feel super confident in that I keep remembering to do so and pat myself on the back for successfully navigating the no-purse-phone-in-pocket dilemma.

Except, then I had to use the bathroom. This particular track has one, just one porta-potty, and it’s not located in some remote corner. Nope, it’s right between the parking and the bleachers, witnesses everywhere. Anyhow, I announce my plan to use it, climb down the bleachers and make my way over there. I open the door, turn around, undo my jeans, and as I start to pull them down, I hear a kur-plunk that fades into a bubbly drowning gurgle...

That’s when I start to cry. Mind you, I am not a cry-er. I mean, I've cried, but not much and not often. Not often at all. So, when I climbed the bleachers with tears of pissed-tration (a word stemming from pissed and frustration) flowing, my husband immediately took notice and asked what was wrong. My exact words? “I just dropped my f*ckin’ phone in the porta-potty.” 

Now, I use an almost 2 year old Samsung Galaxy S5. I don’t own said phone, I lease it from Sprint and must return it in November. If I do not return it, I owe money, like a lot of money and let’s just say that’s not where I want to spend a lot of money. So, after a few more tears, I decided to find out how to get that phone back. Like I said, I really really don’t want to owe Sprint money. Not to mention I am a failure at disaster prep and did not back up any of my info or pictures and, dammit, I didn’t want to lose those either. My first step was tracking down and talking with the owners, I realized after our conversation that my only shot at getting that phone back was to pull it out myself. That’s right folks, I made up my mind to fish that f*cker out of there.

I told my story enough times to lure in a partner in crime, I didn’t know this girl but she felt sorry for me (bless her heart), I believe her name was Courtney, and she agreed to help out. I also recruited my youngest boy-child to go camp site to camp site in search of a fishing net or a shovel … we were offered grill tongs. I explained to the man offering his tongs up what they would be used for and asked if he wanted to recant his offer. He stayed true to his generosity and wished me luck. So, back to center stage Courtney and I march, armed with grill-tongs and two plastic garbage bags.
Tongs In.
We jumped in the line and waited. Yes,  I had to stand in line knowing that everyone in front of me was further drowning my phone. Our turn came and we stepped inside and the door swung shut; it was hot in there and it stunk. We both stared for a minute wondering our next step, and that’s when Courtney took the tongs and told me she would go in after it.

I kind of wanted to let her, but I knew this was my battle to fight and I should just be thankful she was willing to stand by me in it. So, I took the tongs, got as close as I could to the bowl and started fishing. I put the tongs all the way to the bottom and scraped around, twice I pulled up what I was certain was my phone but turned out to be sticks. I turned to Courtney and said “Who puts sticks in porta-pottys??” one look at her and I could tell what she was thinking and I said out loud “You’re right, who puts phones in porta-pottys?” 

Back to bobbing for the phone I went. And then it happened! I hit my actual phone and saw it bob to the top for a quick second. I could see it’s green case and got excited that this tong method just might work. Except, it didn't. I couldn't find the damn thing again.

In the meantime, one concerned passer-by stopped, thinking that I was getting sick and may need more help, but upon the realization that I was just digging through the days excretions in search of my cellular device jumped back and howled in horror, running to let all of her friends know that I must be some kind of crazy to be doing such a thing. She's probably right and I'll own that. (For more on owning my crazy, check out our About Me tab). 

This is also about the time that my husband decides to ‘help out’ by giving us some 'fresh air' a.k.a. opening the door to snap pictures. The fresh air really did help though. A couple more swipes with the tongs and I'm fed up. The contents of the porta-potty are not even as deep as my arm is long (luckily), and I have access to a giant glove (er, trash bag) so I put the tongs down, suit up, and tell myself it can’t be any worse than changing dirty diapers, which I did for almost 5 years straight (just for the record: it IS worse). Courtney prepares the other bag to catch whatever I pull out, we exchange a look of ‘yep, this is really happening' and in goes my hand.

Now, at this point, one may think that I should have felt like vomiting. Nope, I had my hand in a porta-potty and, dammit, I was going to make it worth it. My only thought was staying on the mission to find that damn phone ... and I did. With squeals of victory I picked that thing out of there and threw it in Courtney’s bag. We took a minute to celebrate my win and I paused for a victory picture (see below).
Arm In.
Now, what the hell does one do with a porta-potty soaked phone? Well, hose it off of course. And, step two of operation clean my phone? Well, hand sanitizer of course. I slathered the whole phone, rubbed it around real well and then wiped it off. I then returned the tongs, thanked Courtney for her help and realized I still hadn’t even peed. Back to the porta-potty I went (sans phone) to do what I originally set out to do over an hour before. Life was good again.

 You may now be wondering if my phone still worked. It did. The thing was still on and all of my notifications and information still in-tact. (Shout out to Samsung) However, this only lasted for a few days, eventually (even after a few overnights spent immersed in rice) the screen went yellow and I had to take it in. Sprint took it, no questions asked, replaced the screen and the back cover and had it ready for pick up in less than 24 hours.

The repair kid did mention something about water damage, to which I responded “yeah, I kind of suspected that” and just let the mystery of how that might have happened linger. I think in the end he’ll appreciate NOT knowing the whole story. ;)

A Moment of Reflection: Something my mom always used to say to me was, 'Where there is a will, there is a way.' I have used that as my own personal mantra time and time again. So thanks, mom, for teaching me the perseverance needed to someday plunge my hand into a porta-potty in order to save me some money and the pictures I would have never gotten back otherwise!

Why am I sharing this story with you? ... Well, I figured you could use a laugh. :)

But, also because 'Life Happens,' All. The. Time. and although I wouldn't frown upon anyone deciding to let their phone permanently bed at the bottom of the porta-potty in an instance such as this one, I do find it important when faced with life's dilemmas, no matter how $hitty (haha) the options look, that you will buckle down, suit up, and plunge in. If you want it bad enough you'll get it.
Thank you for taking the time to read this!
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