We got an email from Manny Howard this morning about an improvised save for water-logged digital appliances (and a  great general approach to take when the #$%!! is hitting the fan). We know Manny to be prone to minor disasters from his book My Empire of Dirt: How One Man Turned His Big-City Backyard into a Farm and love him for it, because he so forthrightly throws himself into things (as, it seems, do his kids):

“kids doused my iPhone with water the day before a 5-day work trip to southern France.

In a panic I called up my buddy Norman Vanamee (my best bud who I always turn to him for automotive clunker advice)…

…So the screen’s all mottled in some places, faded completely in others, the apps keep switching without my input. it shuts off and then comes back on occasionally. clearly digital cardiac arrest.

I asked Norm: So, do I go to apple store buy new phone in case this one dies while i’m on the road in France?

No way, he says, just get that sucker in a bag of rice as quick as you can, and keep it there as long as possible.

Roger Willco.

I fill a ziplock with basmati; for good measure, add a cup of premium sushi (somehow short grain seems more absorbent). I pack the ziplock in my checked suitcase and fly off to France. When I unpack my case, in the middle of nowhere in the Pyrenees, completely ready to be in the market for a new iPhone, I discover that aside from a few (fetching) star-like twinkles at the top of the touch screen, the dam thing is up and running…

(One word of warning i did have to carefully prise a grain from the charging slot. At first, I thought the digi-drying scheme would be improved by clear taping that shut, but thought better of it, as I assume the slot is the main portal for the moisture to escape…

…so I would only warn people to avoid doing as I did in my excitement to get the thing up and running and fully charged, driving the charger home without first inspecting and, if necessary, clearing its dock.

Oh, also France (Le Roussillon) was lovely.

Hope you are well.”

Even if Norm’s rice solution hadn’t saved Manny $199 on an i-Phone replacement (Apple actually has a policy about moisture-wrecked i-Phones),  there are several strategies we love in Manny’s story:

-calling a friend who knows more about certain things than you do (someday, HE/SHE will call you for the same reason…), in other words ASK FOR HELP.

-using rice as a drying out zone for digital appliances that have had an aqueous mishap (we’d love to test it out on a laptop, but hope we never have to)..

-trusting that you don’t have to have EVERYTHING perfect before you embark on a trip; you’ll find a way to deal with whatever’s missing when you get there…

Visualpanic/Flickr: CC

Manny’s blog Mannyland is here. And be sure to watch his hilarious seven minutes on the Colbert Report.

Related post: Manny Howard’s Empire of Dirt

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One thought on “impromptu drowned cell phone rescue (+ life lesson)

  1. I too, used this method of rescue. I was camping in my van with my dog and in the night wondered what time it was. So I reached for my cell phone ( I don’t wear a watch) and could not feel it on the counter that I left it on, so at the risk of waking the dog, I turned on a light and there was my Galaxy S2 in her water dish.

    I immediately opened it, took out the battery, SIM card and data card so that they would dry out. It still didnt work later so I posted on facebook, that this was not an ideal situation. My cousin responded “put it in rice” so I did, and it is still working today

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