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Dusty Trails, Cow's Milk and Cell Phones Dusty Trails, Cow's Milk and Cell Phones
by Leah Sellers
2013-05-21 11:09:30
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One day a few months ago, when helping my mother and sister feed their goats and ponies at the back of their property, I decided to ride on the back of the pick-up truck’s tailgate while we were heading down to the barn.
I had my cell phone in my jacket pocket, and it began to ring, so I decided to answer it.  While I was talking to my friend amidst the flurry of dust from the rough kaliche road we were bouncing around on, and the noise and hay and feed debris swirling all around me, my sister drove over a really large rut in the road a little too quickly.  I lost my balance, and hit my elbow on the side of the truck.  As a result, my cell phone went flying out my hand, and clattering out into the middle of the rocky, kaliche road.
Before getting crippled six years ago, I would have thought nothing about immediately hopping off of the back of the truck, and running to get my delinquent cell phone.  However, I can no longer make such reflexive moves as that any more, so I scooted across the truck’s back end, and knocked on my sister’s back window.
“Hey Plip,” I yelled.  “Can you stop and back up ?  I’ve lost my cell phone out in the middle of the road ?”
The pick-up truck came to a crunching, jolting stop.  “You did what ?”
“I accidentally dropped my phone on the road back there when you hit that big bump so hard,” I explained.
“I’ll back up.  You tell me when to stop,”  Plip said matter-of-factly.
“Okey-dokey, and thank you, Plip,”  I answered.
She instantly shifted the truck into reverse and began to back the truck back down the hill a little too quickly.  “Plip, slow down.  You’re going too fast !  Whoa, Plip !  Stop the truck.  You’ve already passed my phone up.”
Once again, my sister, slammed on the brakes.  “Do you see your phone ?”
“No, I think you parked the truck right over it.  Let me get out, and I’ll check underneath the truck.”
I gently slid off the backend of the truck, and holding onto the side of the pick-up, slowly stooped down to look under my sister’s idling vehicle.  There was no phone in sight.  So, I hobbled all around her Ford, and looked all around, up and down the road.  There was still no cell phone to be found.
“This is mighty peculiar.  Cell phones just don’t grow legs and go running off into the wilderness,”  I said exasperatedly.
“Let me move the truck up some.  Maybe you just missed seeing it under there for some reason,” Plip offered.
Plip moved the truck up hill a few feet and came to another rather abrupt and dust raising stop.  As she did, my cell phone revealed itself.  It had been hiding beneath her right back tire.
“Oh, for Pete’s sake,  we ran right over it. Plip.  Look at it, it’s smashed into little bitty pieces.  I’ll have to get another one.  Just my luck !  Who else’s cell phone would meet its demise in a hit and run accident ?  Ha !” I held the phone pieces up for Plip to see, and we both got a laugh over it’s sad, shattered status.
“Oh well, I was needing a new one anyway.  I’ve had this one for ten years now.  Guess I’ll finally get a phone with a camera on it.”
“You are so behind the times when it comes to your cell phone.  Why don’t you get a phone with all of the bells and whistles ?”
“Because I just want a cell phone that’s a phone.  I don’t want all of the other bells and whistles.  I do not want to be attached to my phone all day.  I do not want cauliflower ear.  I do not want to text.  I just want to be able to personally deliver, by the sound of my voice, messages to other people by speaking to them on my phone, and listening to them on my phone.  I thought you’d be pleased that I’m getting a cell phone with a camera.”
“Well, at least that’s a step in the right direction.  Come on, let’s go ahead and get the rest of the animals fed so we can get back up to the house before everyone else gets here.”
“Sounds good to me.  However, I think that I’ll ride the rest of the way with you inside the truck.  If I fell off of the tailgate for any reason, I’d be afraid of you running right over me, if you had to back up to find me.”
“Ha, ha.  Very funny,”  Plip replied sarcastically.
I liked my new little cell phone with the camera.  Yes, I said liked.  Past tense, because just last week, while I was helping one of my folks with Alzheimer‘s, my cell phone with a camera bit the dust.
I had forgotten to wear my pants with pockets, and so had placed my phone on the table I was helping to feed Mr. Dick at.  I was expecting a call from his wife.
When Mr. Dick finished the breakfast I had cooked for him, I picked up his tray and his dishware.  After rinsing everything and placing it in the dishwasher, I returned to Mr. Dick in order to make him more comfortable, set up and get him started on his Brain Games and Exercises, and pick up my phone, before taking care of some other tasks for Mr. Dick that needed my attention.
The phone was nowhere to be found.  “Mr. Dick, sir, have you seen my phone ?”  I asked.
“Why no,”  Mr. Dick said dreamily, as he picked up his large milk glass to take another large gulp.
As he tilted the glass back to get a satisfying drink of his milk, something slid down from the bottom of his tall glass, and bumped him on his nose and mouth.  Splashing white milk all over Mr. Dick’s face, his shirt and jeans, and the table.  It was my cell phone.  The cell phone with the camera.
The expression of startled surprise on Mr. Dick’s face was so endearing that I burst out laughing.  Mr. Dick laughed right along with me as I recounted what had just occurred.
“I am so sorry, little mama.  I don’t remember doing it,”  Mr. Dick declared softly.
“That’s alright, sir.  My family was already telling me that I needed to update my phone again.  I guess that decision’s been made for me.  My cell phones don’t seem to meet their ends naturally though.  One got run over and squashed by a pick-up truck.  And now this one’s been drowned in a glass of cow’s milk.  Ha !  I could use a little work on my Phone Karma.”

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