The Horror Of Losing Your Cell Phone

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I lost my cell phone.

Well technically, I didn’t know where it was and someone found it, but in the end, I got it back. Does it count as a lost item if you get it back?

But the horror. The things that go through your mind before you finally connect that last dot and realize it’s gone. You don’t have it, and you don’t know for sure where it might be.

You tap your pants pockets and check your jacket, where could it be? Quick—when was the last time you saw it? It’s not on the floor or the seat of your car, so, where is it?

And while you are acting out your own CSI show in your head or wishing you had paid more attention to that old Columbo episode you saw on MeTV, the realization finally hits. You left it in the movie theater. Oh, no, how could you be so stupid?

Now what? Are you even sure what theater you were in, was it 5 or 7? Did you save your stub that has the theater number on it? There is most likely a completely different movie playing in that theater by now, how do you get back in there to check without looking like an idiot?

My goodness, when did this phone become such an important part of our lives? People have risked death (and sometimes failed) trying to retrieve this device. And for what, the contacts listing? Do you really need to retrieve all those selfies or pictures of your last dinner plate? Isn’t that what “the cloud” is for? But “the cloud” can’t help you now.

Actually, I’ve been on a Joe DiMaggio-type streak since I got my first phone, back when you had to pull out a little antenna to use it. I’ve never lost my phone, ever. I’ve had phones break or be damaged and needed to get a new one, but I’ve never lost it. I’ve misplaced it (who hasn’t?) and had to search for it, but I never lost it and didn’t get it back. My kids have lost their phones (skiing, at an amusement park) and my wife loses hers every three days (well, she usually finds it), but not me.

So I did what any self-respecting male would do in this situation: I panicked internally but was cool as a cucumber on the outside. I simply told my wife that I thought I might have left my phone in the movie theater. The first thing she says? “You lost your phone?” Oh the horror…

Although I didn’t agree with the term “lost,” I didn’t have too much of a leg to stand on at this point, so I just went with it as we tried to figure out what to do. She came up with the idea of calling the phone to see if it would ring or buzz in the car somewhere. Maybe it was under the seat?

Just then, someone answered on the other end. A good Samaritan had not only retrieved my phone, but was doing everything in his power to reunite me with it. Even though the phone was locked, he was able to return a message to one of my friends (you just have to swipe it to the left, iPhone fans), who then contacted my brother. As we were hanging up with my new best friend, we got another call from my brother, delivering the information we had just found out about. Talk about synchronicity.

I met up with my hero at the Starbucks outside the Stadium 10 in Farmingdale (he was sitting next to us during King Kong) and he turned down my offer to buy him coffee as a reward, but I was humbled and forever grateful for his effort.

On the way home, I told my wife how close I had come to breaking my “never lost my phone” streak, but she didn’t agree with me. She said the phone was lost and just because I found it doesn’t negate the fact that it was lost, so the streak is over. I beg to differ. In my opinion, lost means lost, but once you find it, it’s not lost anymore. I even looked it up in the dictionary: “unable to be found”.

As far as I’m concerned, even though I had to suffer through the horror of misplacing my phone, I was able to recover it, so the streak continues.

Maybe I should look up exactly what “the cloud” does, you know, just in case.

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Paul DiSclafani is a columnist for Massapequa Observer.

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