An iPhone screen is like a heart: easily broken and expensive to fix

The thing that I have been dreading since I first got my iPhone finally happened last week.

I broke the screen.

Now maybe I’m looking at this calamity the wrong way. My dad always says the two best days in a boat owner’s life are the day he buys his first boat the day he sells his first boat. Maybe breaking an iPhone is just a rite of passage that all Apple-addicts must go through at some point in order to reach full emotional maturity.

Or maybe I’m just a freaking idiot because I broke it while walking Rosie. In stilettos. Which, in hindsight, was perhaps not my smartest plan. She saw another dog and took off, and I flailed wildly to keep my balance, in the process dropping my phone. Face down. On the concrete.

But even then, I didn’t panic. As a major klutz, that was not the first brush with concrete that my phone has suffered. And in each previous plummet, it survived unscathed, with perhaps a scratch on the screen protector.

But not this time. This time, the entire face was shattered. And with it, any veneer of cool that I had possessed that day.

So I did what I always do in times of emotional and financial crisis: I called my daddy. Who patiently waited out my sobs, then postulated the theory that the evil goose that’s been stalking me was really to blame for the broken phone.

Then he told me that it really wasn’t so bad in the long run. My grandmother broke her ankle walking Rosie last year (which, to be fair, was because she insisted on walking over a patch of ice to try to find Rosie some un-snow-covered grass to pee on, despite my repeatedly telling her that Rosie LIKES peeing on snow), had surgery to correct it, got a MRSA infection in the bone, and almost lost her foot. A year later, she’s FINALLY walking on her own and doing fine, but in the grand scheme of things, a broken iPhone is NOT the worst Rosie-related catastrophe in the world.

Who knew the face of evil could be so cute?

And while he’s probably right, I’m broke. And don’t have a landline. And use my cell phone for EVERYTHING under the sun. Literally. It’s a phone, an internet device, a mobile hotspot, a music player, a camera, a mirror, a coaster, a Frisbee, etc.  Seeing me without my phone in my hand would be like seeing my dad without a Starbucks cup. Like seeing my mom without makeup on. Like seeing Jesus without his crown of thorns. Like seeing Dan Snyder without his cloven hoofs and devil horns.

It would just be confusing and wrong. And while the phone still technically worked, every time I looked at that cracked screen, it broke my heart a little.

So under my dad’s advisement, I went to the Verizon store and lied through my teeth. Which, I’ve found, is ALWAYS the best policy when dealing with Verizon. My mother and I are still on a family plan together and I’m technically not allowed to do ANYTHING with the account, so lie number one was that my name is Carole.

Which, because my mother refuses to deal with Verizon AT ALL under ANY circumstances, is a lie that I’m used to. I now know her social security number, Verizon account password, bra size, the vision restrictions on her driver’s license, the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow and any other random information that they might ask for to access the account.

Then came lie number two, which was a result of my cardinal rule when dealing with Verizon:  NEVER admit to breaking your own phone. If you do that, you’re not getting a new one, even with the insurance. Instead, I decided to play two truths and a lie. I said that I’m a teacher (true), and a kid was playing with my phone at school that day (also true), and that the kid dropped it and it broke (LIE). Then I batted my eyelashes and asked, in my best Blanche Dubois, “I have always depended on the kindess of strangers,” damsel-in-distress way, if there was ANYTHING that they could do to help me.

Normally, that works.

And had it been ANY other kind of phone, it would have worked in this situation as well, but unfortunately, Apple is its own entity unrelated to Verizon. And the Verizon store can’t give me a new iPhone, no matter how cute I am or how pathetic my story is.

At which point, I dropped the “oh please help me Mr. Big Strong Man” act and was all business.

Which meant calling the Apple insurance company, telling them the same lie (hey it MIGHT have worked this time around. Plus the Verizon store guy was still there and in case I needed to pull the damsel-in-distress thing in the future, I didn’t want him to know I’d lied), and finding out that iPhone insurance means you get a BRAND NEW REPLACEMENT PHONE THE VERY NEXT DAY.

I was ecstatic! I did a little happy dance! I cried tears of pure joy! I hugged the Verizon store guy!

Then they told me about the $200 deductible.

Of course, with the way my mind words, I hear $200 and immediately convert that into two Springsteen tickets (or one plus Ticketmaster fees).

Then I convert it into the number of pairs of shoes I could buy (3-4). But I’m not giving up either of those, and I couldn’t live with the cracked screen, so it was better to give up two weeks worth of groceries instead. I’ve been losing weight for summer anyway. Who REALLY needs to eat?

New iPhone it was.

And, wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles, the next day, when I got home from school, a BRAND NEW IPHONE was waiting for me, ready to use! It wasn’t even a refurbished one like when you have to go through Verizon for the insurance. And, because unlike all things PC, Apple does NOT suck, restoring it to the old, broken iPhone’s backup was a piece of cake.

And all was again right with the world.

The new phone, however, does have a far more protective case on it. And I suppose the real lesson that I should have learned is to change my shoes before I walk Rosie after school. Which, let’s face it, probably isn’t going to happen. Because, as the old 80s Saturday Night Live Billy Crystal sketches always said, “It is better to look good than to feel good.”

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Let’s take a cue from Egypt and free ourselves from Dan Snyder’s tyranny. Viva la resistance!

There’s a lot of talk in the news right now about the unrest caused by Egypt’s ousting of President Hosni Mubarak after 18 days of protesting his 30-year pseudo-democratic reign.

No one knows exactly what’s going to happen in Egypt as of right now, and people all over the world are watching to see if whoever comes to power next will be the savior that Egypt wants, the peacekeeper that the Western world wants, both, or neither.

But more concerning in several situations are the copycat protests in other governments under similarly non-democratic rule. And while, in theory, these revolutions should be good for the people of these nations and should bring about a higher level of equality and rights for all citizens, people are worried about new autocrats rising to power in a very out-of-the-frying-pan-into-the-fire type of scenario.

After all, revolutions are, like the flu, weddings, babies and Bieber Fever, often contagious. The people of other nations see that Egypt was able to shatter a seemingly-unbreakable leader and want to do the same thing in their own lands, for their own people.

And in one case in particular, I think this is a necessary step toward providing the freedom and respect that all people should be entitled to. Because really, there is only one leader who so grossly financially rapes the denizens of his territory as he rules with an iron-fist to destroy all that his people have spent their lifetimes believing in. And whenever a brave soul tries to hold this leader accountable for his inhumane and tyrannical ways, he hides behind that all-encompassing shield of the religion card, insisting that those who wish to free themselves from his iron grip are infringing on his rights to his religious views.

No, I don’t mean the leaders of the Muslim world, many of whom strip their women of all rights while hiding them behind veils.

Nor do I mean the North Korean government, who threaten the lives and safety of their neighbors.

Nor am I encouraging revolt even in a situation where it is probably necessary, in the case of the Dalai Lama who is kept in exile, unable to return to his palace in Tibet.

No, my friends. There is only one place in the entire world that is in greater need of rebellion than any of these places. Only one people who so desperately need to take inspiration from the Egyptian people—those brave souls who finally decided they could take no more and had to fight back, no matter the cost. Only one people, who are being kept from the greatness that they so wish to achieve by a tyrannical despot, whose very name is enough to make his people cringe with shame and make his enemies rejoice in the damage he has done to his people.

I refer, of course, to Redskins owner Dan Snyder.

Dan Snyder, who gouges the loyal fans in every way possible to make a few extra dollars that he will then spend defending his ridiculous image in the media.

Dan Snyder, who spends obscene sums of money on players who cannot and will not help our team return to greatness, while letting players who could restore the honor once associated with the Washington DC football team waste away or leave the city.

Dan Snyder, who punishes coaches with atrocious public humiliation for not being able to perform under the impossible conditions that he has created for them.

Dan Snyder, who is revered by Cowboys fans, Giants fans, and Eagles fans for having utterly destroyed the Redskins franchise.

Dan Snyder, who is in the midst of a lawsuit with a DC-based newspaper, claiming that a picture of him with scribbled on horns is an anti-Semitic slur instead of the (perfectly justified) demonization of him by fans who are tired of paying twenty extra dollars to park two miles from the stadium. Fans who are tired of paying $8 for a Coors Light (which as we all know, shares the unfortunate characteristic with “love in a canoe” as being f***ing close to water). Fans who are tired of the constant belittlement and shame that comes from wearing a Redskins jersey, even after we’ve managed to win a game or two.

Now before you try to sue me Danny boy, please know that I speak as a fellow member of the tribe. And as a Jew, let me assure you that we, the loyal Redskins fans, don’t hate you because you’re Jewish. We hate you because you’ve emptied our wallets to watch our team lose week after week, month after month, year after year, decade after decade. If you took our money and used it in efforts to truly revitalize the team, we would give it to you gladly. But in the current system, we cannot help but despise you. And we would feel the same way if you were a Christian, a Muslim, a Hindu, a Buddhist, a Wiccan, a Scientologist, an atheist, a Muppet, God, the Devil, Bruce Springsteen or Glenn Beck.

Your spiritual beliefs don’t bother us. The fact that our team can’t hold it together enough to even be in contention for the playoffs once in awhile, however, damns you irreparably in our eyes.

So my fellow Washingtonians, it is time to rise up and protest as the Egyptians did. And just like in biblical and modern-day Egypt, the righteous shall win out against the tyrant.

Our country was founded on the idea that all men are created equal and that no man should stand as an unopposed dictator, ruling his people as his whims dictate. How have we, the people of our nation’s capital, forgotten that most basic tenet that our lives were created from?

It won’t be easy. And it will probably take more than 18 days of peaceful protests to get his attention. And some of us will probably lose our houses and have to sell off belongings that we value, because Dan Snyder will surely charge us an arm and a leg to park wherever we are protesting him. But the time is here. Our time is now. Grab your Redskins gear and flags and join me as we take to the streets to regain our team.

(But please pack your own beer and snacks before you join the movement. Our revolution is going to run out of steam REALLY quickly if we have to pay for parking every day AND pay the Fed Ex Field prices for beer and hot dogs. Even Dan Snyder couldn’t afford to spend 18 days protesting with those prices.)

Viva la Resistance!

The 11th Commandment: Thou shalt leave a note when thou hittest a parked car

Yesterday, something so vile, disgusting and inhumane happened that I’m actually loath to talk about it.

While I spent my day from sunup to sundown (both of which I missed) educating the youth of America and helping to ensure a better future for our world, a vicious hate crime of epic proportions was perpetrated against me.

Some unholy minion of evil HIT MY PARKED CAR.

Even this, however, I could forgive, under the right circumstances. People call most collisions “accidents” for a reason, after all.

But whoever committed this immoral atrocity also violated the most rudimentary and fundamental law that separates humans from animals: he or she did not leave a note.

I immediately jumped to the most rational possible conclusion, which was that Verizon had hunted me down and lashed out against me in the most unforgivable manner possible as retribution for my (completely warranted) campaign against them.

Then I realized that was super unlikely because they can’t even get their acts together enough to keep my internet and cable functioning, let alone figure out where I work and which car is mine all in enough time to arrive there during normal business hours.

So unless Verizon is MUCH better at revenge than they are at providing reliable cable and internet service, (and factoring in the fact that I work at a high school) it was probably a teenage driver who hit my car.

Which doesn’t make it any better. Hitting someone’s car without leaving a note is one of the most reprehensible acts that a member of a civilized society can commit.

It’s a little known fact, but when Moses went up onto Mount Sinai, God actually presented him with ELEVEN commandments, not the ten that we’ve all been taught. But the Israelites had no idea what a car was and therefore discarded the holy eleventh commandment: Thou shalt not hittest another man’s car without leaving a note with thine name, phone number, and insurance information.

You want to know why we keep having tragedies and natural disasters? Start following the eleventh commandment and maybe the world will be a better place.

As a strict adherent to the sacred eleventh commandment, I am personally of the belief that there is a special circle in hell for people who hit other people’s cars without leaving a note.

No, they don’t belong in the VERY deepest circle of hell, which as we all know is reserved for Adolf Hitler, Saddam Hussein, Martha Stewart, Stephenie Meyer (the chick who wrote the Twilight books), and those people who put their children on leashes—that level, of course, is ruled by the master of all that is dark and cruel and evil. He goes by many names. Some call him Satan. Some call him Beelzebub. Some call him the Space Cowboy. Some call him the Gangster of Love. Some people call him Maurice. But most of the modern world just knows him as Dick Cheney.

The eleventh commandment violators wind up in the second deepest level of hell.

Yes.

I mean the circle that is presided over by Dan Snyder. Because having him in charge of that particular eternal torture chamber is the ONLY way to ensure that it will suck enough to truly punish these monsters who are willing to disobey the laws of civilized society.

Now I don’t want you to think that I’m unreasonable. I DO understand that there are some circumstances under which it is not only acceptable, but actually advisable to hit someone’s car and NOT leave a note. In fact, there are three (and ONLY three) situations in which there is no need to leave a note.

Scenario 1: You are Jack Bauer. Granted, if you’re Jack Bauer, the car you’re driving was commandeered *cough*-stolen-*cough* at gunpoint while you were chasing terrorists and essentially saving the free world. And I’m not sure if it’s really YOUR responsibility to leave a note when you hit a car with a stolen car in the first place.

But if it WAS you who hit my car, Mr. Bauer, don’t worry, I completely understand.

Unless you were NOT chasing terrorists down for once and were really on your way to pick up your dry cleaning, in which case I expect an apology and a check for the damages.

Just kidding. Please don’t shoot me.

Scenario 2: You are Legend. I mean you are literally Will Smith. And the entire world’s population has died out due to a cure for cancer that you created and that went horribly wrong, and the only other living creatures are horrible vampire/zombie monsters that are trying to get you.

However, in this scenario, it’s only okay to hit other cars and not leave a note if you’re 1) driving at full speed away from the vampire/zombie monsters in the middle of the night when they can come out and attack you, and 2) spending your days working on finding a cure and therefore saving mankind.

If you’re just driving around during the day, it doesn’t matter if everyone else is dead, you still need to leave a note. In fact, that’s probably WHY the vampire/zombie creatures were so pissed off. They didn’t want to eat you. They were mad because you hit one of THEIR cars and didn’t leave a note. Vampire/zombies deserve common courtesy when you mess up their property too, you know!

Some legend YOU are.

Jerk.

Scenario 3: You’re in a Delorean and you have to make it to 88 miles per hour to get back in time and when you arrive in the past, you hit a car that wasn’t there when you left in 1985.

But be warned, this scenario ONLY applies if you’re using the time machine to see a Springsteen show from the late 1970s through the early 1980s. If you’re messing with the space time continuum to ensure that your parents kiss at the Enchantment Under the Sea dance so that you can be born, you’re still expected to leave a note.

And if you’re not bringing me with you to see Springsteen, and you hit MY car, I will travel back in time Terminator-style to kill your mother and make sure that you’re never born. But unlike Arnold, I’ll actually get the job done. Then I’ll go see Bruce in 1978. Because really, what’s the point of time travel if you’re just going to go hang out with your dorky teenage parents? Lame.

So, to whoever hit my car and didn’t leave a note, I’m going to give you one day to find me and make it right. You have exactly 24 hours to fess up.

And if it turns out that you fit into one of the three aforementioned acceptable scenarios, all will be forgiven. But the odds aren’t in your favor because Jack Bauer isn’t real, the human race hasn’t been wiped out by a killer cancer vaccine, and no one took me back in time to the 1970s. Which means you should be very, very afraid about what awaits you in the afterlife.

Because trust me, you’re going to be BEGGING to hang out with Adolf, Saddam, Martha and Dick Cheney in the deepest circle of hell after ten minutes of being tortured under Dan Snyder’s evil regime.

Just ask any Redskins fan.