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The Time I Flushed My New iPhone Down the Toilet

On nickwinter.net

Here's an old post from 2011-11-21 I thought I'd save from Google+. It is just two years old and already my G+ history has forgotten it--thankfully Google's normal search could find it.

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George and I got some great footage of the Skritter iOS app in action yesterday for our teaser video. I Skrittered on buses, bridges, balconies, and a pillowcase. It's a good thing we finished shooting, because last night I flushed my month-old iPhone 4S down the toilet. Siri must have finally had enough of me asking her to tell me a story, or what's the inverse cosine of the arctangent of the square root of x from -1 to 1, or to remind me thirty times of my meeting with George in one minute. She just dove out of my loose 唐装 pocket at the moment of peak flush velocity. Slurp! It was a beautiful performance which my clutching hands could not follow.

So after calmly announcing to my boardgamemates that I'd just lost $600, sticking my arm up there, and being advised that "it's gone, man", I finished the game, eventually being punched out by an aging professor despite being invisible and having the revolver. Then I went straightaway to tell the internet about the hilarious loss. Just for fun, I decide to check iCloud's Find My iPhone feature. Well, what's this? Located 1 minute ago and still in the house? The phone clings to the plumbing, still alive! Quick, tell it to play a sound and display a message: "I'm drowning!"

Listening to the phone's desperate chimes for help, I located it to the back bend of the toilet trap and enlisted the small-wristed girls in the house to go toilet noodling. "You probably won't get your hand stuck in there. No, it's not dirty at all. It could be just a little further, so reach harder. Yeah, but your wrist is smaller than hers." My exploitative exhortations came to naught.

Sticking to It

On On the Side of the Good

Few things have the reliability of duct tape. It doesn't always look pretty, although it comes in fancy colors now, but it gets the job done. It doesn't waffle around. It works immediately. It's both good enough to fix the space shuttle, but also make a host of different crafts. Bottom line: when there is something that needs fixing, it gets the job done.

When Life needs fixing, when things break down, we often see people who INTEND to help. People recognize there is a need for something to be done, but for whatever reason they remain on the periphery, fearing inadequacy or interference. They wish to help--- but they choose to stay back and out of the way. Thankfully, there are also the Duct Tapers--the ones who see a need and respond. They get "IT" done.

Sometimes the “IT"is a messy, nasty situation. And somehow they come in and make it more tolerable. Sometimes they give wisdom. Sometimes the situation calls for Tough Love. Sometimes they respond in an impressive way to a sick family member, at the expense of their own jobs, or their own finances. Maybe it is a response to a family who has experienced a death. They may not know what to say, but they create comfort in small acts. They aren't afraid to stick to it until the situation is stable. They seek no reward. There is no “what's in it for me?"

One of my heroes, Jeanine, is a Duct Taper for sure. She has spent years serving as a guidance counselor for beautiful children in one of the most poverty stricken areas in the US. I've seen her find a way to provide 200 families with Thanksgiving Dinner. I have seen hundreds of bikes roll out of a building to make sure Christmas morning was special. I've seen her petition the state government and have funds secured in order to have a sidewalk built so the children could walk home safely. Jeanine has seen awful things, such as the aftermath of abuse of children, but she has a laser focus to step in, protect the children, and provide the comfort she can. It's not easy. She does many things that she'd much rather not have to do, but for the Greater Good, and as a Keeper of the Good, she sticks to it. And she never fails to respond.

Are we those who TRY to help? Or are we those who DO? Do we step in and respond when a need arises? Do we get “IT" done no matter how scary, or nasty, or uncomfortable a situation is? Can we be considered as reliable as duct tape?

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