Archived Story

Never stick a cell phone in your Levi’s while mowing in the rain

Published 11:42am Friday, June 22, 2012

It’s always surprising to me how horrific events appear to occur in slow motion. When one of my horses, as a3 year old and very new under saddle, spooked at a noise in the woods and exploded in a series of bucks, I vividly remember making a stoic attempt to grab mane and stay with him before being flung so high that I looked down and actually saw the empty seat of my saddle before seeing the sky, clouds and then sand as I came hurtling downwards with an impressive thud that left a shallow crater in the footing of the arena, some 10 feet away. In my teens, when I competed in Junior Jumper competitions, I misjudged a distance coming into a fence and my horse took off far too early, effectively crashing through the entire hurdle. It seemed to take her forever to fall- I remember seeing her neck stretched fully out before me, desperately trying to regain her balance and it seemed I had ages to determine, as I kicked my feet out of the stirrups, which side she was going to roll so I could vault off the opposite direction, and I did. We were both unhurt and, as youth dictates, unfazed.
In a desperate and flailing attempt, my work gloves soaked by the rain, I made a wild grab for the phone but it was beyond my reach and tumbled to the grass directly in front of the tractor tire. Before I could hit clutch and brake, the sickening sound of splintering metal was heard being gnashed by the bush hog blades and, like splatter art, my phone burst over the grass in a million pieces. The only thing remotely intact was a portion of the cover- vividly pink and emblazoned with the old British phrase from WWII, “Keep Calm and Carry On.”
Nothing had ever looked so pathetic.
The next morning, coming back from an appearance in the city for local television, heavy make-up applied to cover the scratches earned from tree branches on my arms and chigger bites on my legs, I stopped at the local mall and sought out an ‘Apple’ store to file my claim.
“Is your phone lost?” enquired the helpful clerk.
“Not exactly.” I replied.
“Sooo,” she mused, trying not to stare at the bizarre blotches of Lancome on my ankles. “You know where it is?”
“It’s in the field.” I explained. “In pieces. I drove the bush hog over it.”
“The bush…”
“Hog.”
“I don’t thing that qualifies as an act of God.”
“It might.” I persisted. “I mean, it was on Sunday.”
I left with no phone and no intention of spending $400 for a new one. Contacting Paul by email, he told me to rummage through the closet and I might find an old phone somewhere on the shelf. I did. It was three years old and reprogrammed promptly by AT&T and I wasn’t charged a dime.
But the lesson has been learned. Never stick a cell phone in your Levi’s while mowing in the rain.
Wear Carharts. The pockets are much deeper.

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