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Discovering How Disruptive Not having your Cell Phone can be

While we were in Bohol, I was having this somewhat somber conversation with Ces at the beach when I noticed that the menu button of my trusty four-year old N82 was just about ready to come off. Bummer...

Unlike many people who carry their cell phones in their palms, I preferred to carry mine inside one of the front pockets of my pants. I, therefore, found myself in a bit of a dilemma because I did not think of myself – then – as the palm-carrying type. And particularly since the button was still attached to the handset by the flimsiest of threads...

I was in a beach, hey, and the nearest repair shop – I was sure – was at least half an hour away. When Ces and I made our way back to their resort room, I took a chance and asked the shop girl if they had any sort of glue. What the shop had on the shelves were the sorts of things one would expect resort patrons to be looking for: toothpaste, lotions, bars of soap, what-have-you.

“Nagbabakasakalî lang ako,” I told the shop girl apologetically, knowing as I did that what I was looking for was a bookstore commodity. Yet, the girl volunteered that she had Mighty Bond! My word, I was thinking, the things one finds when one asks.

Ces warned me against using the adhesive because it could damage the sensitive electronic parts of the handset. But I had already weighed the pros and cons and had made up my mind that the Mighty Bond was a present from Heaven above...

I resolved to use as little of the glue as possible, but try controlling the the flow of the fluid adhesive from a tube if just as a personal experiment. It’s impossible to control it, I tell you! Even as I applied what felt like the gentlest of pressure at the rear end of the tiny tube, the fluid spurted out like a genie freed from his bottle after 700 years of imprisonment.

It was still well and good, and I was just happy that the button was securely fastened back to the handset. Until the adhesive set...

In about 5 minutes, I could no longer scroll down; and to bring out the menu at all, I had to press down so hard my thumb hurt. That was when it occurred to me that I really should pay attention to Ces more often... And, of course, she dutifully had to say, “Sabi ko na sa inyo...”

Oh, for crying out loud! I have a History-Political Science bachelor’s background and a Masters in Management. And in neither program do they teach you not to use epoxy when the menu button of a cell phone comes loose... Must I say that I am also not the manual-reading type? In fairness to myself, though, would Nokia really have written in its manual that there was a chance that the menu button could come loose?

So there... Any text messages I received in the ensuing two days inevitably received no replies from me. I could have called – that still worked – but, what the heck, I was at the beach and could be forgiven for taking the laid-back attitude...

Of course, once we were back in civilization, among the first things I did was to look for a repair shop. We had an hour to kill at the mall before check-in time for our late afternoon flight out of Tagbilaran. Having bought my obligatory Bohol shirts, I wandered off with Dan to explore what the mall had to offer.

At the top floor were the cell phone shops. Elated at finding a repair stall outside one of these shops, I asked one of the two working gentlemen, in Tagalog, if they could repair my N82. Both replied to me in the most fluent Cebuano that one could ever expect from a native of Bohol.

“Ahhhhh......” I said to the two gentlemen. “Salamat!” But, of course, I did not understand a goddamned word of what the two said to me...

Off we walked to the next stall, and there – at least – the gentlemen at work spoke Tagalog. “Housing lang ‘yan Sir,” one of the men told me. But he also needed half an hour to work on my phone, time I did not have.

Back in Lipa, I learned from the technicians I visited that, although the problem could be solved by a new housing, finding one for an N82 was not that easy. Now to the moral of the story: not because you have put Humpty together again with Epoxy, it does not mean Humpty will be the same as before he fell.

Ano raw???!!!

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