People seem to want details about my earpiece mishap. Here are the details.
I suppose a Bluetooth earpiece shouldn’t have emotional value, but mine did. My earpiece was special because I have unusually small ears. Friends in high school likened my ears to chocolate-covered-dried-apricots. They haven’t grown much since then (these friends nor my ears). This anatomical challenge makes it a chore to find an earpiece with “good cling” for my little listeners. I clicked through reviews on Amazon until my mouse-finger was exhausted -searching for an earpiece that wouldn’t dangle like a cheap, oversized, plastic, clip-on earring.
I finally found one by BlueAnt. I was a bit of a pain to put on, but once hooked, it clung to my little ear like it was in love. I named him Blinky.
When it’s time to put on Blinky, I’m usually in a hurry. If I don’t take the time to put him on carefully, even Blinky loosens from my ear. Unless I stop, put down my bag and invest 15-20 seconds to mount him to my head correctly, then he’ll fall off. If I’m impatient and I feel Blinky losing his grip, I just walk with my head tilted, and super-steady to keep him from taking a life-threatening, six-foot plunge. I know I must have looked like I had a neck cramp to everyone who watched me walk this way, but I didn’t care. No time. In a hurry.
Blinky had an unusually bright-blue LED that blinked when he was paired with my Blackberry and stayed lit when I was in a phone conversation. I often noticed people staring at my ear while they talked me. Sometimes I saw faint blue flash on their faces -that’s how spectacular Blinky’s “LED-Bling” was. I was self-conscious about his immodest strobing, so if I noticed him distracting anyone who was talking to me, I courteously pulled him off and shoved him into my pocket -even though it would be a pain to remount him to my ear later.
I had just finished a service call to a client who has a 9k square foot home that includes six bathrooms. My visits there are usually for several hours, and, over time, I have developed a preference for a certain bathroom. That’s only natural, right? I liked the bathroom beside the north foyer, nearest the door that leads to the side gate where I like to park my car. This end section of the house seems to get little traffic and the bathroom is sort of tucked away around a corner -so I’ve grown to think of this bathroom as my own.
The home has a full-time housekeeping staff so all rooms are constantly spotless and glistening -including my bathroom. I see the staff cleaning stuff that’s already clean and it makes me shake my head.
Well, I had finished a computer task in less than an hour that I had thought would take me about three hours. I was happy. I wanted to dance. On the way out, I announced my exit to my client and then to a housekeeper I saw in the hall.
“It’s raining hard,” she said. “You have an umbrella?”
Instantly, I had to pee. I’m not even going to lie -I had to go really bad -and I heard the rain as soon as she announced it. That worsened it.
“Nope. I don’t need an umbrella.” I assured her. I’ve noticed that Southern Californian’s freak out when so much as a light mist falls from the sky. I love rain; I ain’t from here.
Anyway, I told her that I would see myself out after using the bathroom and hurried down the hallway.
I entered the bathroom with Blinky loose so, naturally, my head was at full-tilt and I was in neck-cramp posture. I should have pulled Blinky off. Oh how I should have pulled him off and placed him on the safe, marble sink -but noooo.
As I lifted the toilet seat and lid, I remembered the song, “It Doesn’t Rain in Southern California,” and couldn’t help but get my groove on while I unzipped. I had snapped my fingers twice and swung my hips only a couple of times when it happened. Blinky lost grip. I can still see it in slow motion. I made this frantic, upward batting motion with my arms and succeeded in batting him up a couple of times before he slipped through my fingers and made that terrible “plunk” sound.
The toilet water was clear -I hadn’t done anything yet. My instinct was to grab Blinky out -but my stronger instinct was linked to my germophobia. I looked in the bowl and saw Blinky blinking. His blue LED flashed every two seconds from under the water and it looked, to me, like he was begging. I translated each blink to mean “Please, please, please…” I knew I had only milliseconds before Blinky was saturated and his circuits would short out.
I scanned the rim and inner edge of the bowl. It was spotless. In fact, it shined. There was no water ring and not even any evidence that the toilet had been used -ever. My rationale for a hand-dunk strengthened.
I thought of my client and his family. They seemed like clean people. They had no visible evidence of contagious disease or toilet-seat-borne illness. (I’m sure I’d know that that would look like) It’ll be fine, I thought.
I opted to be heroic for Blinky. I yanked my right sleeve up and plunged my hand into the cold water and felt around for Blinky with my eyes squeezed shut and an awful grimace on my face. I pulled him out and opened my eyes. He was soaked and my hand dripped. Yes, I felt bacteria crawling all over my hand and wrist even though the water had been “unused.”
I took Blinky and shook him really hard over the toilet. Some more water came out of him and actually splashed on the floor. That brought a new terror because now I thought the housekeepers would think that I peed all over the floor around the toilet. I wrapped Blinky in toilet paper and then pulled a more generous amount of toilet paper and then got on my knees and began wiping up the water around the toilet so my client and his staff wouldn’t think I was disgusting and that I had no aim. How would they know the drops all over the floor weren’t pee? After five minutes of wiping and checking the floor around the toilet from every angle to make sure I left no moisture, I washed my hands in water as hot as I could get it and left -having completely lost my need to really pee.
In my car I pulled out my antibacterial hand sanitizer and unfolded Blinky from his toilet paper mummification. I wiped a light layer of gel on him, careful to apply extra on the parts of him that would touch my ear. He wasn’t blinking anymore. I pulled out my Blackberry, called my voicemail and held my breath until I heard a voice come through Blinky. The sound was weak, but audible. I was ecstatic. It was short-lived. After two calls, during which Blinky worked, his bright blue LED came on and stayed on -like a final scream -and he fell totally silent. He was a trooper, but it was over.
“Nooo! Whyyyyyyyy?” I screamed in my car. Blinky was gone. I re-wrapped him and tucked him in my driver’s door compartment. I’ll leave him to dry out more and hope that he’ll revive.
I had an old, clunky Bluetooth earpiece in my office drawer. I charged it up and tried it. It works but it is ever so floppy on my undersized ears. It doesn’t matter how carefully I put it on -I’m walking like I got a neck cramp.
Tags: geoffrey neil