Phone Alone – By @PhilipLeBrun
By Phil Le Brun
On the 30th of December I found myself in an unfamiliar and embarrassingly helpless situation.
It was an undignified, panicky and sweaty end to the year that put me in reality check-mate.
I found myself at the airport ready to fly back to London without the electronic extension of my brain, my iPhone.
The day was a comedy of errors up until this point. For starters I was Home Alone. Not in a Macaulay Culkin sort of way, more of a ‘my parents have gone to France for New Year and left me very knowingly behind’ sort of way.
I had been left to ‘sort out the house and the cat’ before I left. I had to be at the airport by 14:30 and by 09:30 that morning I had done very little ‘sorting’ or packed my bag. I needed to get a shift on. I crammed my stuff into a bag, which was easy enough as I’m past the age where I actually get physical presents bigger than socks or books. Then I inexpertly removed the Christmas tree from the lounge in a hurricane of pine needles. This terrified the cat, which made my next task of capturing him to take to the cattery almost impossible. After about 35 minutes of stalking him in an ironically cat-like fashion I captured him in one of those weird cat-carrier boxes you occasionally see people on the tube with. As I drove to the cat prison, Ralph looked out the window like a Texan inmate getting his last glimpse of dusty freedom, while I might as well have been sat in a white cowboy hat and reflective aviators. With a guilty goodbye I left him in the hands of the ultimate cat-lady who promised he’d have a good New Year, whatever that means for a cat. Once I’d sorted the fridge and turned off the heating I locked up the house, which on a farm in Jersey is like wearing a bullet proof vest in a John Lewis. Finally I was on my way to the airport without a minute to spare. In predictable fashion my cracked iPhone 4’s battery had dwindled to around 12%, not ideal for travel. But seemingly I’m saved as my mum’s car has a charger. To avoid paying for the long-term carpark at the airport I thriftily leave the car at my Gran’s nearby and take the bus, arriving just before the bag drop closes. I’m asked to show my boarding pass, I go to get out my phone and there it is; the aforementioned sweaty panic. My phone is still plugged into that bloody charger. In my mum’s car. Parked at my Gran’s. There’s no payphone or friendly people to ask. The airport is dead and there’s no time. I have to abandon it. I feel like Tom Hank’s in castaway watching Wilson disappear into the waves. I no longer have a boarding pass, or a way to look up the train times. And I’m left podcast-less with only the sound of my own thoughts telling me ‘you’re a moron’ as my flight is called. So I travelled back into London without my phone and have spent the last few days without it. As annoying as this initially seemed it has been refreshing and has brought home to me my dependency on it for literally everything. I have it back now, but this year I’m going to try and need it less and leave it behind more often.