By Jeff Morris
From the Other Side/Manotick Messenger
A picture popped up on my Facebook page the other day.
Actually, it popped up on the Diva’s page and she tagged me.
It was one of those one-year-ago things. We were on vacation in Playa del Carmen.
It was kind of a last-minute thing. We decided we wanted to get away for a week, and we found a fantastic deal in Mexico with a direct flight at an adults only all-inclusive at the Playa del Carmen Hilton.
Best. Vacation. Ever.
We arrived on Super Bowl Sunday and got to take part in the ultimate Mexican Super Bowl Fiesta outside with a giant screen outside and an endless set-up of steaks, meats and Mexican snacks. The staff made sure there was a drink in everyone’s hands at all times.
We had heard rumblings about “the Coronavirus.” They didn’t have Corona at the hotel, but I was well on my way to having my own “Dos Equis Virus.”
The memory that popped up on Facebook was a collage of a few photos from the trip. One of them was a photo of me, taken by the Diva. I had gone to the swim-up bar to get a Pina Colada for her and a Dos Equis for me. I was at the edge of the pool holding the drinks. She took the picture from her lounge chair. The sky was blue, and the bright sun danced on the crystal clear pool water.
There was a glare off my bald head and I remember slathering it with sunblock regularly. When I saw this photo, I joked that I looked like Caillou’s father. But, for some reason, Caillou’s father had hair., He had really good hair – like Justin Trudeau hair. That didn’t really make sense to me.
Add that to the list of reasons why I am glad Caillou was cancelled.
But getting back to the picture, that trip to the swim-up bar was a bit of a game-changer for the vacation. Sure, in the pic, I have a huge smile. It’ s chest up, the rest of me is blurred in the water.
So you can’t see my bathing suit. More specifically, you can’t see the outline of my cell phone in the pocket of my bathing suit.
Yes, just a couple days into the best vacation of my life, I went swimming with my phone. And I was in the water for at least a half hour.
The Diva didn’t take a pic of me in the moment of realizing my phone was in my pocket. There was a gasp, followed by sheer panic, followed by angst, followed by that sinking stomach feeling. And then sadness set in.
If you have ever done a bone head thing and destroyed your phone, you know exactly what it is like as you hop from car to car on the emotional just-done-something-stupid train.
I vaulted out of the water as fast as I could.
Like it mattered.
And when I got to the caboose of the emotional train, the Diva was sitting there, giving me that look. She casually lifts up her sunglasses, looks me in the eye, and says, really slowly, “Oooooooh, myyyyyy Gaaawwwd.”
She was nonchalant when she did that and said that. She always is.
I was very chalant. I was at about a 10 on the chalant-o-metre, if that’s even a thing.
I scampered back to the room, holding my phone delicately in front of me. I looked sort of like a kid in one of those field day races where you have an egg in a tablespoon and you have to run a race. In this case, my dripping, waterlogged phone was the egg.
I found one of the staff members on our floor.
“iPardoneme, yo necesito mucho arroz, por favor!” I urgently asked in a panic, somehow thinking that submerging my phone in rice would help. “Mucho, mucho, mucho arroz.”
He saw my phone, and he saw the look on my face. He figured out what had happened. He scurried off with a much higher level of grace and fluidity than I certainly showed when I Coureur-de-Bois’d my way through the crowded pool patio and lobby back to my room.
Within minutes, he was back with a big bag of rice. We filled up the ice bucket with rice and submerged Drippy the Phone.
Meanwhile, I was on my laptop frantically searching Google and the Huawei website. It didn’t take long to figure out I was basically S.O.L.
After two days in rice, I tried to charge my phone. No lights went on. The power button wouldn’t work. I put the phone back in the rice. It was more of a ceremonial deep-sixing than it was a desperate attempt to salvage it. No one from work could reach me. I lost all my contacts and photos and videos. I lost my audio files. I felt disconnected and worried. For the next five days, I would be completely off social media and texts and everything. I was like I didn’t exist.
Then I got over it. I realized that the rest of the vacation was going to be completely stress free.
So I did the only logical thing I could do. I went back to the patio, swam up to the bar, and brought back another Pina Colada and Dos Equis.