“I hate your stupid Appalachian Trail pants,” said my wife, as we were heading south on the Jersey Turnpike. “Your phone probably slipped right out of the cheap fabric pocket and is sitting on the men’s room floor as we speak.”
She did have a point about the phone, though I was unclear where the vitriol for these amazing pants was coming from.
Yes, I have hiked parts of the Appalachian Trail in these wonderful pants. They have a breathability about them that make it feel as if I’m not even wearing pants. As a rule, I usually wear pants when I hike. This comfortable fabric was the reason I was wearing them on the five-hour drive home from New York.
It was impossible for me to argue with my wife’s rationale, as I was not able to locate my phone in the car. The last place I’d seen it was at the Molly Pitcher rest stop in the northern part of New Jersey.
I shuddered when I thought of my phone, cold and alone, on the metal shelf inside stall #7 of the men’s rest room. What must’ve been running through its tiny little motherboard as it attempted to register the inappropriate language surrounding it on the partition walls? The fear it must’ve felt when an overweight Italian man with a Yankees hat attempted to gain access to its information, my four-digit passcode protecting its secrets.
We weren’t turning back. We had already put 50 miles’ distance between ourselves and stall #7. It was bad enough I’d even had to visit stall #7 in the first place.
My wife had my phone blacklisted, though she took perverse pleasure in telling me she had it “blackballed.” After a 30-minute conversation with the service provider – all while I was driving into Delaware – she conveyed to me what the representative on the other line was saying. “So, if he’d had his ‘find-my-phone app’ on, he’d be able to locate it?”
I felt sad.
“But he doesn’t have it on, so there is no chance of finding it?”
I felt sadder.
“If he didn’t have his ringer off all the time, we could call it and see if it was in the car?”
I felt stupid.
“It has to be in the car,” I said.
As we entered Maryland, my wife was still angry at my pants. I tried defending them, but they just sat there, silent, looking spectacular but not helping their own cause.
“You probably have a hole in your pocket and the phone slipped right out,” said my daughter from the back seat.
“I would’ve heard it or felt it,” I responded, defiantly. “It has to be in the car!”
“Stupid pants,” said my wife.
“Can I have the snack bag?” asked my son from the back.
Approaching Baltimore, I heard a familiar sound. It was the vibrating sound of an incoming call on my car’s GPS. It was my sister-in-law, asking if I’d found my phone – the very phone she was now calling!
I was puzzled. Could Bluetooth’s range reach me some 100 miles away? Surely not! That must mean the phone was somewhere in the vehicle. But where? We’d already searched extensively.
My wife called the service representative and had my phone “un-blackballed,” feeling confident the phone was within the confines of our vehicle.
We got home and I twerked myself into an X-rated yoga position to search under the seat. No luck. Finally, I used my wife’s phone to call my phone and followed the vibrating sound. There, wedged in the door panel, behind my bottled water, was my phone.
“Yes!” I screamed triumphantly, though I had already searched that location twice. If someone tells you that cell phones don’t enjoy playing hide and seek, they are lying.
“I still hate your Appalachian Trail pants,” muttered my wife.