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Thursday, September 12, 2013




What did we ever do in the good old days before cell phones?  Yes we abuse them, talking when we don’t need to and texting for no apparent reason, but in the pinch, when we really need them they are the greatest invention ever!

Six years ago, when I needed it the most, my cell phone failed me. 

The problem went back even further.  Eight years ago my brother invited me to watch a PGA golf tournament at the East Lake Golf Club near his Atlanta Ga. Home.  It was there that I bought some souvenirs including a small PGA pin.

Fast forward one year from that golf tournament, and in the car, my eight year old son was playing with this PGA pin.  He lost the backing of the pin.  I put the pin in a cup holder until I could find the backing.

Fast forward another year, (visualize if you will a clock running very quickly) and I was on a trip to my daughter’s home in North Carolina.  It is normally an eight hour trip from New Jersey to North Carolina, but I hit traffic and as I neared her home it was dark.  I was tired so I pulled into a rest stop and bought a large cup of coke to caffeinate my brain.  Then, somewhere on my way… 

I got lost.

North Carolina is a beautiful state, but it is not a great state in which to get lost.  My daughter lived in a new development which was surrounded by woods, farms, and houses whose yards had grass growing through tractors and old rusted cars.  I decided to use my cell phone to call my daughter and have her guide me to her home.

My cell phone was in the cup holder behind the large cup of coke.  The large cup of coke that was in the forward cup holder had been punctured by the pin I bought at the golf tournament at my brothers which my son had lost the backing from and which I had placed in my forward cup holder.  The coke which leaked from the large cup of coke found its way into the cup holder which held my cell phone.  

My cell phone was bathing in coke.

Cell phones do not do well in coke.

Being lost on a back road in North Carolina in the dark will do strange things to one’s mind.  

I chose to curse at my brother for inviting me to that PGA golf tournament…


Then I got angry with my eight year hold for farting around with the pin.

Stupid kid!!

Finally I kicked myself for being so stupid to leave a pin in my cup holder and later jamming a cup of coke into the pin. 


None of this blame crap was getting me to my daughter’s house.  I was driving in despair down a country road hoping I could find civilization and a phone before my gas tank hit empty.  Out of nowhere I spotted a cute little house with a well-manicured yard in between two shacks which looked like they may have been owned by Jed Clampett before the  “crude came a bubbling up from the ground.”

A light was on in this cute little house and a silhouette by the light showed a young women reading by the light and enjoying a glass of wine.

I pulled into the driveway of this oasis in a hillbilly dessert, got out of my car, walked to the door and rang the bell.  A very pretty young lady answered the door and she was greeted by the sight of a tired, unshaven, unkempt, disheveled, cranky old man with a pitiful look holding up a dripping cell phone.

“May ah help you?”

“Ah yes, I am from New Jersey” (somehow being from New Jersey gets you sympathy in other parts of this country) “and my phone is out.  It is drenched in coke, actually.  I wonder if I could use your phone to call my daughter.  She lives around here, but I am hopelessly lost.”

“Why sure, come rait on in, use mah phone rait heyar.”

I called my daughter and she directed me to her house which was less than two miles away.  

This sweet (and very cute) lady, was all alone yet she still let me inside her home and trusted me with her phone.  Without her hospitality I may have spent the night asleep in a jeep with an empty gas tank in the middle of what to this NJ boy was “Deliverance-ville.”

I told my daughter it sure is nice visiting a state where the people were so friendly, hospitable and trusting.

My daughter told me that if it were her, she would have bolted the door and dialed 9-1-1 before I could have said howdy through the peephole!

But then, she is from New Jersey.


  1. In only you had bought a new car in the interval...

    But there are a lot of nice people in the world.

  2. Like Blanche in "Streetcar Named Desire," you've benefited from relying on the comfort of strangers. Are you sure you weren't in the Big Easy?

    And to date I've never owned a cell phone.

  3. They are greatest (and worst) invention ever. I never sleep without mine! Never know, I might get lost

  4. she was extremely trusting of you.

  5. Cell phones don't do good in Sprite either. They don't do good when kids spit on them . Kids spitting sprite on them causes double trouble. LOL

  6. That tale brings to mind all of the things I've heard about Coke...
    the only good one being that it is a real good cleanser and cops, or the road department, use it to clean blood off the highway after really bad accidents

    BTW - it's my favorite soft drink

  7. At least you found the kind-hearted lady in the woods and not the witch with the very large ginger-bread oven. She is lucky you were just a weird-o from New Jersey messed up by Coke and not coke.

  8. What a sorry opinion you have of North Carolina. Jeeeeezus that's a gorgeous state.

    Someone from New Jersey? bad mouthing another state? man? that's a loud laugh out loud…

    AND .... cell phones should not be placed in one's breastpocket when going to a public bathroom where, as a female.... you cover the seat with several seat protectors which involves leaning over... talk about not doing well... man oh man

  9. Coke is a terrible thing to waste. Reading a book and drinking wine? What bizarro part of "country" were you in? I'm surprised that little gal wasn't sitting in a rocker on the porch, surrounded by her hounds, chawin' on a plug of tobacco, whittlin' a corncob pipe. That's what we do around here in the evening.

  10. This is one of the secret apps programmed into cellphones, Joe - to render themselves mute at times of most extreme necessity and I furthest proximity from alternative solutions. You are lucky indeed that the lady let you in. I'm not sure it that was kind or crazy on her part! I think I'd be a little nervous being lost in those parts at night too! :-)

  11. You sure know how to create some mystery. I had a heck of a time trying to tie that golf game and pin to a failed cell phone. You tell a fine story.

  12. Nice story. Entertaining and all. But now I have the image of a clock with it's minute hand running around and around and around, on FAST FORWARD. Why my brain chose THAT to cling to out of all the things in this post, I have no idea. This will be a short day for me, with all that fast-forwarding going on in my head.

  13. I think you found yourself a VERY nice southerner that day. I'm from South Carolina and I think I would have had more of the New Jersey reaction. Glad it all worked out.

  14. This was a very entertaining story about the way seemingly unrelated events build up over time to cause one great blog post.


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