a doh! moment

Posted: November 13, 2011 in Humorous Bits
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

For all our visions of sophistication we teeter perilously close to the edge of idiocy. We think we’re brimming with “Wow!” when in fact we’re teeming with “Doh!” Everyone from a graceful dancer to a sizzling musician to a persuasive politician constantly straddles the doofus line. We may try to hide this truth, but it is always ready to slap us down.

Last night we went to dinner at friend’s house. It was a feast of feasts, a cornucopia of culinary creations, an alliterative affair of preposterous proportions. At one point I went to the restroom. While there I took out my iPhone because my name is John and I have an iPhone problem. Immediately it shimmied in my hand as if filled with Mexican jumping beans. We all know that moment when we realize something is about to slip from our grasp and take an express trip to the floor. Although we are furiously working our limbs and appendages to prevent droppage the scene shifts into slow motion. I watched as the phone left my fumbling hands and fell none too gently onto the hard tile where it bounced around like a crushed dream.

I stifled my urge to scream like a sissy girl. When the phone finally came to rest I did a quick once-over to assess any damage. The screen wasn’t cracked and no dents, dinks or scuffs were apparent. I wanted to test every feature multiple times, but it is bad form to spend a long time in a host’s bathroom, especially after you’ve just gorged their food. I tucked the phone in my pocket aware an intense examination would occur in the privacy of my own insanity.

During the 50 mile drive home my thoughts centered on staying awake and the condition of the phone. The lovely Ms. Trask, dusted with the same sleepy, overstuffed juju as me, sat quietly. This peaceful environment allowed my mind to wander to places it should never go. By the time we got home I was convinced 36 different things on the phone were busted, merrily waiting for me to discover them. But it was late so I chose sleep, fully knowing as soon as I woke the phone would receive a more thorough inspection than TSA agents give any poor bearded sot named Mohammed.

This morning I snatched the phone from the nightstand. Inspector Gadget was on the case! I swiped my finger across the Lock Screen to reach the Home Screen, the center of all iPhone action. Odd. No “click” when the Home Screen popped up. I tapped the email icon to see if any new emails arrived. They did, but the usual confirming “ding” was silent. I tapped on the keyboard. Hmmmm. No accompanying “tap tap tap” sounds as I tap tap tapped away.

Quickly I thought, what else has sound? Ah ha! YouTube! I hurriedly picked a Louis C.K. clip. Eureka! That was most definitely Louis C.K.’s voice saying something undoubtedly hilarious. I wanted to hang and watch the entire clip, but other matters were pressing.

Where else could I find sound? Ah ha! Games! Games have sound! Let’s hear those angry birds angry birding! But sadly, the angry birds flew silent. Apparently they took meds to chill out. (Long overdue, if you ask me.) I tried another game. I heard no sound save the rapid pounding of my heart. The phone is less than 5 months old. Did I really break it so soon? That would be pathetic. Also, I didn’t want to schlepp to the Apple Store. Not on a Sunday, not on a day specifically constructed with no commitments.

By now the lovely Ms. Trask was watching my shenanigans. I drew her into the fun. I asked her to send a text which, when received, should make a trumpeting sound on my phone. It’s actually pretty annoying to everyone other than me. She did her thing and I jealously listened to her tap tap taps. The text made its invisible journey across thousands of miles to reach me less than a foot away. My phone vibrated. Message received but, alas, no thundering trumpets. (Not the first time I’ve been told that.) Now I figured if there was no text sound there was probably no phone sound. That’s usually a good thing until you miss the “Congratulations! You are our 10,000,000th customer and you’ve won a free year’s worth of ice cream!” call. I know I’m destined to receive that one at any moment and it would suck missing it. So I asked her to call while I scattered to another room. Again, mysterious happenings over thousands of miles. The phone vibrated, but did not ring. Fortunately, the actual talking back and forth part worked fine. I heard her cheery “Hello” and she heard my ever more despondent “Meh.”

What to do, what to do? Ah ha! Being a genius I know if you’re having a PC problem sometimes simply turning that sucker off, waiting 30 seconds, and booting her back up makes the problem disappear. It must be the same with the iPhone, right? They’re basically the same thing, right? A whiz-bang device used to find useless info on the interwebs with the intent to gleefully share it with people who want to be left alone.

I turned the phone off, waited, and flipped it back on. It did its booty thing. The Lock Screen appeared. I swiped my finger across it with the artistry of Van Gogh and Bob Ross. The Home Screen materialized, but no “click”. Desperation set in. Maybe resetting everything back to the factory default was the answer. That sounded logical and smart, so I did it. Everything reverted to Day One except, of course, the missing sounds. Stormy clouds of depression gathered. Yes, it seemed like I screwed the iPhone pooch. So much for my Day of Nothing. I reclined and embraced my misery. It was very quiet except for the persistent tap-tap-tapping of the lovely Ms. Trask’s fully functional iPhone in fully functional mode to my left.

She held out her hand. “May I see your phone?” I gave it to her in a manner screaming defeat. “What does this rectangular button do?” she asked.

Near the top left side of the phone are three buttons, two circular and one rectangular. The circular ones adjust volume. (I tried pumping up the volume several times during my various attempts to regain sound. Thought you had me, didn’t you?) The rectangular button was a mystery. I never used it. “I have no idea,” I answered. “Do I look like Steve Jobs?”

She ignored this and compared our phones. “The reason I ask,” she continued, “is because I can see a little red patch beneath your rectangular button while mine shows a little silver patch.” What’s this? Red? Silver? Red??? I snatched my phone, examined the rectangular enigma, and slid it down. The red disappeared, replaced by glorious silver.

Suddenly energized, I performed my artistic swipe on the Lock Screen. “Click!” I retrieved my email. “Ding!” I tapped the keyboard. “Tap tap tap!” I summoned the angry birds. Furious!

Apparently while I was slipping into catatonic depression the lovely Ms. Trask hunted down an iPhone troubleshooting site and discovered the answer. I was not the first person to experience this problem. I suppose there’s some comfort in that, but as I’ve thought about this simple solution throughout the day all that comes to mind is a great big DOH!

  1. At least you didn’t drop your phone in the toilet, which is what I thought was going to happen – that would have been disastrous.


  2. BrainRants says:

    My epic fail was not realizing my non-keypad-having laptop had gotten its NUM LOCK button un-engaged. I typed in odd hackerspeak for days before someone emailed me back and illuminated for me my own asshattery.



  3. whiteladyinthehood says:

    Thank Goodness for the lovely Ms.Trask…and Mr.John – I think you may have an obsession with your phone….


  4. I don’t even like to hear good things about technology, let alone frustrating ones. I’m going to start Occupy Apple Store. Then Occupy Verizon Store. Then….


  5. You should tell your wife that she is brilliant and fix her dinner!


  6. sparklebumps says:

    After numerous mishaps, I’ve given up on phone ever working properly again. Sadly, I will have to deal with customer service if I am to get a new one…


  7. Little doh, I’d say. The big doh is when you drive all the way to the iStore, wait in line for 10 minutes to have some junior bird man behind the counter “flip the switch” and hand it back to you with that look of distain reserved for doofus customers utilizing technology obviously beyond their capacity to operate.

    You owe Ms. Trask a doubt of gratitude. *grin*


    • John says:

      True, the Doh! could’ve been worse. I have no patience for me whenever I have a brain freeze which means I lose patience with myself during most of my awake hours.


  8. joem18b says:

    I had a similar moment trying to use the auto-checkout at the library today. I rely on the kindness of strangers.

    On a different note, I find that “duh” gets 66 million hits, while “doh” gets 8 million. Regional or national difference, or simply variants? I haven’t researched the question.

    I also noticed a column the other day explaining the provenance of “oops,” but didn’t read it.


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