By Marla Boone
I was always the kid that followed my dad out to his workshop to “help” him fix things. If ever there were a case for a word’s being in quotation marks to indicate perhaps the word was used in the most ironic way possible, this is it. (Lest you think I am being sexist by saying it was my dad who fixed things in the shop and not my mom, let me say I am being less sexist than absolutely accurate. My mom made all our clothes, all the furniture slip covers, and all the draperies but I doubt she even knew how to check the oil in her car.)
After much time of watching him work on lawn mowers and other equipment, I began to catch on and gradually discovered I have a very fortunate mechanic bent. This comes in really handy when I want to check the oil in my car. Or change it. I have amassed a fair amount of rolling stock and it’s nice to be able to fix some of it. So you can imagine my reaction when I saw that Apple has released an iPhone self-repair kit. If you cannot imagine my reaction, I’ll tell you what it was. It was “Huh?”
The only smart phone with which I am remotely familiar is the iPhone. I bought an iPhone because I was told it would interface well with my iPad and my iPad pretty much guides me around life’s intricacies. My map program is on there, all my aviation navigation charts are on there, both email accounts are on there, my calendar is on there, and, perhaps most importantly, Words with Friends is on there. I can only guess what sort of geniuses designed this immensely powerful product. The scope of what it can do amazes me every time I use it. And now Apple is going to let me have a stab at fixing it when it gets what we tech-savvy people call a hitch in its get-along?
According to the New York Times, to get the self-repair kit, Apple will put a $1210 hold on your credit card to rent, I swear I am not making this up, seventy-five pounds (pounds!) of repair equipment. Just to put this in perspective, the average smart phone weighs a little under six and one-half ounces. I, of course, have no intention of ever trying to fix my own phone. I am not a big fan of a throw-away society. I mean, if we automatically swept all non-functional items into the trash, we’d have to get rid of Congress and about nine-tenths of all politicians. It’s bad enough the landfills are being polluted with discarded batteries and other toxic waste. Throw a couple of minority whips in there and we’d have the mother of all mushroom clouds. But if my iPhone is so far gone the folks at Apple can’t fix it, I’ll get a new one.
Since I am not nearly brave enough to try to take an iPhone apart and tip toe through its innards, I’ll have to speculate on what the repair process is like. First I suppose you have to get inside the phone by taking two pieces apart. Which two pieces is anyone’s guess. In my mind’s eye, this is what I see as the second step. Once the two pieces are pried apart (and be careful with that giant crowbar…sixty pounds out of the seventy-five, maybe), it will be like the can of snakes at the novelty store. Untold horrors will spring out of that phone. Even though I am fully aware of the existence of the silicon chip, I still envision dozens and dozens of tiny wheels and springs and wires, and they will shoot across the room and roll into the farthest, smallest, most inaccessible crevasses possible. If, not when but if, you can find them, when you finally tease them out of the crevasses they will be covered in dog hair and spilled Kool Aid and squished jelly beans from Easter 2020. And there will be one wheel or spring or wire missing. A real vital one. And then you will have to admit defeat and do what you should have done in the first place and that is call to make an appointment at the Apple store. But you can’t because your phone is broken.
Marla Boone resides in Covington and writes for Miami Valley Today