Mom used to say “don’t tempt fate.” This meant if you say something like, “I’ve never broken one of the good dishes,” you were very likely to drop one that day. It was sort of Mom’s gentle way of telling us not to brag.
Last week, I got another lesson in tempting fate.
It all started with a trip to the phone store. My husband needed a new phone and I wanted to terminate the insurance on my phone.
The gentleman helping us was ever-so polite but before putting me on the line to cancel the insurance, he handed me a little card. The card was filled with fascinating tidbits, such as nine out of 10 American adults own a smartphone. It also said that 19 percent of people drop their smartphones in the toilet.
I was amused. How did they determine these statistics, anyway? And really, dropping your phone in the toilet? I waved the card in the man’s direction, confidently assuring him that I had owned a cell phone for years and had never dropped one. And certainly not in a toilet! Then I blithely cancelled the insurance.
Fast forward to last week. It was one of those 90-plus degree days and I was out mowing our field. I always listen to music on my phone while I mow. It’s one of my favorite two hours of the week. It’s just me, the grass, and the music.
About a third of the way through the mowing, my phone started to ring. I didn’t recognize the number, but stopped the mower, removed my headphones and listened to the voice mail. It was the fraud department of our bank with information about someone trying to use our credit card to buy gas in Florida.
Now it would have been quicker to start the mower and drive up to the house, but for reasons that surpass understanding, I jogged the 200 yards or so. I was hot and sticky from mowing and bug spray and was pretty sweaty when I called the number back to cancel the card and rectify the situation.
All was going well (except for the dismay/outrage at having to cancel my credit card) until the representative was about to issue me a new card. She asked to put me on hold for a minute and I thought this was a good time to rid myself of the two cups of coffee I’d had earlier that day.
You know what’s coming next, don’t you? I walked into the bathroom, sticking the phone between my ear and my little, sweaty neck. The very next instant, the phone squirted from my neck and plopped into the toilet.
I was quick to recover and dry it and, thankfully, it still works just fine. I was able to call the bank again and totally resolve the credit card issue. Somehow, my text alert was changed to an other-worldly tone and no matter what I do, I can’t get it to change back to my old alert. Maybe the new alert is my mom reminding me not to tempt fate.
Sue is a retired public servant who volunteers at the Hospice store (For All Seasons) in Troy and teaches part-time at Urbana University. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.