Help! I've fallen and I can't get up!
Everybody remembers this from back in the day, even if you weren't born yet, because of all the kidding about it that still goes on. When Life Alert emergency telephone systems first came about, they were wired in to these things called Phone Jacks that had to be installed by a human TELEPHONE company guy, and had nothing whatsoever to do with call girls or cell phone cloning.
These systems promised safety AND independence to the elderly, and reassured their families with the knowledge that 24 hour emergency help was now just a push button away.
My Grandma was the first person I knew who had one. There was a pendant one, which she took to bed (and was SUPPOSED to wear all the time), and the main one connected to the land line (which, by the way, was just called a phone back then). Speaker phones, answering machines, and touch tone phones were just becoming popular, and only rich people could afford high tech cordless units that were about the size of my arm from elbow to wrist, with an antenna twice as long as the rest of it. Those cordless phones were super cool and you could take them all around the house and even outside! But not if you needed to actually make a call. The signal range didn't reach far in those days. Basically, you had to be just as close to the main wall jack thing as if you were using the mustard yellow wall phone.
Recovering memory: In those days, you had to RENT your phone from the phone company! I think it was kind of a rent-to-own scheme. Those were the good old days of utility company monopolies. Also, whole families used to sit around and play Monopoly a lot, so they wouldn't have to go shoot something to make for dinner. They would sometimes all pretend to NOT be hungry for days on end, for much the same reasons.
Once The Future happened, I believed NO ONE who blamed losing their phone to water damage (via toilet) on a toddler or other pet! I just didn't understand their compulsion to have the phone at all times. Were they carrying on conversations while using the bathroom? What in the world is so important that it can't wait until AFTER you poo?? Are you expecting the current President of the United States to call you for urgent advice? Are you afraid you'll miss that call from the radio show contest you entered? Waiting to hear back about that job you applied for? Unannounced parole officer call? Do you feel toilet time is wasted (no pun intended) unless you're doing at least one other thing and you've already read every book and magazine in your house? Are you so embarrassed by your Angry Birds addiction that you only play it when you're locked in the privacy of your bathroom? If so, is your family beginning to wonder that you may have an actual gastrointestinal disease that you should see a doctor about? Do your farts sometimes smell like fresh fruit, even though you didn't eat any fruit? (Sorry. I just threw that last one in to see if you were still reading!) (No, I DON'T know what your fruity farts say about your health or diet.)
I have an unofficial list of the various most likely ways I will die embarrassingly. One is being electrocuted in the bath because I'm a fan of the really, really, really, realllllly long, hot bath. (True Story: I was once late for something that had been planned way in advance because I took a FOUR HOUR BATH. 4 Hours.) But I don't have a rubber duckie or plastic boats or bath crayons, so I bring books and magazines to read.
I BRING them. But I mostly use them to set my phone, tablet, and laptop on, and also to help keep all the chargers and extension cords organized. I check facebook and my email (Gotta move those pizza ads onto my email folder labeled PIZZA, really.), and I write (because that's what writers do) stuff.
But, the whole time I'm doing all this, I worry. I wonder things like: If I drop my phone in the bath while it's plugged in, would what I assume are emergency safety switches on my extension cords protect me at all, or would I fry instantly? If I drop my phone into the tub, but it's not plugged in, would that be dangerous? What if the end of one of my extension cords falls into the tub, and it's still plugged into the OUTLET, but it's not being utilized by my electronics collection? Fry?
Back to toilet. Tub was a bit of a detour from my original topic, which was Safety.
So, my cell phone is basically my modern Life Alert System. It's doubtful I will suddenly break a hip and have to call an ambulance. But what if I'm in there and I hear a burglar breaking in the house and I need to call 911? These are unlikely scenarios, but not entirely out of the realm of possibility. The only time I ACTUALLY needed (and used) my phone in the bathroom for was to text somebody in the house because there was NO toilet paper in there. None!
And, if you ask me, that's the day the cell phones paid for themselves!