Thanks to everyone who sent in their uncharged phone horror stories. They were truly harrowing to go through, and here are the best in show. Read through, and vote for your favorite. The winner will receive a DROID RAZR MAXX by Motorola, the smartphone that boasts over 21 hours of talk time on a single charge, which is twice the battery life of other smartphones, so they'll be good to go next time, say, their kid is born, or they find themselves in the presence of their shirtless idol.
Entry 1: Nick S. "Dayton Dread"
A few years ago I had recently moved to Dayton, OH. Don't get me wrong, Dayton isn't a terrible place, but it definitely isn't the Jewel of the Nile, or of Ohio. At that time, I also had a flip phone that I thought could hold a charge for days. Well, my phone decided to get the best of me by out of the blue starting to quit holding a charge. When I say it quit holding a charge, I mean this thing would die within a couple of hours of unplugging it. Well one day I decided to head off to school without grabbing my phone charger to charge it at school. When I got to school I realized I'd forgotten it, but decided I'd be fine if the phone died.
Later that evening, when heading home, my car and my phone must have been in cahoots, because not more than three miles from school, my car died on the interstate and I had to roll down an off-ramp. Now as I said previously, Dayton isn't exactly the nicest place to break down, and I didn't feel all that safe sitting on the side of the road of some random off-ramp in the middle of the night. So as I rolled down the ramp, I grabbed my phone to see if it was working, and of course it wasn't. So there I was, in a new city, with a dead phone, a dead car, and no way to reach out to the world and ask for help or get a tow truck.
I sat on the side of the off-ramp for what seemed like an eternity, which in all likelihood, was only an hour, but it sure seemed like a long time. The whole time, cars were passing and nobody was stopping to lend a hand. As I sat there, I hear a few pops of gunfire, and sirens, which isn't unusual for Dayton, but was a little disturbing to me. Eventually a man stopped and called a tow company for me, and they eventually showed up to tow my car to the shop, where I then got to pay a nice hunk of change fixing my car.
The day after all this happened I went right out and bought a new battery and car charger for my phone, and have been very diligent about keeping my phone charged at all times. Had I been lucky enough to own a phone with 21 hours of talk time and access to the internet or Google Maps, I could have easily contacted a tow and ride immediately after my car died, and would have never had to worry about my safety in good ol' Dayton, OH.
Entry 2: Phil W. "(Almost) Busted!"
I work as a chef and besides needing my always dying phone to take pictures of my food, I have a story to share...
My good friend has recently taken a turn for the worst with his latest relationship. He fell hard for a girl that works for him and has kind of lost himself in the relationship. He tells our mutual friends and me how "she gets him on another level" and how, "she's mature for a 23 year old." Cliches aside, the only thing she "gets on another level" is that he pays her bills and is too trusting for his own good. The other day, after trying to stay out of it, I had to speak up. She had thrown a fit because she had sent an odd text to my good friend saying something along the lines of, "last night was sooo amazing" last night was supposedly spent at her parents' house… So unless that was her dad she was texting because he used all his tiles for a 78-point word in Scrabble, something was up. When he asked her what the text was about, she was immediately defensive (which always means innocence, yes?). She then said that her friend had come over the previous night and they cooked really good pasta together? I strongly suspected foul play as an outsider weighing the facts—didn't matter though, as my good friend was blinded by love. I fought all day to let it go as he had asked but finally I said forget it and I called him on my lunch break at work. He still didn't want to believe the facts and we had about an hour long fight over the phone about him and her. The call ended abruptly with the beep beep beep of the dead battery on my phone and that was that, or so I thought.
After the call I went back into the restaurant where I work as a chef (she didn't know I worked her) and walked to the dining room grab a glass of water. As soon as I rounded the corner I heard a familiar laugh and it was her, all 23 mature years of her. She was at the bar, touching and flirting with a young square-jawed kid who definitely was not my good friend, I didn't know she had a brother? I ducked back behind the corner and peeked back out and saw her brother place his hand on her nicely-shaped backside and they proceeded to make out heavily. Obviously the jig was up and I knew hard evidence like this would finally help my friend move on with his life. I reached down for my phone to snap a picture and then I realized!!! SWEET IRONY!!! In speaking with him on the phone earlier and arguing about how she wasn't right MY BATTERY had quickly died, denying me crystal clear undeniable proof!!!
I told him later and of course he wouldn't believe it was her. He did try to ask her and she threw another fit and said he was smothering her which scared him off the trail. Unfortunately he got to find out the hard way when he stopped by her apartment to surprise her with flowers on her birthday and walked in on her and her "brother" during an afternoon sleepover! My good friend would have benefitted from me having a reliable phone, instead he had to be in the same room as his worst nightmare came true.
Entry 3: M.W. "The One that Got McConaughway"
This story is not a pretty one. It happened last week at SXSW. I drove 25 hours to Texas from Baltimore in hopes of meeting an idol of mine, one Matthew McConaughey. As the story goes I made my way inside what I refer to as pearly gates, my personal heaven. Armed with my phone, a few bucks, and my fellow McConaughey fan friend I set out on a to casually run into Matthew and tell him how inspirational he is to my life. So we casually walked for about an hour and then I came up with a great thought of splitting up. So my friend and I went our separate ways in hopes of seeing him. We both agreed if we ran into him we would call each other immediately and make our way to the see him.
I have to backtrack a little to explain what this has to do with my battery. I had been using my phone and tethering it to my computer to have internet for the past few months and not really paying attention it zapped my battery storage. When I left the car It was 40 percent charged, however I wasn't so lucky. My battery life goes from 100 to 0 in about 2 hours of standby time.
Back to present day. I had no luck finding Matthew and I had been looking for him for about 2 hours. I pulled out my phone to call my friend, but lo and behold my phone is completely dead. How long had it been dead for, that I have no clue. All I know is that SXSW is huge and I had no way of contacting my friend. Even worse I didn't have the car keys to get the charger. As the day moved on I caught some live music and just embraced the experience, enjoying myself. So again the day is gone and night passes and I just walked to the car and waited for about an hour when my friend shows up with a huge smile on his face. He told me that he met Matthew several hours earlier and just got to spend a day in the life of our idol. I was distraught. Then he proceeded to show me several photos of his day and all the pictures of the 2 of them. At this point I wanted to die. I could have had the best day of my life, but thanks to the dead battery I spent the day alone and missed out on the only thing I came to see. I was so upset that I threw my phone. Smashed it into a few pieces. So all in all it was a wasted trip (though I did get to see Matthew McConaughey from afar). I'm now back in Baltimore and my phone is in the trash in Texas.
Entry 4: Christopher T. "Dad Fail"
After a full day of work, my wife went into labor with my second daughter at 9:00 at night. Labor lasted through the night and my daughter was born at 5:55 the next morning. I had a phone which had a notoriously poor battery. I had even purchased a second battery because my wife was pregnant. When we arrived at the hospital, I immediately called my in-laws and the battery died by the end of the conversation. I then switched batteries and called my parents. In all the excitement, I left my phone running throughout the night and by morning, my second battery was depleted. I had to pay the hospital $15 to activate the phone in the room and then a rather high long distance rate to call family and tell them about our new baby. However, the worst part wasn't the $40 in phone fees from the hospital, but having to explain to my wife why I wasn't able to use my camera phone to capture the first pictures of our newborn baby (I still don't think I have made that one up to her).
Entry 5: Joey B. "Stranded In a Wal-Mart"
The time I wish I had charged my phone... it was a fairly pleasant October day when I went to a Wal-Mart 2 counties over with my sister (Sis 1). I had a few wonderful ideas on what to buy and ended up running off to some other section of the store as she was shopping. About half an hour later, I tried to call her (Sis 1) to see where she was, but realized my phone was dead. At the time, I had a phone with a very aged battery. I could use it for 45 minutes tops so I kept it locked and screen down to minimum. Anyway, it must have pressed against my thigh for the car ride up there, because it was absolutely, not gonna turn on for more than a second. I ran around the store at least twice looking for her, went out to the parking lot and couldn't find her car, and eventually went to customer service and called my other sister (Sis 2). Turns out, Sis 1 had ran off to help a friend and couldn't get in touch with me. I learned this after publicly breaking down and crying in the middle of customer service. This isn't the first time Sis 1 had left me somewhere, and since that first time I have had this fear of being left somewhere without a ride. Anyways, as it turns out, Sis 2 had to cancel on a concert that only comes to our area once every few years, only for Sis 1 to show up minutes after Sis 2 arrives. I then ended up having to lie to Sis 2 about Sis 1 leaving me, and feeling both dirty for lying, and embarrassed for breaking down in the middle of Wal-Mart. So the next 10 bucks I got I bought a new battery and hoped to never be in that situation again.
Bonus Entry: Miguel O. "A Poem"
WEDDING DAY DISMAY
What can I say? I woke up on June 18 without much delay.
Rolled over in bed and found my Droid X had discharged all the way.
Oh Great! No charge in my phone.
I'm going to miss my wedding and end up all alone.
No charger in my car. No time to plug in the wall.
I had to go pick up my tux at the mall.
The florist, the dj and food digits all locked in my phone.
No calls, no texts no maps. Throw me a freakin' bone.
I drove to the site, with just enough time.
To charge my phone to 20% and come up with this rhyme.
Wedding went off without a hitch.
I survived all this with a dead battery glitch.
So heed my warning.
Charge your phone overnight to avoid a crappy morning.
Vote below...the winner gets a brand-new DROID RAZR MAXX by Motorola!