No Mobile Phone, No Problem???

by John

I was without my iphone for 1 week, after accidentally leaving it at my daughter’s home.  I knew that I would be there 7 days later, so I would pick it up then.  I am retired now, so no-one rings me, so no biggie to be without it for one week.  Yes?

Well, for a start, I did not have my iphone calculator in the workshop, so I did a lot of arithmetic and trigonometry on paper.  A bit slow, and I did not really trust my calculations, but no disasters.

But when I wanted to get a quick 5 degree level, no go…..   My iphone app was 65 km away.

And finding telephone numbers.  Where’s the phone book?   The what??  Where’s my computer?

But Friday night I decided that I would never never never be without my mobile phone again.

I went with 2 friends to a model engineers meeting 70km away.  In a friend’s car.  After a really interesting meeting, we set off home.  We were in my friend’s Ford Territory.  I mentioned that the diesel gauge was near empty, but he was happy because the computer showed that we had 55km left in reserve, and we would stop at the next fuel stop.

Well, a few Km’s later the Ford stopped.  Dead.

We rolled onto the emergency stopping lane, and turned on the hazard lights.   It was about 11pm and the freeway traffic was whizzing by.

OK, what to do?   Probably out of diesel despite the car computer indicating otherwise, but maybe something else.  The car is quite new.

Ring the RACV.  (car breakdown rescue service in Victoria).  I do not have my mobile phone.  The other passenger, did not bring his, so the driver-owner rang the RACV.  Made a connection, established membership, confirmed car rego etc, and tried  to explain the location.  Then the phone died.  Needed a financial recharge.  No-one in the car knew how to do that.  We are all over age 65.  The phone owner gets his daughter or grand-daughter to recharge his phone.  I later discovered that it can be recharged anywhere.

So, no phone, no car, middle of a very cold night, heavy freeway traffic whizzing by, and probably out of diesel.

I volunteered to walk to the petrol station which we knew was a few kilometers down the freeway.  I would buy a can and a few litres of diesel, and get a taxi back.

So I set off, pitch black dark night except for the cars whizzing by.  I put my thumb up to hitch hike, but of course no bastard would stop.  I walked off the tarmac, terrified of being run over, stepping in unseen puddles, and tripping over unseen and unknown detritus.

Then, amazingly, after about 1-2 kilometers, I found an emergency phone.   To cut the story short, the freeway emergency services contacted the RACV, who had a record of the first emergency call.  They sent a truck, which winched the car onto the tray, drove it home, and called a taxi for the three of us.  They would not refuel the diesel vehicle on the freeway.  They would have been happy to refuel it if it was a petrol vehicle.

I arrived home about 2am, expecting SWMBO to be very worried about our 3 hour late return.  But she was fast asleep, and not at all concerned.

I believe that the government intends to remove all freeway emergency telephones, because they are used so seldom, because everyone has a mobile phone.(!?!)

Well, this person will NEVER be without a mobile phone again.

PS.  The car had just run out of diesel.  After a top up from a container, the next day, it just started up.  No other problem, no bleeding of the system required.  So WTF RACV!!!  You prefer to carry a vehicle 50-60km and hire a taxi for the occupants in preference to tipping a couple of dollars worth of diesel in the tank.