Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

My World Died with My Phone

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

My World Died with My Phone

Article excerpt

Byline: gary bainbridge One man's struggle with the 21st century. Follow Gary on Twitter @Gary_Bainbridge or email him at

YOU know how in films the hero's friend survives an attack and then either limps on, or appears perfectly fine for a while, but then collapses and dies? "Oh, no," says the person with medical knowledge conveniently nearby. "Billy, your mate, must have had internal injuries. You couldn't have known. There was literally nothing you could have done to prevent this."

I had just arrived on a railway platform. I had had to go down to London for A Thing at which I would have to talk to actual people about stuff the previous day, an exhausting task. All I wanted to do was go home and make a cup of tea that did not feature a guest appearance by UHT milk - the worst substance in the world.

Why is UHT milk the worst substance in the world, you ask? Because people who hate milk hate it and people who like milk hate it.

But I digress. I had just stepped onto the platform. In one hand I held a heavy suitcase containing my laptop. In the other hand, I had an Oyster card, such is my preparedness to "tap out". (If you are not from London and do not know what an Oyster card is, it is a card with the word Oyster written on it.) And snaking from both of my ludicrously belobed ears was an earphone cable, leading to the phone in my jacket pocket. This is a recent development. I do not generally listen to music on my phone, but I have been trying to learn a couple of foreign languages in an attempt to make myself more interesting.

The point is that I am not used to having my head wired up to my phone. And so when I reached forward to tap my Oyster card on the sensor, my arm caught the cable, yanking the phone out of my pocket.

My hands were full, and, in any case, if my reflexes were to be compared to those of a cat, that cat would be Garfield. I was helpless as I watched the phone tumble groundwards. The cable was pulled taut by the phone, and then gravity pulled the phone away from the cable.

"Oh, good," I thought, watching the incident unfold in slow motion, "NOW the cable comes out. …

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