I submerged my phone in coffee last week.

Not purposefully, of course.

Here’s how it happened…

I’d just gotten coffee from Mango Tree, my favorite local shop that features high ceilings, mahogany furniture, and people with interesting haircuts and tattoos of humanoid mushrooms.

Every time I go in there, I feel like the least hip person in the room. But I’m hopeful that given enough time, I’ll pick up some hipness by association, even if I never work up the courage to get a mushroom tattoo.

To that end, I got a membership at the shop this summer.

That’s right – I’m officially a Mango Tree member, which basically means that 1) they gave me a cool, branded mug that they’ll fill with free drip coffee anytime I come in, and 2) they try very hard, with really endearing earnestness, to remember my name.

(It’s Jon. I don’t respond to John.)

The mug looks like this:

And it doesn’t quite fit in the cupholder of my 2003 Toyota Corolla.

Anyway, last week, I got my coffee, thanked the cool man with the mushroom tattoo, and got back into the car. I queued up a Spotify playlist, set my phone in the front cupholder, and then tried to wedge the full mug of coffee into the second cupholder, giving it a shimmy to confirm that it was secure.

The mug seemed secure.

You know where this is going.

On the way home, I was jamming to Maggie Rogers when a red light snuck up on me. I hit the brakes a smidgen harder than I usually do and managed to settle the car to a stop right before the intersection’s crosswalk. Not my smoothest maneuver, but hey, not my worst, either, especially since “Falling Water” makes it easy to drive fast.

A second later, Spotify went quiet.

“Huh,” I thought. “Kinda weird that I’m getting bad reception here in the middle of town.”

I looked down at my phone.

It looked back at me like this:

Yeah. The hip, branded mug had completely emptied into the cupholder containing my poor iPhone 6.

I stopped the car.

Fortunately, with the help of a few dozen Chipotle napkins and some tender words of profanity-laced encouragement, the phone recovered enough to resume playing “Falling Water”.

Unfortunately, thanks to an influx of Ethiopian light roast with subtle notes of citrus, the charging port got zapped past the point of return.

My phone persevered for the next twenty-five minutes, clinging with increasing desperation to the tottering remains of its eight-year-old battery. And then, at around 1pm on Monday, September the 12th, 2022, it finally loosened its grip on this world, gave up the ghost, and died.


So yeah. That’s how I ended up with a 13 Mini, a new Verizon data plan that’s costing me $50 bucks more per month, and this almost completely pointless post that you’re currently reading.

I’m truly sorry to admit that I can’t do anything about those first two things. But let’s try to salvage that last one.

Here are a few points to make this dumb story worth your while:


Yeah, you know what, I sat here thinking for ten minutes, but I actually can’t think of any point to my sharing this with you.

…Unless the whole point of this is to teach you the importance of outlining your marketing posts before you sit down and spend forty minutes writing about absolutely nothing.

Idk. Creating stuff is hard.

In all seriousness, I’ll end with this: I feel simultaneously upset to have a sparkly new iPhone that I’m already struggling not to look at every minute and incredibly grateful to have access to the entirety of the world’s information in this small rectangle that’s currently sitting on my desk.

What a world, right?

I hope your experience in it the last week has been good and uplifting, like fresh-brewed Ethiopian light roast coffee with subtle notes of citrus.

But wherever you’re at, as always, here’s wishing you good luck.