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The Tale of a Broken Phone / Nick Ehrhardt

The Tale of a Broken Phone

On June 6 2015, sponsored a family storytelling event at Global Family Reunion in New York. We asked participants young and old to share family stories. This is one of them.

The Tale of a Broken Phone
By Jack Braun

Before I start, let me just say that it had not, capital N-O-T been my fault that my phone had gotten smashed in the car door. I mean, I was the perpetrator, and everyone in my family was a witness, but it wasn’t entirely my fault. You see, I had taken an Instagram break to close the car door, and I put my phone down on the side of me nearest to the open door. So then I leaned over, like really reached over far, to try and get a good grasp on the door handle, and… crunch. Suffice to say, I was phoneless for our week in Zion National Park.

When we got to our hotel (which I’m sure I would have loved if I had not been behaving such as an addict does after going sober for a bit) I put my phone down on the coffee table next to my pull out bed. Kind of morbid, don’t you think? A bit like an open casket funeral where nobody wants to admit that anybody has died. My parents pretended to care, but I’m pretty sure they were more than happy for obvious parental reasons. We had gotten to the hotel pretty late and had to hike (I know, hiking, ugh) the next day, so went to sleep.

The morning came way too soon, got way too hot way too soon, and I would still be phoneless for another week. As I stepped out the door into the dry heat, my SPF 1,000 sunscreen instantly melted off of me and I’m pretty sure I ran out of water in, like, five minutes.

"This is what (to me) family is all about. Doing things you hate and loving them."

The trolley we took to go to the hike (I know, hiking, ugh) smelled like mothballs if mothballs smelled downright awful and if moths lived in Utah. Thank the Lord it was only a five-minute ride. Anyways, even if I didn’t see any moths in Utah and I couldn’t Google it due to the fact that my phone was bent at a twenty-degree angle, I do remember seeing beautiful, vibrant butterflies along the one-mile concrete path to the actual Narrows, where we were hiking. (I know, a hike, ugh.)

Okay, now listen closely: I hate water; I hate narrow spaces; I hate walking long distances. The Narrows are these vast narrow pathways with humongous rock walls towering over each side and water varying from two to four feet in depth. I walked at least seven miles there and back that day.

…I was waiting for applause but I guess I’ll just continue. But ugh, I deserve a standing ovation or something—you have no idea how many blisters I got the next day.

And hey, I know I sound super cheesy and all, but this is what (to me) family is all about. Doing things you hate and loving them. Splashing your siblings in the face even though you hate water, walking with your mom even though your legs ache, hiking with your dad even though you’re both slightly claustrophobic. Putting up with each other for just long enough to celebrate or have fun.

Only coming together because you smashed your near five hundred dollar material possession in the door of a rental car.

But well, if we are, in fact, all related and we do all want to connect, that’s going to amount to a whole lot of broken phones.