This past weekend, Melinda and Robert and I took a mini vacation to Philly. We visited some of my friends from high school, saw my parents, and took Robert to the aquarium in Camden. We got a hotel right in Center City and spent several hours walking around like tourists, taking pictures at the Reading Terminal Market, Love Park, and City Hall.
The hotel was a Hampton Inn—nothing fancy, but nice, especially considering it was the same price as we would’ve paid to stay closer to my parents’ house in South Jersey.
On Saturday afternoon, I went downstairs and wrote at the bar while Melinda and Robert napped. About halfway through my first beer, a pudgy lady in a sundress and an Outer Banks baseball cap approached me, frazzled.
“I’m sorry to bother you, she said, but I see you’ve got an Apple computer there. Is it by any chance a MacBook Pro?”
Assuming she wanted to borrow a charger, I said no, it was an Air.
Tears began welling in her eyes. She explained she’d just gone to retrieve her daughter’s brand new MacBook from the car, and she accidentally dropped it into a puddle.
“I was wondering, since you also have an Apple computer, if you know what I’m supposed to do.”
This was an interesting question, because it assumes that as a Mac owner I’m somehow qualified to work at the Genius Bar. It’s not the first time it’s happened, either. A stranger at a bar once noticed I had an iPhone and asked if I could help her adjust the vibration settings on her notifications.
Is this an Apple-specific phenomenon? I don’t have Nissan owners coming up to me and asking me how to update the firmware on their Pathfinder. And yes, I have owned two arms for almost 40 years, but it doesn’t mean I can reset a fractured ulna.
Shit, I don’t know lady, I wanted to say. Did you google it?
Instead I suggested she wrap it in a bath towel and let it dry overnight, and if it turned on in the morning, it was probably okay. If not, it was new enough that it was still under warranty, and the Apple Store might help her out.
“Oh thank you,” she said. “You’re a genius.”
“I’m not a genius, but I did stay at a Hampton Inn last night,” I said.